Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.
|Alma mater|| Haverford College |
|Awards|| Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (1980)|
Henry Draper Medal (1985)
Magellanic Premium (1990)
John J. Carty Award (1991)
Wolf Prize in Physics (1992)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1993)
|Institutions|| Princeton University |
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory
|Doctoral students||Victoria Kaspi, Ingrid Stairs|
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. (born March 29, 1941) is an American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate in Physicsfor his discovery with Russell Alan Hulse of a "new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation."
Taylor was born in Philadelphia to Joseph Hooton Taylor Sr. and Sylvia Evans Taylor, both of whom had Quaker roots for many generations, and grew up in Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey. He attended the Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown Township, New Jersey, where he excelled in math.
He received a B.A. in physics at Haverford College in 1963, and a Ph.D. in astronomy at Harvard University in 1968. After a brief research position at Harvard, Taylor went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, eventually becoming Professor of Astronomy and Associate Director of the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Taylor's thesis work was on lunar occultation measurements. About the time he completed his Ph.D., Jocelyn Bell (who is also a Quaker) discovered the first radio pulsars with a telescope near Cambridge, England.
Taylor immediately went to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's telescopes in Green Bank, West Virginia, and participated in the discovery of the first pulsars discovered outside Cambridge. Since then, he has worked on all aspects of pulsar astrophysics.
In 1974, Hulse and Taylor discovered the first pulsar in a binary system, named PSR B1913+16 after its position in the sky, during a survey for pulsars at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Although it was not understood at the time, this was also the first of what are now called recycled pulsars: Neutron stars that have been spun-up to fast spin rates by the transfer of mass onto their surfaces from a companion star.
The orbit of this binary system is slowly shrinking as it loses energy because of emission of gravitational radiation, causing its orbital period to speed up slightly. The rate of shrinkage can be precisely predicted from Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and over a thirty-year period Taylor and his colleagues have made measurements that match this prediction to much better than one percent accuracy. This was the first confirmation of the existence of gravitational radiation. There are now scores of binary pulsars known, and independent measurements have confirmed Taylor's results.
Taylor has used this first binary pulsar to make high-precision tests of general relativity. Working with his colleague Joel Weisberg, Taylor has used observations of this pulsar to demonstrate the existence of gravitational radiation in the amount and with the properties first predicted by Albert Einstein. He and Hulse shared the Nobel Prize for the discovery of this object. In 1980, he moved to Princeton University, where he was the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Physics, having also served for six years as Dean of Faculty. He retired in 2006.
Joe Taylor first obtained his amateur radio license as a teenager, which led him to the field of radio astronomy. Taylor is well known in the field of amateur radio weak signal communication and has been assigned the call sign K1JT by the FCC. He had previously held the callsigns K2ITP, WA1LXQ, W1HFV, and VK2BJX (the latter in Australia).
His amateur radio accomplishments have included mounting an 'expedition' in April 2010 to use the Arecibo Radio Telescope to conduct moonbounce with Amateurs around the world using voice, Morse code, and digital communications.
He is actively developing several computer programs and communications protocols, including WSJT ("Weak Signal/Joe Taylor"), a software package and protocol suite that utilizes computer-generated messages in conjunction with radio transceivers to communicate over long distances with other amateur radio operators.
WSJT is useful for passing short messages via non-traditional radio communications methods, such as moonbounce and meteor scatter and other low signal-to-noise ratio paths. It is also useful for extremely long-distance contacts using very low power transmissions.
Taylor was among the first group of MacArthur Fellows. He has served on many boards, committees, and panels, co-chairing the Decadal Panel of that produced the report Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium that established the United States's national priorities in astronomy and astrophysics for the period 2000–2010. He was a guest of honor in the 2009 International Physics Olympiad.
A neutron star is the collapsed core of a massive supergiant star, which had a total mass of between 10 and 25 solar masses, possibly more if the star was especially metal-rich. Except for black holes, and some hypothetical objects, neutron stars are the smallest and densest currently known class of stellar objects. Neutron stars have a radius on the order of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) and a mass of about 1.4 solar masses. They result from the supernova explosion of a massive star, combined with gravitational collapse, that compresses the core past white dwarf star density to that of atomic nuclei.
Kip Stephen Thorne is an American theoretical physicist known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. A longtime friend and colleague of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, he was the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) until 2009 and is one of the world's leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einstein's general theory of relativity. He continues to do scientific research and scientific consulting, most notably for the Christopher Nolan film Interstellar. Thorne was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Rainer Weiss and Barry C. Barish "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".
Russell Alan Hulse is an American physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with his thesis advisor Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr., "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation".
The Five College Radio Astronomical Observatory (FCRAO) was a radio astronomy observatory located on a peninsula in the Quabbin Reservoir. It was sited in the town of New Salem, Massachusetts on land that was originally part of Prescott, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1969 by the Five College Astronomy Department. From its inception, the observatory has emphasized research, the development of technology and the training of students—both graduate and undergraduate.
Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland who, as a postgraduate student, discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967. This discovery eventually earned the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974; however, she was not one of the recipients of the prize.
PSR B1919+21 is a pulsar with a period of 1.3373 seconds and a pulse width of 0.04 seconds. Discovered by Jocelyn Bell Burnell on 28 November 1967, it is the first discovered radio pulsar. The power and regularity of the signals were briefly thought to resemble an extraterrestrial beacon, leading the source to be nicknamed LGM, later LGM-1.
A pulsar is a highly magnetized rotating compact star that emits beams of electromagnetic radiation out of its magnetic poles. This radiation can be observed only when a beam of emission is pointing toward Earth, and is responsible for the pulsed appearance of emission. Neutron stars are very dense and have short, regular rotational periods. This produces a very precise interval between pulses that ranges from milliseconds to seconds for an individual pulsar. Pulsars are one of the candidates for the source of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.
PSR J0737−3039 is the only known double pulsar. It consists of two neutron stars emitting electromagnetic waves in the radio wavelength in a relativistic binary system. The two pulsars are known as PSR J0737−3039A and PSR J0737−3039B. It was discovered in 2003 at Australia's Parkes Observatory by an international team led by the Italian radio astronomer Marta Burgay during a high-latitude pulsar survey.
Tests of general relativity serve to establish observational evidence for the theory of general relativity. The first three tests, proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915, concerned the "anomalous" precession of the perihelion of Mercury, the bending of light in gravitational fields, and the gravitational redshift. The precession of Mercury was already known; experiments showing light bending in accordance with the predictions of general relativity were performed in 1919, with increasingly precise measurements made in subsequent tests; and scientists claimed to have measured the gravitational redshift in 1925, although measurements sensitive enough to actually confirm the theory were not made until 1954. A more accurate program starting in 1959 tested general relativity in the weak gravitational field limit, severely limiting possible deviations from the theory.
The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics is a Max Planck Institute whose research is aimed at investigating Einstein's theory of relativity and beyond: Mathematics, quantum gravity, astrophysical relativity, and gravitational-wave astronomy. The Institute was founded in 1995 and is located in the Potsdam Science Park in Golm, Potsdam and in Hannover where it is closely related to the Leibniz University Hannover. The Potsdam part of the institute is organized in three research departments, while the Hannover part has two departments. Both parts of the institute host a number of independent research groups.
The Hulse–Taylor binary is a binary star system composed of a neutron star and a pulsar which orbit around their common center of mass. It is the first binary pulsar ever discovered.
Ronald William Prest Drever was a Scottish experimental physicist. He was a professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, co-founded the LIGO project, and was a co-inventor of the Pound–Drever–Hall technique for laser stabilisation, as well as the Hughes–Drever experiment. This work was instrumental in the first detection of gravitational waves in September 2015.
A binary pulsar is a pulsar with a binary companion, often a white dwarf or neutron star. Binary pulsars are one of the few objects which allow physicists to test general relativity because of the strong gravitational fields in their vicinities. Although the binary companion to the pulsar is usually difficult or impossible to observe directly, its presence can be deduced from the timing of the pulses from the pulsar itself, which can be measured with extraordinary accuracy by radio telescopes.
Stephen Erik Thorsett is an American academic and astronomer serving as the president of Willamette University. His research interests include radio pulsars and gamma ray bursts. He is known for measurements of the masses of neutron stars and for the use of binary pulsars to test the theory of general relativity. Thorsett was a professor and dean at the University of California, Santa Cruz, before becoming president of Willamette University in July 2011.
Gravitational waves are disturbances in the curvature of spacetime, generated by accelerated masses, that propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light. They were proposed by Henri Poincaré in 1905 and subsequently predicted in 1916 by Albert Einstein on the basis of his general theory of relativity. Gravitational waves transport energy as gravitational radiation, a form of radiant energy similar to electromagnetic radiation. Newton's law of universal gravitation, part of classical mechanics, does not provide for their existence, since that law is predicated on the assumption that physical interactions propagate instantaneously – showing one of the ways the methods of classical physics are unable to explain phenomena associated with relativity.
Gravitational-wave astronomy is an emerging branch of observational astronomy which aims to use gravitational waves to collect observational data about objects such as neutron stars and black holes, events such as supernovae, and processes including those of the early universe shortly after the Big Bang.
Carl Eugene Heiles is an American astrophysicist noted for his contribution to the understanding of diffuse interstellar matter through observational radio astronomy.
The International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) is a multi-institutional, multi-telescope collaboration, comprising the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA), the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), and the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA). The goal of the IPTA is to detect gravitational waves using an array of approximately 30 pulsars. This goal is shared by each of the participating institutions, but they have all recognized that their goal will be achieved more quickly in collaboration, and by combining their respective resources.
Maura McLaughlin Ph.D. is currently an astrophysics professor at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. She is known for her work on furthering the research on gravitational waves and for her dedication to the Pulsar Search Collaboratory.
John Antoniadis also known as Ioannis Antoniadis is a Greek astrophysicist. He is mostly known for his research of radio pulsars, a type of rapidly rotating neutron stars.
Born in Philadelphia in 1941, he grew up on a peach farm in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, that has been in his family for more than two centuries – "a plot of green," he recalls, in the industrial belt along the Delaware River north of Camden. ... As a high school student at Moorestown (N.J.) Friends, Taylor excelled in mathematics, a subject he pursued at Haverford College before switching to physics.