“Actually, I wasn’t happy or sad. I was medium. And medium is the happiest that I’
ll ever be.” –Axe Cop
It’s been an amazing journey over the years, sharing the joys and wonders of the Universe with you. From the smallest subatomic particles, the most fundamental interactions and the shortest timescales imaginable to the stars, galaxies, clusters, superclusters and beyond, we’ve spent the better part of the last five years together here on ScienceBlogs exploring the most interesting aspects of physical reality together.
And in many ways, the journey has just begun. We can — with great confidence — talk about the four fundamental forces governing the interactions of the Universe, the entire cosmic history from the inflationary state that set up the Big Bang all the way up to the present day. We can infer, from our known laws and observations, what the Universe is made out of, including the parts that are unseeable by our eyes and terrestrial apparatuses, and even project what the fate of the Universe will be far into the future!
But there’s still so much more to learn.
What caused the inflationary state that set up the Big Bang, and what caused it to end and create our entire observable Universe?
What is the fundamental nature of spacetime, and is it eternal or did it spring into existence from non-existence?
In the matter-and-radiation filled Universe we inhabit, what is the nature of the unseen dark matter and dark energy that dominate our Universe’s energy content?
What specifically caused the matter-antimatter asymmetry that enabled us to exist?
What’s the solution to the hierarchy problem, or the cause of non-zero neutrino masses, and are they related?
Are protons truly stable, or will they decay over time?
And finally, is there a quantum theory of gravity at all, or is gravity somehow distinct and unique from the other fundamental forces?
As we hurtle through space, on this spinning rock orbiting our Sun, revolving around the Milky Way — the second largest galaxy in our local group — all while the great cosmic islands and clusters of galaxies recede from us, we search for the answers. We have come so far and learned so much along the journey, and I’ve been truly blessed and privileged to share the little bit that I know with all of you, and to do it on a wonderful platform like ScienceBlogs since 2009.
But they say that change is the only constant in this Universe, and the new year brings with it a very big one for me, and I hope you’ll join me as the journey continues. At the dawn of this new year — 2014 — I’m pleased to announce the all-new Starts With A Bang on Medium!
Featuring larger images, a cleaner, ad-free experience, and a mobile-device-friendly interface, I believe I’ll be able to deliver an even richer, more valuable experience to you all. For a little sample, you can check out the first new post here, with more to come very quickly!
For those of you who want to know what you can expect, I’ve compiled a very handy list for you:
- Messier Mondays will continue every Monday over on the new Starts With A Bang at Medium, until we’re through all 110 objects that make up the Messier catalogue.
- There will continue to be a mid-week post on whatever science-related topic I think will be most valuable to share with you that week.
- There will be a new Thursday post each week — a throwback Thursday, if you will — where I’ll share one of the classic posts from the past five years, reworked and improved for a 2014 audience.
- On Fridays, because the responses to our new Ask Ethan series — and your questions and suggestions — have continued to be so overwhelmingly positive, we’re going to answer the best question I can pose as inspired by your submissions! (And keep using the submission form here; I’ll still read them all!)
- And finally, we’ll continue to have a Weekend Diversion as well, and I’ll do my best to find a way to share a weekly song with you as we’ve done all along!
Because I know how valuable the community we’ve built here is, I wanted to share a few possibilities with you for ways you can keep it alive moving forward:
- The new platform on Medium enables you to leave comments on each particular paragraph or image, so that you can say what you have to say where it’s most relevant. All you need to comment is a Twitter account, and comments can be up to 400 characters (rather than the standard 140), and I’ll moderate each and every one! (You can find me on Medium here.)
- If you want to follow all the things I’m involved in, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ at your convenience.
- If you need to get a message to me directly, I can’t promise you a response, but you can always be sure I’ll read what you send me at startswithabang AT gmail DOT com.
- And finally — for those of you who are science professionals (i.e., with at least a Ph.D.) — if you’ve enjoyed Starts With A Bang and are interested in contributing a guest post, let me know; so many of you have had such valuable things to say over the years that I’d love to share some of that with all of our readers as well!
So keep sending in your questions, and I hope you enjoy the new Starts With A Bang as much as I do! I’ve been so lucky to have your support over the years, and I’m hoping you’ll continue to find our time together to be a wonderful addition to your week. Looking forward to seeing you and sharing the joys and wonders of the Universe with you as we journey through it one terrestrial rotation at a time!
Update: By popular demand — and an agreement with the powers-that-be — the Ask Ethan series we’ve started has been simply too rich to discontinue, so even though I’ll be putting out five posts a week over at Medium, we’ll still do an Ask Ethan post once a week here! So keep submitting your questions and join me here, once a week, and over at Medium on a nearly daily basis for a double dose of the best science you can find!