The Nobel Prize in Physics 1974
Born: 11 May 1924, Fowey, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics: Ryle for his observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis technique, and Hewish for his decisive role in the discovery of pulsars."
Prize share: 1/2
Stars and other astronomical objects emit not only visible light, but also radio waves. In 1967 Antony Hewish and Jocelyn Bell discovered a previously unknown source of radiation that emitted radio waves in the form of pulses at intervals that were extremely regular. It turned out that this type of astronomical object, which became known as pulsars, has a core consisting of an extremely compact star, a neutron star. Their discovery allowed scientists to prove these stars exist.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.