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Old 09-13-2018, 09:19 PM   #1
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 69,501
Sept 14th, 2018 : Pulsar

Pulsars: spinning neutron stars that can be tens of miles across and yet weigh more than the sun. As pulsars spin, they release intense beams of radio waves that sweep around the heavens like beams from a cosmic lighthouse.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell from Northern Ireland was at Cambridge to pursue a PhD at the university’s Cavendish laboratory.
Going over three miles of charts from the new radio telescope she noticed a small repeating radio wave signal others had missed.
She said “I noticed it because I was being really careful, really thorough, because of impostor syndrome.
She phoned her PhD supervisor Antony Hewish but he said forget it, just man made interference.

But she pursued it and found more signals from several locations which led to the discovery of Pulsars.
This was such an important discovery it was awarded the Nobel prize in 1974… to Antony Hewish.
The astrophysics community knew it should be hers, but astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle was the only one bitching about it.
Probably because this was not unusual, it’s always been that way and Bell Burnell knew it.

And then, and then...
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a visiting professor at Oxford University, was chosen by a panel of leading scientists to receive the $3m (£2.3m) special Breakthrough prize in fundamental physics for her landmark work on pulsars and a lifetime of inspiring leadership in the scientific community.
She will be handed the award at a glittering Silicon Valley gala in November where previous winners have mingled, at times rather awkwardly, with celebrities such as Kate Beckinsale,, Cameron Diaz and Morgan Freeman.
So what will she do with the most lucrative prize in modern science?
The money will be handed to the Institute of Physics to fund PhD studentships for people underrepresented in physics.


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