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 Ryle for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics, with special note made of Hewish's decisive role in the discovery of pulsars . 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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