Archives for February, 2016

“Mathematicians deal with possible worlds, with an infinite number of logically consistent systems. Observers explore the one particular world we inhabit. Between the two stands the theorist. He studies possible worlds but only those which are compatible with the information furnished by observers. In other words, theory attempts to segregate the minimum number of possible…

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” -Jonathan Swift If you want to look out into the Universe, all you need to do is gather the light it gives off. Unless, of course, there’s something in the way. For about 20% of the sky, that’s exactly the story for our own…

“If the imprint is really due to gravitational waves from the big bang, then this is the type of cosmological discovery that comes along perhaps once every fifty years.” -Kip Thorne Now that LIGO’s successfully detected it’s first gravitational waves — from two merging black holes — we know that we will find them in…

Can LIGO test Quantum Gravity? (Synopsis)

“There was a long history of speculation that in quantum gravity, unlike Einstein’s classical theory, it might be possible for the topology of spacetime to change.” -Edward Witten General relativity makes very specific prediction for what the curvature of space should be at the event horizon of a black hole, and for the consequences to…

“The world communicates subtly. Most people don’t hear or see the signs because they’re so wrapped up in their day-to-day lives.” -Doug Cooper If you wanted to see if a planet was inhabited in Star Trek, all you had to do was scan for signs of life. With current technology, that’s really hard to do!…

“We are stardust, we are golden, We are billion year old carbon, And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.” –Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young When Charles Messier first began cataloguing nebulae, even globular clusters, just a few tens of thousands of light years distant, weren’t resolvable into individual stars. But thanks to the…

“Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.” -Henry David Thoreau Oh, let’s be real. While there was plenty to talk about here at Starts With A Bang, there was one thing that took over the news from everything else, the first ever discovery of gravitational waves!…

“I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.” -Alexis de Tocqueville You don’t need to be right to…

“Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.” -Fernando Pessoa One of the most iconic associations with Valentine’s Day is chocolate. And not just any chocolate, mind you, but good-quality chocolate, with a creamy, silky-smooth texture, a firm but shiny structure, and an even, rich consistency and taste throughout. Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a rich and…

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves.” -David Reitze More than 100 years after Einstein’s relativity came out, one of its last great predictions — the existence of gravitational radiation — has been directly experimentally confirmed! The LIGO collaboration has observed two ~30 solar mass black holes merging together, producing a slightly less massive final…