Kip Thorne

(Kip Stephen Thorne)

Kip Thorne
Kip Thorne
  • Born: June 1, 1940
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Physicist

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Kip Stephen Thorne is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate, 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.

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A big misconception is that a black hole is made of matter that has just been compacted to a very small size. That's not true. A black hole is made from warped space and time. Time
A black hole really is an object with very rich structure, just like Earth has a rich structure of mountains, valleys, oceans, and so forth. Its warped space whirls around the central singularity like air in a tornado.
As early as I can remember, I wanted to be a snowplow driver. When you grow up in the Rocky Mountains, like I did, you see the snow drifts piled up six feet high, and you're two feet, so it's impressive.
'Closed timelike curve' is the jargon for time travel. It means you go out, come back and meet yourself in the past. Time ;Travel
Each black hole spins on its axis like the Earth spins. That spin creates two vortexes of twisting space, somewhat like vortexes in a bathtub or a whirlpool.
Gravitational waves will bring us exquisitely accurate maps of black holes - maps of their space-time. Those maps will make it crystal clear whether or not what we're dealing with are black holes as described by general relativity.
I became interested in this question of whether you can build wormholes for interstellar travel. I realized that if you had a wormhole, the theory of general relativity by itself would permit you to go backward in time. Time ;Travel
I do hope that 'Interstellar' and this kind of science in film will catch the public fancy and help to reignite an interest in science - and a respect for the power of science in dealing with the problems that society has to deal with. Respect ;Hope ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I have used movies to go to sleep at night. You flip from channel to channel to channel and see just enough to make your brain mushy and go to sleep. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
If you go down through the horizon of a black hole, at the center you don't find a tunnel that leads you to some other place in the universe.
If you have a wormhole, then you can turn them into time machines for going backward in time. Time
If you have somebody who's brilliant and highly creative with a different point of view than you have, and a very different intellectual background, great things can happen.
It was quite a surprise when I realized that with a single wormhole you could have time hook up towards the future or towards the past and that you can actually manipulate the wormhole and change how time hooked up. Time ;Future
Our universe - it's three-dimensional, but we can pretend it's two-dimensional so it's like this sheet of paper - and we live in Pasadena over here and London is over there, and it's thousands of miles from Pasadena to London.
Sending people into space is very important culturally. That's really the justification. You cannot rationally justify it on the basis of the science and technology we get out of it. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The human race has a yearning to explore. That's part of our biological and psychological makeup.
We have to have a combination of general relativity that describes the warping of space and time, and quantum physics, which describes the uncertainties in that warping and how they change. Time
We see no objects in our universe that could become wormholes as they age.
We're going to need a definitive quantum theory of gravity, which is part of a grand unified theory - it's the main missing piece.
When gravitational waves reach the earth, the waves stretch and squeeze space. This is a tiny stretch and squeeze. Far too small to detect with ordinary human senses.
Whether you can go back in time is held in the grip of the law of quantum gravity. Time

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