Please join us for an exciting Q&A with Nobel prize-winning physicist Kip Thorne. Professor Thorne will briefly review the crucial role and history of computation in the detection of gravitational waves, and take your questions on all issues relating to computational physics and science in general.

The event will be introduced and moderated by renowned physicist Professor Richard Price, and Professor Saul Teukolsky (the 2021 Einstein Prize awardee) will give an introductory talk on the computational challenges and solutions for simulating black holes and gravitational waves on computers, and the interesting science that can be done thanks to the LIGO and VIRGO gravitational-wave detectors.

NOTE: those with confirmed registrations who have provided a valid email address will receive Zoom credentials for joining this lecture the day before the event, as well as a reminder email 1 hour prior to the event.

About the Speakers

Kip Thorne

Kip Stephen Thorne is a theoretical physicist known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. A longtime friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, he was the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) until 2009 and is one of the world's leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einstein's general theory of relativity. He continues to do scientific research and scientific consulting, most notably for the Christopher Nolan film Interstellar. Thorne was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Rainer Weiss and Barry C. Barish "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".

Richard Price

Richard H. Price earned his Ph.D. from Caltech under the supervision of Kip Thorne. From there, he spent part of his career at the University of Utah, where he holds the title of Emeritus Professor. In 2004 he joined the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Texas, and became Senior Lecturer in physics at MIT in 2015. He is also on the adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts. In 2017, Price became the editor of the American Journal of Physics. Subsequent work has provided a major impetus for the development of gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Saul Teukolsky

Saul A. Teukolksy earned his Ph.D. from Caltech under the supervision of Kip Thorne. Since then he has held a faculty position at Cornell University, where he is currently the Hans A. Bethe Professor of Physics. His earliest work led to the development of an equation that describes how a black hole interacts with surrounding objects. Subsequent research has included the physics of pulsars and supernova explosions, properties of rapidly rotating neutron stars, stellar dynamics, and planets around pulsars. His current project uses supercomputers to study colliding black holes as part of a world-wide effort trying to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity. Recently, one of his group's wave forms was used to compare theory with experiment in the first detection by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. He was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences and was most recently awarded the Einstein Prize.

Lecture Video