Archives for June, 2016

“Mozart’s music is like an X-ray of your soul – it shows what is there, and what isn’t.” -Isaac Stern When supermassive black holes have a large amount of matter fall onto them, they accelerate a large amount of the ionized material — particularly electrons — into high-velocity, bi-directional jets. In many cases, those jets…

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” -Muhammad Ali It may have been another fun week here at Starts With A Bang, where I’ve just learned something fun: I have an Erdös-Bacon number of nine! On the academic side, I published with Jim Fry, who published with Jim Peebles, who published with…

“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” -Alexander Hamilton Seen poking through a cloud,…

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” –Joseph Campbell Making up some 85% of the mass in our Universe, dark matter is necessary to explain the motions of individual galaxies, the grouping and clustering of assemblies of galaxies, the large-scale structure of the Universe and more. But on a much closer-to-home level,…

“If you’ve seen one gamma-ray burst, you’ve seen one gamma-ray burst!” -Common quote among gamma-ray burst astronomers, emphasizing how little we know about them. When the first gravitational wave signal ever, GW150914, was directly detected, NASA’s Fermi GBM team shocked the world by announcing the detection of a high-energy burst of electromagnetic radiation. This was…

“It turned out that nature was very kind, and there appear to be many of these black holes in the Universe and we were lucky enough to see one.” -Dave Reitze, executive director of LIGO On September 14th, 2015, just days after turning on, the twin Advanced LIGO detectors detected the first gravitational wave signature:…

“In order for the light to shine so brightly the darkness must be present.” -Francis Bacon Recently, a team of international researchers has assembled the most comprehensive, up to date study on light pollution on Earth ever, including a full-Earth map of dark sky conditions or lack thereof. Its findings were disheartening but unsurprising, including…

“It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.” –Stephen Hawking In the beginning, before even the Big Bang, all that we had was space and time, expanding rapidly according to…

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” -Muhammad Ali It’s been a very busy week here at Starts With A Bang — as most full weeks after vacation often are — but there’s a whole lot to look forward to and look back on this past week. Not…

“The new claim now is [a] boson with a mass of 16.7 MeV. But they don’t say anything about what went wrong in their previous claims and why we should not take those claims seriously.” -Oscar Naviliat Cuncic Everyone knows that the Standard Model of particle physics cannot be all there is. It does a…