Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell biography
Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943 – )
Susan Jocelyn Bell was born in Belfast. She added Burnell to her name when she married.
Jocelyn Bell was Professor of Physics at The Open University. While working on her PhD at Cambridge University in the 1960’s, she discovered pulsars – rapidly rotating neutron stars. At first it was thought the signal might be extraterrestrial intelligence and it was labelled LGM for Little Green Men!
In 1974, Antony Hewish, Jocelyn’s PhD advisor, was jointly awarded the Noble Prize in Physics together with Martin Ryle, with Hewish honoured with the discovery of pulsars. Many felt that Jocelyn Bell should have received a share in the prize. She continues to study various of pulsars and is a leading scientist in a field where there are relatively few women.
Today Jocelyn Bell Burnell is still working on the advancement of astronomy and is presently Professor of Physics and Department Chair at the Open University, England.