Kip Thorne at UT


Regrettably, I may have to miss this depending on what my schedule for that day looks like. But I wanted to post the information for the science-minded among you. This ought to be another good talk. It’s in the same lecture hall where Ken Miller spoke.

Date: Friday, May 2, 2008
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: WEL 2.224
Parking Info: http://www.utexas.edu/parking/maps/index.html
San Jacinto or Speedway Garages are probably best.

From the FaceBook page for the event:

Famous Physicist Kip Thorne to Speak About Big-Bang and Black Holes.

The Warped Side of the Universe: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

There is a Warped Side to our Universe: objects and phenomena that are made from warped space and warped time. Examples include black holes and the big-bang singularity from which the Universe was born. The ideal tool for probing this mysterious Warped Side is radiation that itself is made from warped space-time: “gravitational waves”. Thorne will describe the warped side of our universe and the quest to probe it with gravitational waves.

According to Discover magazine (where the tagline is from): Kip Thorne revolutionized physics, fixed up Contact, and straddled the Cold War divide.

Thorne’s research has focused on gravitation physics and astrophysics, with emphasis on relativistic stars, black holes and gravitational waves. A longtime friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, he is the current Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech and one of the world’s leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He is one of the three founders of the LIGO project.

Thorne was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972, the National Academy of Sciences in 1973, the American Philosophical Society in 1999, and (as a foreign member) the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1999.

With John A. Wheeler and Charles W. Misner, Thorne coauthored in 1973 the textbook Gravitation, from which most of the present generation of scientists have learned general relativity. He is also a co-author of Gravitation Theory and Gravitational Collapse (1965) and Black Holes: The Membrane Paradigm (1986), and the sole author of the best-selling book Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy (1994).

In 1975, cosmologist Stephen Hawking bet fellow cosmologist Kip Thorne a subscription to Penthouse magazine for Thorne against four years of Private Eye for him that Cygnus X-1 would turn out not to be a black hole. It was, so Hawking lost.

See, who says physicists never have any fun? Anyway, I’d wager this guy is probably a bit more knowledgeable about the whole Big Bang thing than whoever the complete fool was our foolish buddy Dan cutpasted from the other day. Once again, see an actual scientist who’s spent an actual career doing actual research explain why the blatherings of uneducated fundamentalists about “no evidence for this!” and “science requires blind faith too!” are deeply, pitifully stupid and wrong.

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