Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse
Tyson
1958

American Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Author and Science Communicator, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium

Author Quotes

The solar system should be viewed as our backyard, not as some sequence of destinations that we do one at a time.

There are no limits when you are surrounded by people who believe in you, or by people whose expectations are not set by the short-sighted attitudes of society, or by people who help to open doors of opportunity, not close them.

There's no tradition of scientists knocking down the Sunday school door, telling the preacher, That might not necessarily be true. That's never happened. There're no scientists picketing outside of churches.

Wanna lose 1200 Calories a month? Drink a liter of ice water a day. You burn the energy just raising the water to body temp.

We?re a sleepy nation right now. I want us to be a nation of innovation.

Innovations in science and technology are the engines of the 21st-century economy; if you care about the wealth and health of your nation tomorrow, then you'd better rethink how you allocate taxes to fund science. The federal budget needs to recognize this.

I've known from long ago that the universe was calling me. If you were one of those annoying adults that said, 'Oh, what are you gonna be when you grow up?' I would say, 'Astrophysicist.' And then they'd walk away real quickly.

Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.

More air molecules in breath of air than breaths of air in Earth?s atmosphere. Some air you inhale was exhaled by Cleopatra.

Nobody knows how life got started. Most of the evidence from that time was destroyed by impact and erosion. Science works on the frontier of knowledge and ignorance. We?re not afraid to admit what we don?t know. There?s no shame in that. The only shame is to pretend that we have all the answers. Maybe someone watching this, will be the first to solve the mystery of how life on Earth began.

Other than the waging of War, the ISS (assembled by Shuttle) is the most successful collaboration of nations there ever was.

Philosophically, the universe has really never made things in ones. The Earth is special and everything else is different? No, we've got seven other planets. The sun? No, the sun is one of those dots in the night sky. The Milky Way? No, it's one of a hundred billion galaxies. And the universe - maybe it's countless other universes.

Science literacy is an important part of what it is to be an informed citizen of society.

Some asteroids have us in their sights. Be nice to sort of go near them and find out what they're made of possibly tag their ears so they're always broadcasting to us their location. In case one of their trajectories head straight for us, we'll know well in advance to do something about it.

Suppose a hole were dug from one side of Earth, through the center, and out the other side. What would happen to a man if he jumped into the hole? When he got to the middle of the Earth would he keep falling or would he stop? He would be vaporized by the 11,000ø Fahrenheit temperature of the pressurized molten iron core. Ignoring this complication, he would gain speed continuously from the moment he jumped into the hole until he reached the center of Earth where the force of gravity is zero. But he will be traveling so fast that he will overshoot the center and slow down continuously until he reached zero velocity at the exact moment he emerges on the other side. Unless somebody grabs him, he will fall back down the hole and repeat his journey indefinitely. A one-way trip through Earth would take about forty-five minutes.

The first colony on Mars is not going to be built by a private company. How are you going to make money? You're not.

The more of us that feel the universe, the better off we will be in this world.

The stated authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

There are street artists. Street musicians. Street actors. But there are no street physicists. A little known secret is that a physicist is one of the most employable people in the marketplace - a physicist is a trained problem solver. How many times have you heard a person in a workplace say, "I wasn't trained for this!" That's an impossible reaction from a physicist, who would say, instead, "Cool. A problem I've never seen before. Let's see how I can figure out how to solve it!" Oh, and, have fun along the way.

There's something about witnessing something in the sky that makes people think they're seeing something unique or special. I don't really understand the psychology of it, to be honest.

We account for one-sixth of the forces of gravity we see in the universe. There is no known objects accounting for most of the effective gravity in the universe. Something is making stuff move that is not anything we have ever touched.

What are the chances that this first and only smart species in the history of life on Earth has enough smarts to completely figure out how the universe works? Chimpanzees are an evolutionary hair?s-width from us yet we can agree that no amount of tutelage will ever leave a chimp fluent in trigonometry. Now imagine a species on Earth, or anywhere else, as smart compared with humans as humans are compared with chimpanzees. How much of the universe might they figure out?

It has been said that every great emerging scientific truth goes to three phases: First people say: "It can't be true". Second they say: "It conflicts with the bible." Third they say: "It's true all along."

I've spent quality time in the aerospace community, with my service on two presidential commissions, but at heart, I'm an academic. Being an academic means I don't wield power over person, place or thing. I don't command armies; I don't lead labor unions. All I have is the power of thought.

Knowledge of physical laws can, in some cases, give you the confidence to confront surly people. A few years ago I was having a hot-cocoa nightcap at a dessert shop in Pasadena, California. I had ordered it with whipped cream, of course. When it arrived at the table, I saw no trace of the stuff. After I told the waiter that my cocoa was plain, he asserted I couldn?t see the whipped cream because it sank to the bottom. Since whipped cream has a very low density and floats on all liquids that humans consume, I offered the waiter two possible explanations: either somebody forgot to add the whipped cream to my hot cocoa or the universal laws of physics were different in his restaurant. Unconvinced, he brought over a dollop of whipped cream to test for himself. After bobbing once or twice in my cup, the whipped cream sat up straight and afloat. What better proof do you need of the universality of physical laws?

Author Picture
First Name
Neil deGrasse
Last Name
Tyson
Birth Date
1958
Bio

American Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Author and Science Communicator, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium