Released April 13 , 1999


Lecture at Brookhaven Lab on Space-Time Warps
And the Quantum in the 21st Century, April 30

UPTON, NY - Kip Thorne, a theoretical physics professor at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), will give a lecture entitled "Space-Time Warps and the Quantum: A Glimpse of the Future," at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, on Friday, April 30, at 4 p.m. in Berkner Hall. The lecture is open to the public free of charge.

Two great discoveries of the 20th century were Einstein's laws of general relativity, which explain that space and time are distorted, or warped, by mass and energy, and the law of quantum mechanics, which examines the unpredictable behavior of atoms and molecules.

Dr. Thorne will speculate about 21st century discoveries in the realms of space-time warpage and the quantum: Did warpage and the quantum together create the universe? Is there a "dark side of the universe" populated by objects such as black holes? Can we observe the birth of the universe and its dark side using radiation made from space-time warpage, or so-called "gravitational waves?" Will 21st century technology reveal quantum behavior in the realm of human-size objects?

Dr. Thorne received a B.S. in physics from CalTech in 1962 and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1965. He returned to CalTech in 1967 and became a professor of theoretical physics in 1970, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in 1981, and the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics in 1991. Dr. Thorne's research has focused on gravitation physics and astrophysics, with emphasis on black holes and gravitational waves. He was a cofounder of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Project.

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972, and the National Academy of Sciences in 1973, Dr. Thorne has been awarded the 1996 Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society and the 1996 Karl Schwarzschild Medal of the German Astronomical Society. He was also the recipient of the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award in Physics in 1969 and 1994, and the Phi Beta Kappa Science Writing Award in 1994. He has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Danforth Foundation Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow, and has served on the International Committee on General Relativity and Gravitation, the Committee on US-USSR Cooperation in Physics, and the National Academy of Sciences' Space Science Board.

For more information about the lecture, call Brookhaven's Public Affairs Office at (516)344-2345. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 on the Long Island Expressway.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

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