Ethan was born in New York City as the son of a Jewish postal worker. He did his undergrad at Northwestern, taught public school in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California, before moving to Florida, where he got his PhD in theoretical astrophysics at the University of Florida. After that, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he taught at the University of Wisconsin, ate too much cheese, and also met his life partner, Jamie. After working in astrophysics research at the University of Arizona and starting the world-renowned science blog, Starts With A Bang, he moved from the hellish desert to rain-soaked Portland in 2008. Since then, he's been a professor at the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College, grown a nationally renowned beard and mustache, got invited to join a circus and probably drank more beer than a healthy person should. He currently works as the head curator at Trapit, and can't wait to tell you a little bit more about the Universe.

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.” -Carl Sagan Inside a typical human body, beneath the organs, cells and even molecules that define us, there are atoms: some 7 × 10^27 of them in each of us. Mostly oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and…

“It’s everywhere, really. It’s between the galaxies. It is in this room. We believe that everywhere that you have space, empty space, that you cannot avoid having some of this dark energy.” -Adam Riess Back in the 1990s, scientists were quite surprised to find that when they measured the brightness and redshifts of distant supernovae,…

“Even if I stumble on to the absolute truth of any aspect of the universe, I will not realise my luck and instead will spend my life trying to find flaws in this understanding – such is the role of a scientist.” -Brian Schmidt Imagine you had arbitrarily great technology, limitless energy, and the ability…

“There’s no god, it’s the elements that control this world and everything on it.” -Scott A. Butler From hydrogen through uranium and even beyond, the Universe gives us a huge variety of elements that can bond together in practically innumerable ways, creating all the matter we’ve ever observed in existence. Everything beyond helium in the…

“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so vast and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” -Johannes Kepler, and the adopted saying of the Kepler mission The latest haul from NASA’s Kepler mission indicates that, in it sample…

“In other words, theory attempts to segregate the minimum number of possible worlds which must include the actual world we inhabit. Then the observer, with new factual information, attempts to reduce the list further. And so it goes, observation and theory advancing together toward the common goal of science, knowledge of the structure and observation…

“Thinking isn’t agreeing or disagreeing. That’s voting.” -Robert Frost Our first week of may has gone by here at Starts With A Bang, and we’re just $26 in pledges short, over on Patreon, of unlocking our next goal! In addition, we’ve also guest-starred on a Podcast/radio show over at Science For The People, on stories from Beyond…

“A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller.” –Paul Klee When it comes to normal matter, dark matter is a bit of a puzzle. Other than through the gravitational force, there’s no way we’ve yet figured out to make it interact. Try and collide it with…

“Even when Darwin’s teaching first made its appearance, it became clear at once that its scientific, materialist core, its teaching concerning the evolution of living nature, was antagonistic to the idealism that reigned in biology.” -Trofim Lysenko When it comes to many issues, democracy and popular opinion does and should determine the outcome. But when…

“Gamow was fantastic in his ideas. He was right, he was wrong. More often wrong than right. Always interesting; … and when his idea was not wrong it was not only right, it was new.” -Edward Teller There are few scientific idea more revered or more important than the Big Bang. For the vast majority…