Archives for June, 2017

“By its very nature science knows no boundaries. Walling off any group, for any reason, from full participation damages the entire enterprise of science. We must be scientists without borders.” -Rocky Kolb We normally think of “let there be light” as when the Universe got its start. In a particular sense, this is true, since…

“Space and time may have a structure as intricate as the fauna of a rich ecosystem, but on a scale far larger than the horizon of our observations.” -Martin Rees On the largest scales, dark matter has been undoubtedly the most successful theory in modern cosmology for explaining a huge variety of observations. From the…

“We hope that interested people will repeat our calculations and will make up their own minds regarding the significance of the results. It is obvious that “belief” is never an alternative to “understanding” in physics.” -J. Creswell et al. Three times now, the LIGO collaboration has produced very strong evidence that black hole pairs, from…

“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” -Victor Hugo On August 21, 2017, the Moon will pass between the Earth and…

“There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything.” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyways.” Either way, nothing happens.” -Yvon Chouinard Are the beautiful and iconic Pillars of Creation, located deep within the Eagle Nebula, still around today?…

“Already in my original paper I stressed the circumstance that I was unable to give a logical reason for the exclusion principle or to deduce it from more general assumptions. I had always the feeling, and I still have it today, that this is a deficiency.” -Wolfgang Pauli There’s never a shortage of scientific topics…

“[Brown dwarfs] appear to live a more exciting life than we presumed. They are too big to be planets and two small to be stars, but it does appear that if you watch one it has very active events… there is action going on.” -Lars Bildsten For every star that’s out there in the Universe, for…

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” -Christopher Hitchens 65 million years ago, a catastrophic impact from outer space caused the last great mass extinction on Earth, destroying 30% of the species that lived on our world at the time. These mass extinction events happened many times in Earth’s past,…

“Einstein’s gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.” -Richard Feynman There’s no doubt that LIGO has given us one of the most incredible breakthroughs of the 21st century: the direct detection…

“Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there.” -Konstantin Batygin Last year, scientists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown made a huge splash when they announced that…