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Midshipman in a physics lab
Two midshpmen in physics lab
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USNA Physics

 39th Michelson Lecture

Dr. Kip Thorne, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Probing the Warped Side of the Universe with Gravitational Waves: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

Michelson Lecture

On 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaboration announced they had made the first direct observation of gravitational waves. The gravitational waves originated from a pair of merging black holes and helped solidify the final major prediction of 20th century physics. Dr. Kip Thorne, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics, discussed this work in his lecture at the US Naval Academy, on Nov. 6, 2019. Above is pictured: Dr. Kip Thorne (Right) alongside Dr. Bill Phillips (Left) , winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics, 2003 Michelson Lecturer and attendee at this year’s event. 

The Michelson Memorial Lecture series is endowed by the USNA Class of 1969 in honor of Albert A Michelson, USNA Class of 1873 who, in 1907, was the first American to win a Nobel Prize.

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is a four year undergraduate institution with a mission to prepare midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically for commissioning as officers in the naval services. The institution:

  • Provides an accredited undergraduate education and officer accession program for the Nation
  • Is a historic national landmark with over one million visitors per year.
  • Is a host to national and international events, many of which are open to the public and attended by the highest representatives of Government.

In pursuit of academic excellence, the Naval Academy fosters an educational environment that supports and encourages midshipman learning and critical thinking through innovative teaching methods that address a variety of learning styles. Our goal is to provide a stimulating environment that instills a passion for lifelong learning and imbues our midshipmen with the intellectual curiosity and analytical rigor needed to be in the forefront of technological advances and global understanding in a rapidly changing and diverse world.


The above links all lead to articles published in the publication Physics Today, which is not affiliated with USNA. USNA and/or the Federal Government are not responsible for the content which may or may not reflect the opinions, standards, policy of the Naval Academy or the United States Government. USNA does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find or the products and services provided on those pages, and the presence of these links does not qualify as endorsement by USNA.

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