Westinghouse STS alum cofounded Advanced LIGO | Student Science

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Alumni, Westinghouse STS

Westinghouse STS alum cofounded Advanced LIGO

2:00AM, February 17, 2016

LIGO announced the first detection of gravitational waves

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Kip Thorne was the keynote speaker at the Intel STS 2015 Awards Gala.

Photo courtesy of Society for Science & the Public.

Kip Thorne, a Westinghouse Science Talent Search 1958 semifinalist, cofounded Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) in 1992, which recently made news for its groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves.

The LIGO experiment reported on February 11 the first detection of gravitational waves, or spacetime vibrations, proving Albert Einstein's century-old prediction correct. This detection of gravitational waves originated from over 750 million light-years away, where two black holes converged.

"With this discovery, we humans are embarking on a marvelous new quest: the quest to explore the warped side of the universe — objects and phenomena that are made from warped spacetime," Kip Thorne said in a LIGO press release. "Colliding black holes and gravitational waves are our first beautiful examples."

In the 1980s, LIGO was originally proposed as a way to detect gravitational waves by Rainer Weiss, professor of physics, emeritus, from MIT; Kip Thorne, Caltech’s Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, emeritus; and Ronald Drever, professor of physics, emeritus, also from Caltech.

For more information about gravitational waves, read the Science News article.

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