Mother of pulsar

  The annual Nobel Prize is undoubtedly the most important award in the scientific community. However, it is difficult to achieve perfection in any award, and the Nobel Prize will be controversial.
  Recalling the selection of the Nobel Prizes over the years, in 1974, the British female astronomer Jocelyn Bell missed the dramatic experience of the Nobel Prize in Physics, which is arguably the most unfair award in the history of science. Now, the Nobel Prize has just been promulgated, and the heat has not disappeared. The story of Jocelyn Bell’s life is heard at this time, which is another window for us to understand the Nobel Prize.   Difficult
  doctoral student
In 1965, young Jocelyn Bell graduated from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Glasgow and went to Cambridge to continue his Ph.D. Out of interest in astronomy, she chose astronomer Anthony Huysh as her mentor.
  Five years ago, astronomers discovered quasars in the stellar sea. These celestial bodies are far away from the Earth and are much smaller than the galaxies, but they emit radiation that is thousands of times brighter than the galaxies (mainly radio waves). Moreover, quasars are different from stars in that their radiance is flickering and the nature of astronomy is very strange. Many astronomers are interested in quasars, and Hughes is no exception. He applied for a research grant and plans to build a large radio telescope to observe flashing quasars. When Jocelyn first came to Cambridge, she caught up with the start of the research project in Hewish, and she became the main force in the construction of radio telescopes.
  At that time, radio astronomy was just emerging, and the radio telescope was a new thing, and it took a lot of effort to build it. In order to receive and capture invisible radio radiation, a radio telescope requires the use of a metal antenna. When radio waves from space meet the antenna, the metal antenna generates an oscillating current, which is amplified and recorded, and can be processed. The longer the antenna, the more radio waves the metal intercepts and the greater the oscillating current generated. Therefore, the radio telescope in the Hewice plan is actually a vast array of antennas. The network array covers an area of ​​18,000 square meters. The network array has more than 1,000 columns of 3 meters high, supporting a total of 120 km long antenna. With the rotation of the Earth, the entire antenna array can scan an area in the sky.
  Together with pliers, hammers, and wrenches, Jocelyn used the two-year-old antenna to properly connect the 120-kilometer-long antenna and equipped it with sophisticated signal amplifiers and signal receivers. In July 1967, the homemade telescope was officially put into use. After two years of hard physical work, Jocelyn finally had the conditions to do some mental work.
  The “Little Green Man”
  radio telescope in the distant starry sky is in place, and the next work is naturally to scan the sky and obtain observation data. In the 1960s, the use of computers for data processing has not yet become mainstream, and considering that some data requires human brain analysis to discover its significance, Jocelyn uses a chart recording machine to print observation data on paper and then manually process it. analysis. This kind of work is often boring. The astronomical data recorded on the paper is full of up and down vibration curves. Like the electrocardiogram, the machine draws the data continuously, and the recording paper of several kilometers is filled up quickly. Bell is doing everything he can to do page by page, and can only handle a few meters of “electrocardiogram”. The heavy work lasted for a month, and Jocelyn fell into the ocean-like data, but she didn’t have a dizzy rise, but her mind was surprisingly clear.
  On August 6, 1967, Jocelyn found something unusual in the curve of the chart recording machine. On a data strip of more than 100 meters long, a strange pattern of about 1 cm will appear periodically. Jocelyn vividly calls this pattern “back neck”, which means that a mysterious pulse signal is regular. The ground appears repeatedly every 1.33 seconds. Jocelyn couldn’t explain this signal, she found Huyish, saying that there were “something strange things” in the data. After Ishiy’s reading, he quickly concluded with his experience that it was just an interference signal from some kind of artificial aircraft (such as satellites) in the sky.
  But Jocelyn was not too sure of the explanation given by Hughes, and she decided to keep on track. In the following weeks, at the same time, in the same sky area, the same mysterious pulse signal appeared again. Soon, Jocelyn determined that the signal came from outside the solar system, not by the Earthcraft. Such a regular signal has never preceded the astronomical observations. Jocelyn can’t help but wonder if there are aliens who are sending messages to the earth. Therefore, she named this signal “Little Green Man” according to the usual image of aliens in science fiction movies.
  Jocelyn is very annoyed. She only wants to collect enough quasar data as soon as possible so that she can complete her doctoral thesis. I didn’t expect the “little green man” to come up with trouble and make her trouble. Hewish decided to convene a meeting of big people in the scientific community to discuss how to find out how the aliens should inform the government and inform the public. Jocelyn returned to the office and continued to bury her head in analyzing the pile of paper.
  Hard work pays off, Jocelyn found another three sets of similar pulse signals in the paper pile, each from a completely different space orientation. This made Jocelyn convinced that the “little green man” would not be a signal from the aliens, because the four aliens who were far apart from each other could not use the same way to contact the Earth. At this point, the question that haunts Bell’s heart has been solved: if the source of the signal is not an alien, it must be a brand new celestial body, and you are fortunate enough to find them for the first time.
  In January 1968, a paper entitled “Observation Report of Fast Pulsed Power Sources” was delivered to Nature, and Jocelyn was the second author. Hewish was the mentor and the first author (if now The habit, Jocelyn is undoubtedly the first author), and only two weeks later, the paper was published. The astronomical world is like a stone that stirs up thousands of waves, and scientists have come up with many theories to explain the source of the “little green man.” In 1968, the American astronomer Thomas Gold’s neutron star theory finally came to the consensus that the signals that Jocelyn and Hewish discovered came from the neutron star, and that the signal appeared in a flashing form, due to the high-speed rotation of the neutron star. And caused.
  Therefore, the pulsars discovered by Jocelyn and Hewish were identified as neutron stars, which is considered to be one of the four major discoveries of radio astronomy in the 20th century. The other three major discoveries are quasars, microwave background radiation and interstellar molecules. This year, Jocelyn also successfully passed the graduation thesis defense and got a doctorate.
  Bell is no Nobel Prize
  after leaving the University of Cambridge, Jocelyn suddenly disappeared from the astronomical community, was missing. It turned out that in 1968, Jocelyn married, her husband is a staff member of the government department, often mobilized everywhere. After the marriage, Jocellin moved with her husband in the UK, occasionally doing part-time teaching, no longer involved in scientific research, and gradually faded away by many people.
  Six years later, British scientists Martin Ryle and Hewish jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics. The former improved the radio telescope award. Hewish discovered the pulsar award, but in fact found the first pulsar of the pulsar. Lin is excluded from the list of winners. Due to the unsuccessful selection of Jocelyn, the Nobel Prize caused a huge controversy in the international astronomical world, known as the “Nobel Prize without Bell.” In the decades that followed, Jocelyn was constantly asked about her views on the Missing Nobel Prize, but she was not willing to get involved in the controversy and rarely stated her position.
  Although Jocelyn was ignored by the Nobel Prize, the astronomical world still praised her as the “mother of the pulsar.” On September 6, 2018, Jocelyn won the most generous award in the science community – “Special Breakthrough in Basic Physics” with a prize of $3 million. This may be a kind of compensation for Jocelyn.