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.

“There’s a mark born every minute, and one to trim ‘em and one to knock ‘em.” -David W. Maurer, The Big Con (1940) But how could you tell? There’s lots of amazing science going on out there, and none of us can be experts in it all. Moreover, even when we think we know how things…

“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.” -John F. Kennedy If you went back in time to the birth of the Sun and the Solar System, what…

“Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the…

“No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.” -David Hume It’s sometimes mind-boggling how many different aspects of the Universe we touch on here at Starts With A Bang, and the past…

“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.” -T.H. Huxley It’s said that nothing lasts forever, and as far as we can tell, this is true. Every living thing that has ever lived will…

“But certainly the laser proved to be what I realized it was going to be. At that moment in my life I was too ignorant in business law to be able to do it right, and if I did it over again probably the same damn thing would happen.” -Gordon Gould, inventor of the LASER…

There are no free quarks (Synopsis)

“In physics, you don’t have to go around making trouble for yourself — nature does it for you.” -Frank Wilczek Freedom is an easy thing for almost all the particles we think of. Want a free photon? Just let it go in a place where there’s nothing that’s going to absorb it. A free electron? Just keep…

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies… Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die… It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands…

“I love the sea’s sounds and the way it reflects the sky. The colours that shimmer across its surface are unbelievable.” -John Dyer When you look up into the night sky, most of the fixed, non-stellar objects you see are faint, extended and diffuse. One of the things that surprises most skywatchers is what a galaxy…

“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” -Chinua Achebe When you think of charitable enterprises, you probably think of things like eradicating hunger, poverty, or disease of some sort. After all, that’s what most charity is: helping…