Joe Taylor K1JT Is SJRA November Guest Speaker

Princeton University Professor, Nobel Laureate, and WSJT author Joseph H Taylor will be the honored guest speaker at the November meeting of the SJRA at the Gibson House on November 20.  Professor Taylor, K1JT, is an active ham, has been a ham radio operator since his boyhood days in Cinnaminson, was formerly an SJRA member, and is an Honorary Lifetime Member of SJRA.  In 1993 he and Russell Hulse were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery in 1975 of the first binary pulsar system.  Professor Taylor will speak on topics of interest to ham radio enthusiasts.

K1JT grew up in the Cinnaminson area as a teenage ham radio operator in the 1950s.  See for some of his memories of that era and a description of some of his exploits.   He is an active ham who is likely to be met on the air in several contests each year.  In 2001 he authored the weak signal processing suite WSJT that is widely used for Earth-Moon-Earth and meteor scatter communication modes.

Joe Taylor began his study of pulsars shortly after finishing his graduate studies at Harvard in 1968, and after the discovery of the first pulsar in that same year.  (A pulsar is now known to be a rapidly rotating neutron star that is observed to emit high accuracy periodic bursts of electromagnetic radiation with a characteristic dispersion property and a steadily increasing period).  In 1975 he and Russell Hulse discovered the first pulsar that is a member of a binary star system in which the pulsar (neutron star) orbits another star.  See for a good description of his discovery and its significance.  Joe has continued to be an expert on the measurement of binary pulsar properties because these phenomena are a stringent test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and of the existence of gravitational waves.  (The binary star system loses energy and slows down because it is radiating energy gravitationally).  The rate of energy loss can be computed using various theories of general relativity.  For their contributions Professor Taylor and Hulse were awarded the Nobel Physics Prize in 1993.