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Princeton Researcher Joseph Taylor Wins Wolf Foundation's 1992 Prize In Physics

Princeton University's Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who in 1974 discovered a binary pulsar that has helped verify gravitational aspects of general relativity theory, will receive this year's Wolf Prize in physics. The $100,000 award, to be presented to Taylor in May by the president of Israel, is one of six given annually by the Israel-based Wolf Foundation. The other five awards are in the fields of chemistry, medicine, mathematics, agriculture, and the arts. Pulsars, rapidly spinning neutron star

Rebecca Andrews
Princeton University's Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., who in 1974 discovered a binary pulsar that has helped verify gravitational aspects of general relativity theory, will receive this year's Wolf Prize in physics. The $100,000 award, to be presented to Taylor in May by the president of Israel, is one of six given annually by the Israel-based Wolf Foundation. The other five awards are in the fields of chemistry, medicine, mathematics, agriculture, and the arts.

Pulsars, rapidly spinning neutron stars, were first discovered in 1967. As a pulsar spins, it emits a continuous beam of radio energy that rotates along with the star. Like a lighthouse beam sweeping the sky, to the stationary observer--such as an earthbound researcher--this beam is perceived as a pulse. These pulses are regular to within a few hundred nanoseconds per year.

In 1974, Taylor, then on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, and his graduate student,...

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