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Kip ThorneTheoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Kip Thorne is the 2019 Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor and will speak on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus on Thursday, Feb. 21.

His lecture, “My Romance with the Warped Side of the Universe: From Black Holes and Wormholes to Time Travel and Gravitational Waves” will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The lecture is free, open to the public and intended for lay audiences.

Thorne was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017, along with Rainer Weiss and Barry C. Barish, for their contributions to the observation of gravitational waves. Thorne was also executive producer on Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar, where he served as a scientific consultant. He is known for his ability to explain complex scientific topics to non-scientists.

The Frey Lecture is part of the A Constellation of Cosmos Events at Carolina, sponsored jointly by the College of Arts & Sciences with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and PlayMakers Repertory Company. Selected events include:

  • Sunday, Feb. 17: Free screening of Interstellar. See the time- and space travel film in which Kip Thorne served as scientific adviser. 2 p.m., Varsity Theatre.
  • Friday, Feb. 22: An Evening with Astronaut Charlie Duke. Morehead Planetarium hosts one of the 12 astronauts to walk on the moon. 7:00 p.m., Sonja Haynes Stone Center. Purchase tickets at moreheadplanetarium.orgSOLD OUT.
  • Feb. 27-March 17: PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, adapted by Joseph Discher and directed by Vivienne Benesch. Purchase tickets at

More information and events can be found at

Cosmos events are supported by the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor Fund. The Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professorship is one of the highest honors bestowed by the College of Arts & Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill to distinguished public leaders. Past speakers include Nina TotenbergFareed Zakaria, E.L. Doctorow, Ted Turner, Alice Walker and Christine Todd Whitman. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the lecture, with journalist Sidney Rittenberg ’41 as the inaugural speaker in 1994.

Alumnus David Gardner Frey, BA ’64, JD ’67, is chairman of the Frey Foundation and a longtime supporter of UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences. 

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