Physics II workshop_Part_35

Physics II workshop_Part_35 - Pulsars During the Fall of...

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72 Pulsars During the Fall of 1967 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, and her mentor Prof. Anthony Hewish, were analyzing data from a newly constructed radio telescope when they noticed a sequence of pulses with a short (1.33 s) but extremely precise period. After ruling out man-made sources, they seriously considered the possibility that they had picked up a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization (legend has it that they nicknamed the first such source LGM – “Little Green Men”). However, it was soon realized that the pulsing sources (by this time they had discovered several more “pulsars”) were in fact the collapsed remnants of massive stars that had been destroyed in supernova explosions. These remnants – “neutron stars” – had been predicted by theories but never before detected. They were expected to be extremely dense, consisting essentially of neutrons crushed together to form something akin to a gigantic atomic nucleus, and also to be rotating extremely rapidly. At the time, the only evidence that astrophysicists had to go on, in making the connection between
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This note was uploaded on 11/26/2011 for the course PHY 2053 taught by Professor Lind during the Fall '09 term at FSU.

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Physics II workshop_Part_35 - Pulsars During the Fall of...

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