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Ethan Siegel

At Big Think: The 4 fundamental meanings of “nothing” in science

Evidence from cosmological observations, coupled with Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and research into the physics of the singularity out of which the universe began most strongly argues that matter and energy, space and time all came into existence from a true nothingness. Read More ›

At Big Think: Without Einstein, we might have missed General Relativity

In considering "the only important question we can ask", namely, "What is true?", can we think of any commonly held theory that matches some of the data, but has had to be propped up by various "epicycles," and may "lead us even farther astray" by missing a profound understanding of reality? Read More ›

If dark energy is “neither particle nor field,” what is it?

Siegel: "It is time to take seriously the idea that dark energy might simply be a property inherent to the very fabric of space. Until we learn how to calculate the zero-point energy of empty space itself, or gain some bizarre, surprising, and unanticipated evidence, this will remain one of the biggest existential questions in all the universe." So this is existentialism for physicists, right? Even Sabine Hossenfelder sounds sort of existential on this one. Read More ›

Rob Sheldon: “It from bit” is winning the cosmology wars

Sheldon: Translating, Ethan is saying that the old 20th century materialism that says "entropy" or "information" emerges from the particles is being replaced by a 21st century view that "entropy" or "information" is fundamental and the material particles emerge from the immaterial field. Read More ›

At Forbes: Could dark energy be a misinterpretation of the data?

Siegel: In the near future, observatories like the ESA’s Euclid, the NSF’s Vera Rubin Observatory, and NASA’s Nancy Roman Observatory will improve that uncertainty so that if dark energy departs from a constant by as little as ~1-2%, we’ll be able to detect it. If it strengthens or weakens over time, or varies in different directions, it would be a revolutionary new indicator that dark energy is even more exotic than we currently think. Read More ›

According to astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, the universe has never truly been empty

But wait. If it was truly empty, it would not exist, right? What we mean by the “universe” is everything that exists. So, if it’s “empty,” nothing exists. Of course, it could always exist as an abstract idea but then it must be the abstract idea of a Being in another dimension. Read More ›

Ethan Siegel: Failure to replicate a dark matter experiment is “an incredible success” for the scientific method

Siegel offers an inside look at the details. While the finding is doubtless a success for the scientific method, it must be frustrating for those physicists who need dark matter to exist in order to make cosmology understandable — but can’t find any. Read More ›

Ethan Siegel tells us why he thinks colonizing super-Earths would end in disaster

Siegel thinks that a rocky planet of more than 30% greater radius than Earth stands a good change of becoming a gas giant in consequence of its size. Earth is the right size to avoid that. Read More ›