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.

“And there is the headlight, shining far down the track, glinting off the steel rails that, like all parallel lines, will meet in infinity, which is after all where this train is going.” -Bruce Catton At the end of each week here at Starts With A Bang, it’s important to take a look back at all we’ve gone…

“Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.” -Hermann Minkowski When you think of waves, chances are you think of some type of pressure wave moving through a medium, like sound or water…

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” -Aleister Crowley Our Universe is the way it is for two reasons: the initial conditions that…

“The dance between darkness and light will always remain — the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.” -C. JoyBell C. Yet what do you do when you discover a moon that itself straddles the border between light-and-dark? It…

Cosmology in the 21st Century (Synopsis)

“Every generation of physicists solves some old puzzles and finds some new ones.” -Dr. Kendrick Smith A century ago, no one could have envisioned the Universe we have today. From a Universe governed by Newton’s and Maxwell’s laws, consisting only of the Milky Way and the objects within, who could have imagined the new forces,…

When you think of dark matter, you very likely think of a halo of diffuse, unseen mass whose gravitational influence is felt by everything within our galaxy, and every galaxy or cluster out there. But what you might not consider is that this dark matter is consistently passing through Earth and every atom-and-molecule on it. Every…

“The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.” -Galileo Galilei It is, in fact, almost exactly as Galileo said. Galileo missed a few things, though, including a plethora of unclustered stars, dust, nebulae and star-forming regions as well. Want to view it all at once? Check out…

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” -William Shakespeare They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and yet, if your packing it in your lunchbox, how…

“Time is the longest distance between two places.” -Tennessee Williams I’m always stoked to give you weekly recaps at Starts With A Bang, just in case there’s anything you missed. We saw some fantastic posts this week, including two amazing contributions from Brian Koberlein and Amanda Yoho! Here’s what we saw: The timeline of the Universe (for Ask…

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” -Stephen King, The Dark Tower 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 our…