Nobel Prize-winner Kip Thorne opens new Cardiff physics lab
The Nobel Prize-winner Kip Thorne has visited Cardiff to open a brand-new gravitational physics lab.
Thorne, who is the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, is one of the world’s leading experts on the implications of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
A long-time friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, Thorne is also a scientific consultant who has worked on films including Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
In 1984 he co-founded the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Waves-Observatory (LIGO) which set out to observe a crucial piece of evidence proposed by Einstein’s famous theory – the existence of gravitational waves.
These tiny ripples in space-time, first proposed by Einstein over 100 years ago, are emitted as a result of violent cosmic events such as the collision of black holes.
Cardiff University scientists were founding members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and have made key contributions to the initial observation of gravitational waves in 2015 and the subsequent detections thereafter.
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The Gravity Exploration Institute is now expanding from the theoretical to the practical by helping to develop the next generation of detector technologies.