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.

“It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life. Old age is life’s parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny: in a way it preserves it by giving it the absolute dimension. Death does away with time.” -Simone de Beauvoir If you want to describe your location here on…

“I just think too many nice things have happened in string theory for it to be all wrong. Humans do not understand it very well, but I just don’t believe there is a big cosmic conspiracy that created this incredible thing that has nothing to do with the real world.” -Edward Witten You don’t have…

“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” -Frank A. Clark There’s a lot to be thankful for, and some of those things are truly universal. The world we share, the Sun we orbit, the galaxy we reside in and the Universe…

“The law of the conservation of momentum is the basis of the static thrust equation, the law of the conservation of energy is the basis of the dynamic thrust equation. Provided these two fundamental laws of physics are satisfied, there is no reason why the forces inside the resonator should sum to zero.” -Roger Shawyer,…

Just as a Chihuahua is still a dog, these ice dwarfs are still planetary bodies. The misfit becomes the average. The Pluto-like objects are more typical in our solar system than the nearby planets we first knew.” -Alan Stern The Pluto story just gets better and better. Although the flyby of July 2015 lasted only…

“The new ALMA images show the disk in unprecedented detail, revealing a series of concentric dusty bright rings and dark gaps, including intriguing features that suggest a planet with an Earth-like orbit is forming there.” -Sean Andrews It takes a lot of work to make a solar system from the raw materials of an interstellar…

“The universe is asymmetric and I am persuaded that life, as it is known to us, is a direct result of the asymmetry of the universe or of its indirect consequences. The universe is asymmetric.” -Louis Pasteur Time keeps barreling forward for all of us, but I’m so pleased that Starts With A Bang! still keeps on…

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” -Albert Einstein If you create an entangled pair of particles, and stretch them apart as far as you want, the entanglement remains. If you make a measurement of…

“We are actually living in a million parallel realities every single minute.” -Marina Abramovic Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in…

Book Review: Earth In Human Hands (Synopsis)

“We only have one planet that serves as an example and in science it’s not good to derive information from a sample size of one.” -David Grinspoon Although there will never be a shortage of doubters, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that humans have impacted the planet, particularly over the last few millennia, like no…