Ask Ethan

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“Lives are snowflakes – unique in detail, forming patterns we have seen before, but as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’d mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection.)” -Neil Gaiman…

“We are part of the universe that has developed a remarkable ability: We can hold an image of the world in our minds. We are matter contemplating itself.” -Sean Carroll If you take a look at our Universe today, you can learn all sorts of things about it. How the matter in it is distributed,…

“It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it.” -Neil Armstrong There are many impressive optical phenomena that we can see with our own eyes here on Earth. The…

“The very closest stars would require many years to visit, even traveling at the speed of light, which is impossible according to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Today’s fastest spaceships would require 200,000 years to travel to Alpha Centauri, our closest bright star. The energy required to send a hundred colonists to another star, as Frank…

“Each ray of light moves in the coordinate system ‘at rest’ with the definite, constant velocity V independent of whether this ray of light is emitted by a body at rest or a body in motion.” -Albert Einstein, 1905 The more kinetic energy you impart to something, the faster you go. But there’s a limit:…

“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…

“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…

“The whole edifice of modern physics is built up on the fundamental hypothesis of the atomic or molecular constitution of matter.” -C. V. Raman As far as humans have figured out, there are four fundamental forces in the Universe: the three of the Standard Model (electromagnetism, the weak and strong nuclear forces) and General Relativity,…

“Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.” -Frederick S. Perls, quoting Einstein The Universe we can see and access is certainly a big place. We see that it goes on for 46 billion light years in all directions, full of stars, galaxies, matter…

“This isn’t my life anymore, Mulder. I’m done chasing monsters in the dark.” -Dana Scully, X-files One of the most exciting things a scientist can experience is when they look at a sample of data, expecting to not see a particular exciting effect, and yet, something’s there. Immediately, you have to check yourself: what are…