Russell Hulse, the First Binary Pulsar, and Science Education

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‘Dr. Russell A. Hulse of Princeton University, the discoverer of the first binary pulsar and co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physics, will affiliate with The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a visiting professor of physics and of science and math education, beginning in January 2004.

Russell Hulse
Courtesy Princeton Plasma
Physics Laboratory

Hulse will be involved with developing innovative science and mathematics education programs for primary and secondary schools, including those in several Texas school districts, as well as with developing activities in more informal settings, such as libraries.

During his appointment at UTD, Hulse will retain his affiliation with Princeton University, where he is a principal research physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Hulse won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the first binary pulsar – a twin star system that provides a rare natural laboratory in which to test Albert Einstein's prediction that moving objects emit gravitational waves, as well as other aspects of his general theory of relativity. The discovery was made in 1974 by Hulse, a 23-year-old graduate student at the time, and his thesis advisor, Dr. Joseph Taylor Jr., then a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, utilizing the 1,000-foot radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The pair shared the physics prize in 1993.

The groundbreaking discovery of the binary pulsar – ranked by many as among the top scientific discoveries of the 20th Century – has had a significant impact on astrophysics and gravitational physics research.

In 1977, Hulse changed fields from astrophysics to plasma physics and joined the Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton, where he has worked since.'

- Edited excerpts from 1993 Nobel Laureate Dr. Russell Hulse to Join U. T. Dallas as Visiting Professor: Princeton Physicist to Focus on Science and Mathematics Education


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Additional information about Russell A. Hulse and his research is available in full-text and on the Web.



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