Q & A

Category archives for Q & A

How Good is Your Theory? Open Thread I

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. -Douglas Adams When I started writing about science online in January of 2008, I put the word out that I would accept questions from my readers. After all, I knew that there was a lot of misinformation…

Yo ho! It’s hot, the sun is not a place where we could live. But here on earth there’d be no life without the light it gives. We need its light. We need its heat. We need its energy. Without the sun without a doubt there’d be no you and me. -They Might Be Giants…

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” -Neils Bohr As many of you know, the Big Bang is one of the most powerful scientific theories we have. It’s also one of the most unsettling. The idea that our entire Universe — filled with practically a trillion galaxies — is only three times…

“An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.” -Unknown Every now and again, people with all sorts of backgrounds — from some graduate school all the way to having not finished high school — ask me…

Is the Universe a Giant Hologram?

Note: I’m on vacation this week, so here’s one from the vault. This article first appeared on my old website, back in February of 2009. Some days the questions I get are easy, and some days I get questions from our longtime reader, Ben. This past week, there have been reports all over the news…

Q & A: Inside a Gas Giant

I’m always happy to receive questions from those of you interested enough to ask them, and every once in a while one of them feels just right to write up an article about it. Today’s comes from Brad Walker, who asks about the inside of gas giants. Specifically, The question pertains to the insides of…

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting. -Siddhārtha Gautama, a.k.a. Buddha Last week, I started a new series on The Greatest Story Ever Told, about the origin and evolution of the Universe. In it, I asserted that inflation is the very first…

Blue Moons: Fact or Fiction?

Blue Moon You knew just what I was there for You heard me saying a prayer for Someone I really could care for… -Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart Tonight is the last night of 2009, there’s a full Moon, there’s a sliver of a partial lunar eclipse, and it’s the second full Moon this month.…

LHC Smash!

You’re making me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. -Bruce Banner Hey, LHC, what did those protons ever do to you? You take them, accelerate them to the fastest speeds we’ve ever accelerated protons to on Earth, and then smash them into one another with more energy than ever before! The Large Hadron…

The Lights Stay On Inside a Black Hole!

The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. -Vladimir Nabokov Last Friday, I posed a question to you, and you kindly responded by voting as to whether, when you crossed the event horizon of a black hole,…