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.

“Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.” -Robert Jackson Ever since we began uncovering the laws of nature, humanity has looked for a way to simplify them. We attempt to create an overarching framework that encapsulates all the different…

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” -Alfred A. Montapert So you’re passing by a black hole in a massive, fast-moving spaceship, and you want to do an experiment: you tether a small mass outside of the ship and let it fall into the black hole, just allowing it the…

“There are two infinities that confuse me: the one in my soul devours me; the one around me will crush me” -Gustave Flaubert Last week, Donald Trump restored the National Space Council, promising to take America and the world to new heights in space. He also made some statements claiming that this is infinity here,…

“When you listen to a lecture, you should not have any idea of yourself. You should not have your own idea when you listen to someone. Forget what you have in your mind and just listen to what he says. To have nothing in your mind is naturalness. Then you will understand what he says.…

“Eddington had needed to make significant corrections to some of the measurements, for various technical reasons, and in the end decided to leave some of the Sobral data out of the calculation entirely. Many scientists were suspicious that he had cooked the books. Although the suspicion lingered for years in some quarters, in the end…

“This new insight may force us to rethink the whole cosmological context of how galaxies burn out early on and evolve into local elliptical-shaped galaxies. Perhaps we have been blind to the fact that early “dead” galaxies could in fact be disks, simply because we haven’t been able to resolve them.” -Sune Toft How do…

“Sometimes the silences, the gaps, tell us more than anything else.” -Peter Ackroyd Did you know that there’s even more going on than before here at Starts With A Bang!? Yes, we have our articles at Forbes; yes, we have our Podcasts on Soundcloud; yes, we have our first book out and our second available for preorder.…

“I would argue that in any habitable zone that doesn’t boil or freeze, intelligent life is going to emerge because intelligence is convergent.” -Simon Conway Morris Someday, in the far distant future, the evolution of the Sun will cause it to heat up and emit so much energy that the Earth’s surface will reach a…

“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…