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From Cosmic Dawn to Milkomeda, and Beyond

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Science  12 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6129, pp. 136-137
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6129.136

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Loeb is best known to cosmologists for illuminating the messy physics of the "cosmic dawn," when light from the first stars and galaxies seared holes into the hydrogen gas that suffused the new universe. He tries to foster a mix of serious data-driven theory and adventuresome projection among students and researchers. In a recent paper, Loeb made waves by urging young astrophysicists to devote 20% of their research to innovative "venture capital" projects outside the mainstream. Some colleagues compare him with another visionary physicist, and Loeb says that creativity and challenging convention spur the best research. Despite the demands, new ideas keep coming to Loeb in unexpected places.

  • * Robert Irion directs the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.