Archives for April, 2015

Earth Day in the Universe (Synopsis)

“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” –Bill Anders, Apollo 8, 1968 We’ve come an incredible distance in exploring the Universe. In the span of just a single human lifetime, we’ve gone from speculations about what other worlds in our Solar System…

The biggest, most surprising revolution that came along with the development of quantum theory, quantum mechanics and later, quantum field theory, was the overthrowing of the idea of a deterministic Universe, replacing it with a Universe where only a probability distribution of outcomes could be theoretically known, even if you knew all the initial conditions of…

The Illusion of Reality (Synopsis)

When you look out at the nebulae in the night sky — especially if you’re seeing them with your eye through a telescope for the first time — you might be in for a big surprise. These faint, fuzzy, extended objects are far dimmer, sparser and more cloud-like than almost anyone expects. Yet thanks to…

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” –Carl Sagan The Universe is filled with a wide variety of stars, planets, galaxies and other optical phenomenon. Despite the fact…

“Exploring this set I certainly never had the feeling of invention. I never had the feeling that my imagination was rich enough to invent all those extraordinary things on discovering them. They were there, even though nobody had seen them before. It’s marvelous, a very simple formula explains all these very complicated things. So the…

“Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.” -Laurence J. Peter This past week was a super busy one on Starts With A Bang, from dark energy to stars to a fabulous book review and more! Just in the last seven days, we’ve looked at: What if dark energy…

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” –Terry Pratchett If you want, you can imagine back in the Universe to a time before it looked anything like ours did. Before there…

“There is a voice inside of you That whispers all day long, ‘I feel this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.’” –Shel Silverstein It’s pretty obvious that the Universe exists in such a way that it admits the possibility of intelligent life arising. After all, we’re here, we’re intelligent life, and…

“If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.” –Philip K. Dick When it comes to measuring the expansion history of the Universe, the concept is simple enough: take something you know about an object, like a mass, a size, or a brightness, then measure what the mass, size or brightness appears…

“I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.” –Schrödinger Ever think that if we just pitted enough intelligence at a particular problem, we’d be bound to solve it? That was certainly the approach that two of the greatest minds in history — Einstein and Schrödinger — took, when…