Home Events Online Colloquium: “Pulsars – Their Discovery and Impact” — February 25, 2021 at 4 PM

Online Colloquium: “Pulsars – Their Discovery and Impact” — February 25, 2021 at 4 PM

Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Visiting Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford
Professorial Fellow in Physics, Mansfield College
Chancellor, University of Dundee
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 4 PM EST
Via Video Conference (contact wfuphys@wfu.edu for link information)

All interested persons are cordially invited to join the Zoom call.


In this talk I will describe how pulsars were discovered and note what lessons we might learn from this. The discovery made plausible the existence of other dense objects with strong gravitational fields, made the detection of gravitational radiation more likely, and has led to the recognition of short duration electromagnetic events.


Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics – work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford, and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland. She has been President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3M Breakthrough Prize in 2018.

The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster. In her spare time, she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space’.

Professional Websites:
University of Oxford (https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/contacts/people/bellburnell)
Mansfield College (https://www.mansfield.ox.ac.uk/professor-jocelyn-bell-burnell)
The Royal Society (https://royalsociety.org/people/jocelyn-bell-burnell-11066/)

Printable Version


Feb 25 2021


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Jed Macosko