Ask Ethan

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“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…

“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.” -T.H. Huxley It’s said that nothing lasts forever, and as far as we can tell, this is true. Every living thing that has ever lived will…

“A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller.” -Paul Klee As the time passes for us all, and we age, so too does everything else in the Universe. For an object like a black hole, it has the potential to form, grow or shrink as we move…

“I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?” -Tom Hanks Imagine,…

“From earliest times, humans — explorers and thinkers — have wanted to figure out the shape of their world. Forever, the way we’ve done that is through storytelling. It is difficult to let the truth get in the way of a good story.” -Adam Savage When we look back into the Universe, there’s a wonderful, remarkable story that it…

Ask Ethan #53: What is the Big Rip? (Synopsis)

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” -Haruki Murakami Of all the ways our Universe can end —…

“After all the ‘Universe’ is a hypothesis, like the atom, & must be allowed the freedom to have properties & to do things which would be contradictory & impossible for a finite material structure.” -Willem de Sitter Dark energy was one of the biggest surprises to come along in the past generation, from a scientific…

“Es ist immer angenehm, über strenge Lösungen einfacher Form zu verfügen.” (It is always pleasant to have exact solutions in simple form at your disposal.) -Karl Schwarzschild The Universe is a vast and complex place, full of a diversity of structure from the smallest scales to the largest. And yet, by many accounts, it’s a…

“Whenever you have infinities in a theory, that’s where the theory fails as a description of nature. And if space was born in the Big Bang, yet is infinite now, we are forced to believe that it’s instantaneously, infinitely big. It seems absurd.” -Janna Levin Of course, we don’t believe space was born in the Big…

“In my better sense of mind, I know that I’m far from alone and far from the worst, and the earth keeps spinning. Everything keeps moving, with or without me.” -Phil Anselmo The Universe is a chaotic place, where nothing truly exists in isolation. Even if, at the moment of the Big Bang, nothing in…