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Ask A Physicist Any Question You Want About The Universe

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This weekend you can ask a real, live physicist (me) any question you like - nothing is too stupid, or too weird. And next week, you'll get answers!

It's happened to all of us. You're in the middle of your Picard/Spock slash fic, and suddenly you come up with a brilliant new dilithium crystal configuration, or a method for using quantum entanglement as an intergalactic walkie-talkie, or simply a new subatomic particle, and you ask yourself, "Can this really work?"


I know you have a thirst that Wikipedia simply can't slake. You've been working for months on your magnum opus, but before you reveal it to the world you want it to be scientifically sound. I'm here to help. You remember in school when you were told, "There are no dumb questions"? You never really believed that in your heart, and so you've held your tongue.

But now, thanks to the internet's warm, anonymizing embrace, you can ask your nagging questions without fear of (overt) ridicule. Indeed, the ostensibly dumber the question, the better. Anything from cosmology to particle physics to the some nerdly reference in "Big Bang Theory" is fair game. Just post your question in the comments section and we will convene a panel of experts who will select the strangest, most inappropriate, or most awesome to be answered.


The submission window closes at 5pm PDT on Monday, April 26, but in the meanwhile, feel free to check out A User's Guide to the Universe in which my co-author and I answer every question we can think of. Come to think of it, the best question gets a free book!

Dave Goldberg is the author, with Jeff Blomquist, of "A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty." (Wiley: 2010). He is an associate professor of Physics at Drexel University. Most recently, he wrote "An Open Letter to the Writers and Directors of Hot Tub Time Machine" in io9, and yes, he was frakking kidding.


Image via NASA/ESA/M, released for the Hubble 20th anniversary today.