“Dark Side of the Universe” –Kip Thorne’s Amazing Caltech Gravitational-Wave-LIGO Graphic





In June 2009, Thorne resigned his Feynman Professorship (becoming the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus) in order to ramp up a new career in writing, movies, and continued scientific research. His most recent major movie project was Interstellar. Thorne was the film's science advisor and an executive producer. His principal current research is an exploration of the nonlinear dynamical behaviors of curved spacetime, using computer simulations and analytical calculations.

Thorne's research has focused on gravitation physics and astrophysics, with emphasis on relativistic stars, black holes and gravitational waves. In the late 1960's and early 70's he laid the foundations for the theory of pulsations of relativistic stars and the gravitational waves they emit. During the 70's and 80's he developed mathematical formalism by which astrophysicists analyze the generation of gravitational waves and worked closely with Vladimir Braginsky, Ronald Drever and Rainer Weiss on developing new technical ideas and plans for gravitational wave detection.




Thorne is a co-founder (with Weiss and Drever) of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Project and he chaired the steering committee that led LIGO in its earliest years (1984–87). In the 1980s, 90s and 2000s he and his research group have provided theoretical support for LIGO, including identifying gravitational wave sources that LIGO should target, laying foundations for data analysis techniques by which their waves are being sought, designing the baffles to control scattered light in the LIGO beam tubes, and — in collaboration with Vladimir Braginsky's (Moscow Russia) research group — inventing quantum-nondemolition designs for advanced gravity-wave detectors.


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