Jocelyn Bell Burnell - Fuochi d'artificio cosmici/ Cosmic Fireworks
Photo: Royal Society of Edinburgh
Jocelyn Bell Burner
Astrofisica britannica e scopritrice della prima stella pulsar nel 1967, ancora giovane dottoranda, fu nel 1974 esclusa dal Nobel, che venne invece assegnato
al suo supervisor Antony Hewish.
Nel 2018 è stata premiata con lo Special Breakthrough Prize nella Fisica Fondamentale, finora assegnato solo quattro volte.
La scienziata è simbolo della lotta contro le discriminazioni di genere in ambito accademico.
Prima donna a dirigere la Royal Society of Edinburgh e l’Institute of Physics del Regno Unito, è Chancellor all' University of Dundee, Visiting Professor University of Oxford- Department of Physics, e and Professorial Fellow al Mansfield College.
- 1961 - 65 The University of Glasgow, Glasgow; BSc Hons Physics
- 1965 - 68 The University of Cambridge, Cambridge; PhD (Radio Astronomy)
- 2018 – 23 Chancellor, University of Dundee
- 2004 – University of Oxford, Visiting Professor, Department of Physics and Professorial Fellow, Mansfield College.
- 1965- 1968 University of Cambridge; Discovered first four pulsars, PhD.
- 1968 - 1973 University of Southampton. SRC Fellowship; Junior Teaching Fellowship. Gamma-ray astronomy.
- 1974 - 1991 raising a family; part-time portfolio as follows:
1974 - 1982 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL. Graduate Programmer; Associate Research Fellow. X-ray astronomy, PR work.
1982- 91 Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. SRF, then SSO, then Grade 7. Astronomer i/cVisitor Centre; Head of JCMT Section. IR & mm astronomy.
1991- 2001 The Open University Professor of Physics & Chair of Dept; research income grew 5 fold, number of refereed research publications grew 30%; created astrophysics research group - this group grew to 25 - 30 people.
1999- 2000 Princeton University; one of two Visiting Professors for Distinguished Teaching.
2001- 04 University of Bath, Dean of Science budget of £23M, 3000 students and 530 staff in 9 Departments.
Pulsars were an ‘unknown unknown’ so their discovery and subsequent identification as rapidly-rotating, highly-magnetized neutron stars attracted a lot of interest and excitement; people remember how they heard the news. With an average density comparable to the density of the nucleus they have extended the study of the solid state to much greater densities. The large magnetic field plus rapid rotation, plus strong gravity, makes the study of the magnetosphere challenging. Their accurate pulsation rate allows them to be used as clocks, enabling ‘experimental relativity’; they are currently being used to test the Strong Principle of Equivalence, to test Einstein’s predictions about Gravitation Radiation and to test theories of gravity in the strong field.Professional Bodies
- FRAS 1969; Council Member, Vice President, President 2002 - 04
- FInstP 1992; Patron, Einstein Year Programme; President 2008-10;
Recalled as President Jan 2011 – Oct 2011; Honorary Fellow 2012 -
- Member American Astronomical Society 1992; Hon Member 2015 -
- Member International Astronomical Union 1979, numerous cttees and roles
- FRS 2003; Council, Editorial Board, Summer Exhbn Ctte, Hooke, Faraday and Awards Noms Cttees.
- Fellow Royal Society of Edinburgh 2004; President 2014 - 8
- Foreign Associate, US National Academy of Sciences, 2005
- Hon Member Royal Irish Academy 2012
- SERC/BNSC/PPARC/STFC, EC/ERC committees etc 1978 – 2011
- Foreign member of advisory/review boards in Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Ghana, Japan, USA, Canada, France, and globally for IAU & SKA
One of the few senior women in (astro)physics: a role model or mentor; a spokeswoman for women in science; a speaker about and interpreter of women in science; a representative; serving on panels, committees, programmes; and a promoter of women in science - e.g. recommending women as speakers, supporting and advising younger women.
- Athena Advisory Committee; created the Athena-SWAN Awards
- RSE: Chair, Inquiry into Women in SET in Scotland, 2010 – 12
Since Sept 2018 I have given 45 talks in 10 countries to audiences totally over 10000.. In a typical year I make several radio or TV broadcasts. Recent major international lectureships
- 2013 - Lise Meitner Lecture, German & Austrian Physical Societies
- 2013 - TEDxStormont speaker & TEDxVienna speaker
- 2014 - Centenary Lecture, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- 2014 - Keynote Lecture, Royal Astronomical Society New Zealand
- 2015 - DeCoursey Lecture, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas
- 2016 - Mohler Lecture, University of Michigan
- 2018 - Allison Levick Lecture, Sydney, Australia
- 2019 - Reines Lecture, University California Irvine
38 Hon Doctorates, including from Cambridge (UK), Harvard, London, Michigan, McGill. Michelson Medal (Franklin Inst, USA); J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize (CTS, USA); Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize (AAS); Herschel Medal (RAS); Magellanic Premium (APS); Faraday Prize, Royal Medal (RoySoc); Medalla de Oro (Gold Medal) Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain; Grande Médaille, French Academy of Sciences; Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (USA). CBE, DBE.
Scoppi, botti, lampi in cielo. Le pulsar erano “incognite che non sapevamo di non conoscere”, o - come si dice oggi - delle “unknown unknown”, quindi la loro scoperta e la successiva identificazione come stelle di neutroni a rotazione rapida altamente magnetizzate hanno attirato molto interesse e la gente si ricorda ancora di come ne avesse sentito parlare. Grazie alla loro densità media, paragonabile a quella del nucleo atomico, hanno permesso di estendere lo studio dello stato solido a densità molto maggiori.
L’ampiezza del campo magnetico, unita alla rapidità della rotazione e alla forte gravità, rendono lo studio della magnetosfera una vera sfida.
La regolarità della loro pulsazione consente di usarle come orologi, permettendo di verificare sperimentalmente la relatività. Sono attualmente utilizzate per testare il principio di equivalenza nella sua forma forte, nonché le predizioni di Einstein sulla radiazione gravitazionale e le teorie della gravità nel campo gravitazionale forte.
Cosmic fireworks - bursts, bangs and flashes in the sky. Pulsars were an ‘unknown unknown’ so their discovery and subsequent identification as rapidly-rotating, highly-magnetized neutron stars attracted a lot of interest and excitement; people remember how they heard the news. With an average density comparable to the density of the nucleus they have extended the study of the solid state to much greater densities.
The large magnetic field plus rapid rotation, plus strong gravity, makes the study of the magnetosphere challenging.
Their accurate pulsation rate allows them to be used as clocks, enabling ‘experimental relativity’; they are currently being used to test the Strong Principle of Equivalence, to test Einstein’s predictions about Gravitation Radiation and to test theories of gravity in the strong field.