Events at Reed

August 27

Lecture: Kip S. Thorne
"The Warped Side of Our Universe: From the Big Bang to Black Holes and Gravitational Waves"

3 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

There is a warped side to our universe—objects and phenomena that are made from warped space and warped time, instead of from matter. Three examples are black holes, the big bang in which our universe was born, and ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves. Thorne will describe surprising, recent predictions about what happens on the warped side of our universe. He will then discuss plans and expectations for testing those predictions in 2015–19, by observing gravitational waves and extracting the information they carry. The key instruments for this are gravitational-wave interferometers, including the LIGO interferometer at Hanford, Washington, 250 miles from Portland. Dr. Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the 2013 Howard Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology. The Vollum Award was created by Reed College in 1975 as a tribute to the late C. Howard Vollum, a graduate of the class of 1936, a Reed trustee, and a lifelong friend of the college. Originally suggested by the science faculty of Reed College, the award is intended to recognize and celebrate the exceptional achievement of a member of the scientific and technical community of the Pacific Northwest.