Sep 6, 2018

Scientist Passed Over for Nobel Wins $3M, Donates It

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a PhD student at Cambridge University some five decades ago when she made an astronomical discovery while reviewing data from a radio telescope: faint, repeating pulses of radio waves.

These signals came to be known as pulsars, a type of neutron star described by Scientific American as “a city-sized collapsed core of a massive sun that is made of degenerate matter and throws off lighthouse-like beams of radio waves.” The discovery was a leap forward: It pointed to the existence of black holes, provided evidence for gravitational waves, and much more.

It also yielded a 1974 Nobel Prize—but not for Bell Burnell. Instead, the prize went to Antony Hewish, Bell Burnell’s PhD supervisor, the Guardian reports.

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