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.

Ghostly Physics (Synopsis)

You’ve no doubt heard of quantum entanglement before: the idea that if you create a mixed quantum state that consists of two particles, you can then know the properties of one by measuring the properties of the other. The odd — and counterintuitive — thing about this is that once these particles are entangled, you…

“The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.” -William Wordsworth Galaxies may be the most common type of object identified in the Messier catalogue, and considering that there are at least…

“The trees are man’s best friends; but man has treated them as his worst enemies. The history of our race may be said to be the history of warfare upon the tree world. But while man has seemed to be the victor, his victories have brought upon him inevitable disasters.” -Nathaniel Egleston When things you’ve…

“Sexism was the only thing that kept Jerrie Cobb out of space in 1960, and it cannot be allowed to stand in her way now.” -Patricia Ireland It isn’t every week that you cover topics ranging from the birth of the Universe to the fundamental nature of space, and the go from sexism in NASA…

“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long — and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you’re the Prodigal Son; you’re quite a prize!” -Dr. Eldon Tyrell, Blade Runner Some questions that we look at are fun to consider because of how far outside our own experience they are, but…

“Our external environment no longer seems to have any firm boundaries, any limits, or any positive cues about when to stop consuming anything. I mean, there is a reason that people get fat — it’s easy and cheap to get high-calorie, tasty food.” -Bob Harper There are plenty of good things we can all do to get…

“We were marching down the street, & we were at the head of the troops. We went on marching, & the troops went off to the left.” -Geoffrey Burbidge It’s such a part of our cosmic and scientific history, that it’s difficult to remember that it’s only been for the past 50 years that the…

“The anthropic principle – the idea that our universe has the properties it does because we are here to say so and that if it were any different, we wouldn’t be around commenting on it – infuriates many physicists, including [Marc Davis from UC Berkeley]. It smacks of defeatism, as if we were acknowledging that…

“The most amazing lesson in aerodynamics I ever had was the day I climbed a thermal in a glider at the same time as an eagle. I witnessed, close up, effortlessness and lightness combined with strength, precision and determination.” -Norman Foster It’s called the “Eagle Nebula” because the shape of the nebula itself faintly resembles…

“I would give my life to fly in space. It’s hard for me to talk about it but I would. I would then, and I will now.” -Jerrie Cobb, at age 67 in 1999 Some of the greatest heros of the 20th century are those who were an integral part of humanity taking our first…