- Reddit questioner: For people like me, who are you?
- Neil deGrasse Tyson: Just someone who is in love with the universe. And as Carl Sagan said, "when you're in love, you want to tell the world."
Q: What never fails to blow your mind in physics?
1) The fact that an electron has no known size — it’s smaller than the smallest measurement we have ever made of anything.
2) That Quarks come only in pairs: If you try to separate two of them, the energy you sink into the system to accomplish this feat is exactly the energy to spontaneously create two more quarks - one to partner with each of those you pulled apart.
3) That the space-time structure inside a rotating black hole does not preclude the existence of an entire other universe. MindBlown x 3
Q: What is your favorite short science fact you like to tell people to really make them think?
A: That our bodies atoms are traceable to supernova stars that scattered their chemical enrichment across the cosmos, spawning the birth of star systems that contain planets, at least one of them containing life.
Q: Since time slows relative to the speed of light, does this mean that photons are essentially not moving through time at all? A: yes. Precisely. Which means ——- are you seated? Photons have no ticking time at all, which means, as far as they are concerned, they are absorbed the instant they are emitted, even if the distance traveled is across the universe itself.
Q: What are you feelings on religion and the afterlife, and are you scared to die?
A: I remain unconvinced that anything other than rapid decomposition is the fate of my body and mind after death. I’ve accomplished enough in life so that I do not fear death. In fact, I’ve left instructions for my Epitaph - a quote from the educator, Horace Mann: “Be Ashamed to Die, Until You Have Scored Some Victory for Humanity”. That’s the creed I live by. And will die by.
Q: If you could impress one thing on young people today, what would it be?
A: That adults are not all they’re cracked up to be. And most of them are wrong most of the time. This can be quite revelatory for a kid - often launching them on a personal quest of exploration, rather than of Q&A sessions with their parents.