April 5, 2016

Renowned Astrophysicist and Interstellar Producer Kip Thorne to Speak at Cornell

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Kip Stephen Thorne — one of the world’s leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einstein’s theory of reality and the executive producer of Academy Award winning film, Interstellar  will speak at Cornell on April 6.

Thorne plans to speak on the significance of the recent detection of gravitational waves, which Cornell researchers played an instrumental role in discovering.

Much of the significant work to detect gravitational waves occurred through the Simulation of eXtreme Spacetimes collaboration, which was co-founded by Thorne and Cornell Prof. Saul Teukolsky, physics and astrophysics, according to the University.

“With this discovery, we humans are embarking on a marvelous new quest: the quest to explore the warped side of the universe — objects and phenomena that are made from warped spacetime,” said Thorne. “Colliding black holes and gravitational waves are our first beautiful examples.”

Thorne was a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology for more than four decades, focusing his research on general relativity with a specific emphasis on gravitational waves, according to the University.

Michael Lam grad said listening to Thorne will be an exciting experience as a student researching gravitational waves.

“It will be very exciting to listen to and speak with someone who quite literally helped write the book on gravity, Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler,” Lam said. “I am interested to discuss the future of multi-wavelength gravitational wave astronomy with him — both with ground-based interferometers like LIGO and Virgo and with pulsar timing array experiments like NANOGrav worked on here at Cornell.”

Thorne was selected as one of the Terzian Lecturers, according to Patricia Fernández de Castro, the editor for the department of astronomy.

Thorne’s lecture will be held at 5 p.m. in Rockefeller Hall. The event is free and open to the public.