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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 Barish for contributions to the development of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector and the resulting observation of gravitational waves (see gravitation); the other half was awarded to Rainer Weiss 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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