2007 Lecturer: Kip Thorne

Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, California Institute of Technology, gave the 2007 Ford Motor Company Distinguished Lecture in Physics.

The lecture was Wednesday, March 14, 2007,  in 1324 East Hall Auditorium at 4:15 PM with a reception preceding at 3:30 PM on the first floor of the East Hall North Atrium (located directly behind the lecture hall facing Church Street).

Professor Thorne’s research focuses on Einstein’s general theory of relativity and on astrophysics, with emphasis on relativistic stars, black holes, and especially gravitational waves.  He was a cofounder (along with R. Weiss and R.W.P. Drever) of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Project, with which he is still associated.  Dr. Thorne is also a member of the LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) International Science Team and the author of the popular book, Black Holes and Time Warps.

The Warped Side of the Universe from the Big Bang to Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

There is a warped side to our universe: objects and phenomena, such as black holes and the universe's big-bang birth, that are made wholly or largely from warped space and time. The ideal tool for probing our universe's warped side is radiation that itself is made from warped space and time—gravitational waves. Thorne will describe the warped side of our universe and the quest to probe it with gravitational waves using LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory), LISA (the space-based Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), and other instruments.