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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact:

Paula Wagner, Communications
California Science Center

Jill Perry, Public Relations
California Institute of Technology

July 22, 2005
Image available upon request

Professor Kip Thorne Receives Award at the California Science Center’s Discovery Ball

From left to right ­Governor George Deukmejian, Kip Thorne, Jeffrey Rudolph

Los Angeles – Professor Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology was presented the California Scientist of the Year at this year’s Discovery Ball, the California Science Center’s annual gala, held June 25, 2005. Thorne was recognized for being one of the world’s leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and, as stated on the citation for the award, “for having trained a generation of scientists.”

Professor Thorne’s scientific contributions span the full range of topics in general relativity including means to test general relativity against rival theories of gravity, applications of relativity to stellar structure and evolution, black holes and gravity waves. Among a handful of physicists, Professor Thorne is considered one of the world’s authorities on gravitational waves. In part, his work has dealt with the prediction of gravity-wave strengths and their temporal signatures as observed on the Earth. These “signatures” are of great relevance to LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory), a multi-institution gravity wave experiment for which Thorne has been a leading proponent.

Thorne’s contributions to gravity wave research extend to his seminal work in the area of quantum nondemolition (QND) measurements and well beyond the concerns of gravity wave detectors. Today, QND measurements are discussed in the context of atomic clocks.

The California Science Center established the California Scientist of the Year Award in recognition of the prominent role California plays in the areas of scientific and technological development. A blue-ribbon panel selects a nominee whose work is current and advances the boundaries of any field of science. Of those selected, eleven have earned the California Scientist of the Year honors before becoming Nobel Laureates.


California Science Center is located at 700 State Drive-Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90037. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the exhibits is free. IMAX Theater tickets range from $4.50 to $7.50. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Visitors can enter the parking lot at 39th and Figueroa Street. Parking is $6. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit our web site at www.californiasciencecenter.org.
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