Astronomer Ingrid Stairs uses the world’s largest radio telescopes to study pulsars, dense neutron stars derived from the cores of massive stars that have undergone supernova explosions.
Pulsars emit lighthouse-like beams of radio waves that can be detected every time the neutron star spins. Monitoring the spin rates of pulsars over months and years leads to an enormous range of astrophysical results. At one extreme is an improved understanding of the nature of matter at ultra-high densities; at the other are the most stringent tests, to date, of general relativity in the strong-field regime. An important current project, carried out by pulsar observers across North America and around the world, involves using an array of millisecond pulsars across the sky to attempt a direct detection of gravitational waves.
- NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement, 2010
- NSERC University Faculty Award, 2002
- Jansky Research Associateship, NRAO, 2000
- Antoniadis, J. et al. "A massive pulsar in a compact relativistic binary." Science 340, no. 6131 (April 2013): 1233232.
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