Kip Thorne Named 51st Gamow Lecturer - April 27, 2017

Published: July 20, 2016
Kip Thorne Portrait

The George Gamow Memorial Lecture Committee is proud to announce that Professor Kip S. Thorne has agreed to give the 51st George Gamow Memorial Lecture on Thursday April 27, 2017 in Macky Auditorium.

Kip Thorne is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He is a theoretical physicist specializing in the astrophysical effects of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, especially black holes and gravitational waves. He was one of the founding members of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 1984. The goal of LIGO is to observe gravitational waves from extreme astrophysical events. Gravitational waves were first predicted by Albert Einstein one-hundred years ago this year. While there is good indirect evidence for gravitational waves based on the behavior of binary pulsars, the first direct measurement of a gravitational wave was announced by the LIGO team on February 11, 2016. Two independent laser interferometers in Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington observed a gravitational wave on September 14, 2015. Analysis of the signal indicates the wave was produced by the collision of two black holes more than one-billion light years away. 

Professor Thorne is an accomplished author of books for scientists and the general public, and he was the scientific consultant and Executive Producer of the film Interstellar. He has been deluged with speaking invitations, but he agreed to give the Gamow Lecture because "George Gamow played a huge role in getting me hooked on physics when I was a teenager.” 

In addition to the Gamow Lecture, Professor Thorne is scheduled to give a technical seminar at noon on Friday April 28, 2017.