Sir Martin Ryle
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1974
Born: 27 September 1918, Brighton, United Kingdom
Died: 14 October 1984, Cambridge, 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 the 1940s Martin Ryle developed a telescope designed to capture radio waves and methods for reading and processing the data received. By connecting a number of telescopes several kilometers from one another, he created the equivalent of a telescope as large as the entire surface between the individual telescopes. This paved the way for a precise mapping of stars and galaxies and a clearer picture of the universe’s evolution.