Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago. After a half century of effort, LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) has detected and deciphered gravitational waves produced by pairs of colliding black holes a billion light years from Earth.
In May 2017 Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at CalTech, gave the 11th annual Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture at the University of Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, titled 'LIGO and Beyond - Exploring the Universe with Gravitational Waves'. In this fascinating and accessible talk, Kip Thorne shares the history of LIGO, its genesis and its discoveries, and outlines the potential of gravitational-wave astronomy in research into a rich range of phenomena, including the birth of the universe and the birth of the fundamental forces of nature in our universe's earliest moments.
You can discover more about gravitational waves and their implications for a deeper understanding of our Universe in our package Stuff happens: Listening to the Universe.