World-renowned astrophysicist Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell visited UCT to deliver a public lecture on radio pulsars on 6 March.
As a postgraduate student, Burnell discovered - news broke in 1968 - the first radio pulsars with her thesis advisor Antony Hewish. Hewish won a Nobel Prize for the discovery, and Burnell's omission is still thought controversial. She is currently Visiting Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Mansfield College in the UK.
AT UCT, Bell spoke of the nature of pulsars, ie signals from rapidly rotating neutron stars. 'Pulsar' is an abbreviation for pulsating radio star or rapidly pulsating radio sources.
"I find pulsars very hard to believe in," quipped Burnell. "But I suppose I must."
Burnell is in Cape Town as part of a two-month trip around the world.
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