Nobel Prize Conversations


Kip Thorne: Encore presentation of Nobel Prize Conversations

What costs a billion dollars and takes 50 years to build and perfect? LIGO: A machine to detect gravitational waves. In this encore presentation of a conversation from Season 2, Kip Thorne confides, ”In the 70’s I thought we would have this done within one decade ... two decades at the most.”

Predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, gravitational waves were first measured by the LIGO detector in 2015. Still a cutting-edge scientific tool, LIGO will begin its next observing run (O4) in March 2023 and will be able to detect events almost twice as far away as when it made its first, ground-breaking measurements.

Meet astrophysicist Kip Thorne, who was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves." In a wide-ranging conversation with host Adam Smith they cover Albert Einstein’s importance to the field of science, whether time travel is actually possible, and what it was like to be the physics guru inside the blockbuster film ’Interstellar’."

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