Kip Thorne
  • 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics


American theoretical physicist, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at Caltech and is one of the world's leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einstein's general theory of relativity. In 2017, Thorne was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Rainer Weiss and Barry Barish "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves"

Education and Work Experience

1962, B.S. in Physics, Caltech
1963-1966, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics, Princeton University
1967-2009, Associate Professor, Professor, Caltech
2009-Present, The Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, Caltech

Honors and Awards

1971, Fellow of the American Physical Society
1972, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
1973, Member of the United States of National Academy of Sciences
2017, Nobel Prize in Physics

Major Academic Achievements

Thorne's research has principally focused on relativistic astrophysics and gravitation physics, with emphasis on relativistic stars, black holes and especially gravitational waves. He is perhaps best known to the public for his controversial theory that wormholes can conceivably be used for time travel. However, Thorne's scientific contributions, which center on the general nature of space, time, and gravity, span the full range of topics in general relativity. Thorne is the main initiator of the laser interference gravitational wave observatory (LIGO). In 1984, thorne worked with others to create the LIGO program, which became the largest project invested by the national science foundation of the united states.