Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, FRAS
Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society is a learned society that began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research . It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 on receiving its Royal Charter from William IV...

 (born 15 July 1943), is a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

. As a postgraduate student she discovered the first radio pulsar
A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing towards the Earth. This is called the lighthouse effect and gives rise to the pulsed nature that gives pulsars their name...

s with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish
Antony Hewish
Antony Hewish FRS is a British radio astronomer who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974 for his work on the development of radio aperture synthesis and its role in the discovery of pulsars...

. She was president of the Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

 from October 2008 until October 2010, and was interim president following the death of her successor, Marshall Stoneham
Marshall Stoneham
Arthur Marshall Stoneham, FRS , known as Marshall Stoneham, was a British physicist who worked for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and from 1995 was Massey professor of physics at University College London...

, in early 2011. She was succeeded in October 2011 by Sir Peter Knight
Peter Knight (scientist)
Sir Peter Knight, FRS is a British physicist, Professor of Quantum Optics and Senior Research Investigator Imperial College London, and Principal of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre. He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2005. He was president of the Optical Society of...


The paper announcing the discovery had five authors, Hewish's name being listed first, Bell's second.