Thorne, Kip Stephen

Thorne, Kip Stephen,

1940–, American theoretical physicist, b. Logan, Utah. Ph.D. Princeton, 1965. Thorne has been a professor (emeritus from 2009) at the California Institute of Technology since 1967. He shared half of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics with Barry BarishBarish, Barry Clark,
1936–, American experimental physicist, b. Omaha, Nebr. Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1962. Barish has been a professor (emeritus from 2005) at the California Institute of Technology since 1966.
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 for contributions to the development of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector and the resulting observation of gravitational waves (see gravitationgravitation,
the attractive force existing between any two particles of matter. The Law of Universal Gravitation

Since the gravitational force is experienced by all matter in the universe, from the largest galaxies down to the smallest particles, it is often called
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); the other half was awarded to Rainer WeissWeiss, Rainer,
1932–, American physicist, b. Berlin, Germany, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1962. Weiss has been on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1964 (emeritus from 2001) and on the faculty of Louisiana State Univ. from 2001.
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 for his contributions to the same project. Thorne, a co-founder with Weiss and Ronald Drever of the LIGO project, worked from the 1970s to develop the specific design to carry out Weiss's proposal to use lasers and a pair of mirrors to monitor the shape of space and detect the effect of gravitational waves. He also chaired (1984–87) the project's steering committee in its first years.
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