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.
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.