Kip Thorne was born in 1940 in Logan, Utah, USA, and is currently the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). From 1967 to 2009, he led a Caltech research group working in relativistic astrophysics and gravitational physics, with emphasis on relativistic stars, black holes, and especially gravitational waves. Fifty three students received their PhD’s under his mentorship, and he mentored roughly sixty postdoctoral students. He co-authored the textbooks Gravitation (1973, with Charles Misner and John Archibald Wheeler) and Modern Classical Physics (2017, with Roger Blandford), and was sole author of Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy.
Kip Thorne was cofounder (with Rainer Weiss and Ronald Drever) of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Project. LIGO – in the hands of a younger generation of physicists – made the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves arriving at Earth from the distant universe on September 14, 2015. For his contributions to LIGO and to gravitational wave research, Thorne has shared the Nobel Prize in Physics, and other major awards.
In 2009 Kip Thorne stepped down from his Caltech professorship to ramp up a new career at the interface between art and science, including the movie Interstellar (which sprang from a Treatment he co-authored, and for which he was Executive Producer and Science Advisor).
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