Hewish, Antony

Hewish, Antony,

1924–, British astrophysicist, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1952. Hewish spent his entire career as a faculty member at Cambridge, retiring in 1989. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sir Martin RyleRyle, Sir Martin,
1918–84, British radio astronomer, B.S. Oxford, 1939. Ryle was a researcher and professor at Cambridge from 1945 until his retirement in 1982. Knighted in 1966, he was Britain's Astronomer Royal from 1972 to 1982.
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 for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics, with special note made of Hewish's "decisive role" in the discovery of pulsarspulsar,
in astronomy, a neutron star that emits brief, sharp pulses of energy instead of the steady radiation associated with other natural sources. The study of pulsars began when Antony Hewish and his students at Cambridge built a primitive radio telescope to study a
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. In 1967, his research team observed that some radio sources in space were emitting signals, or pulses, at very regular intervals. It was soon determined that these pulsating stars, or pulsars, were neutron stars, whose presence in the universe had been postulated as early as the 1930s but not confirmed. The award to Hewish was controversial because a graduate student, Jocelyn Bell (Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell), and not Hewish himself, had been the first to identify a pulsating radio source.

Hewish, Antony


Born May 11, 1924, in Fowey, Cornwall. British astronomer. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1968).

Hewish was educated at Cambridge University and became a professor there in 1971. He investigated the scintillation of radio sources that subtend a small angle and, independently of the Soviet astronomer V. V. Vitkevich, suggested that the outer layers of the solar corona could be investigated by studying the radio emissions of the Crab Nebula as they move through the corona. He headed the group of radio astronomers that discovered pulsars in 1967.

Hewish received a Nobel Prize in 1974.

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