Ask Ethan

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“We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposed to rob us of their companionship.” -James Harvey Robinson The Universe seems to be full of contradictions. On one hand, everywhere we look — in all directions and at all locations —…

“Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bares it away, and in the end there is only darkness.” -Stephen King This story seems to come up every few months. Someone detects a possibly unexpected signal somewhere in the sky — normally correlated to the centers of…

“Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.” -Michael Faraday And yet, it’s often incredibly difficult to use those laws of nature — even if they’re as simple as can be — to actually measure and quantitatively understand the Universe around us. Perhaps one of the most glaring…

“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” -Molière So if the Universe is expanding and cooling, what does that mean for the matter in it? Sure, it’s easy to visualize how radiation cools: it has a wavelength, space expands, and so as the wavelength gets stretched, the energy drops. But the…

“You can try to lie to yourself. You can try to tell yourself that you put in the time. But you know — and so do I.” -J.J. Watt Before there was the Universe we know and love today, there were many epochs and eras that came before, including one before there were galaxies and stars, one…

“Sometimes, I sit alone under the stars and think of the galaxies inside my heart, and truly wonder if anyone will ever want to make sense of all that I am.” -Testy McTesterson The largest galaxies in the Universe all have a few things in common: they all contain many trillions of stars, they all…

“In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how. I always fell before I got to the line.” -Harriet…

“I think one of the coolest things you can do is disappear for a while, because it gives you the chance to re-emerge.” -Josh Homme The Big Bang — and General Relativity in general — teaches us that in an expanding Universe, it’s the fabric of space itself that evolves over time. One of the…

“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…

“I must choose between despair and Energy —— I choose the latter.” -John Keats Yes, we know that the fabric of the Universe is not made up of space and time but rather a unified spacetime; that the spacetime isn’t static but rather expands as the Universe goes on; and that the expansion isn’t slowing…