The life of an astrophysicist: In the spectra, the solution was

The deep desire to bring the diversity of nature in an understandable context, and to discover an order in what we find in the world around us through the histo

The life of an astrophysicist: In the spectra, the solution was

The deep desire to bring the diversity of nature in an understandable context, and to discover an order in what we find in the world around us through the history of mankind draws. It captures men and women at the core of it has to do with gender, little to do – even if a look into the science seems to be the history to suggest the opposite. The common pioneers of the research are, almost without exception, male. As before, students on the horrors in the physics lectures surprised if a woman's name gets lost in the curriculum.

Sibylle Anderl

editor in the features section.

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Emmy Noether, Lise Meitner, Marie Curie, the list of well-known female geniuses is clear. That this is due not only to the then social circumstances, which made it women in science hard to follow your vocation, but actually in our selective cultural memory, shows the now-published biography of the physicist and astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin of the American author and journalist Donovan Moore.

Aristotle, Newton, and an Unknown

Moore himself was on Payne-Gaposchkin stumbled across the presentation slides to an astrophysics lecture. There she was shown together with Aristotle and Newton, and the author is completely unknown. In fact, hardly anyone would be familiar to that Payne-Gaposchkin is one of the most brilliant astrophysicists of the last century. She discovered that our sun consists mainly of hydrogen, a key astrophysical knowledge. This has been achieved by combined as one of the First new knowledge of the micro-physics with astronomical observations. The way to your Astro-physics breakthroughs – the book describes in detail – was, however, expected to be difficult.

On 10. In may 1900, Cecilia Payne, the "firstborn" of the lawyer, Edward Payne and the painter Emma Pertz in London to the world. Your childlike thirst for knowledge was sparked at a young age to the botany, allowing you to schulte your classifier skills early. As an exceptionally talented and wayward student, she was on the one hand, again and again mentors, made their challenging way but also many enemies. With sixteen years of school was referred to and was lucky to be allowed despite the player being kicked out the last year of their training in the St. Paul's school for girls graduate.

There she was encouraged for the first Time to scientific studies and flourished under the influence of professionally trained teachers so that they, after all, was the entrance test to study in Cambridge successfully. Women have been able to study there since 1871, although, to gain without a formal conclusion. Cecilia began her studies in 1919, with the combination of subjects botany, physics and chemistry.

A lecture as a turning point

In December of this year they heard a lecture by the well-known astronomers Arthur Eddington about his Africa Expedition he had made to the predictions of the Einsteinian General relativity theory, say, on the basis of the observation of a sun to check the darkness – an experience that caused her sleepless nights and their interests in the long-term from botany to physics diverted. In the Cavendish laboratory, under the guidance of teachers such as Ernest Rutherford, received the you insight into the then-emerging new physics of the microcosm.

Since the astronomy in Cambridge, belonged formally to the mathematics, could Cecilia keep track of your new passion in addition to physics, initially, only in private, until they met in the Cambridge Observatory happen again, Arthur Eddington, who took you under his wing. Cecilia's academic path would not have been able to lead in England, however, further than to work as a school teacher – is reason enough for Cecilia to travel with a fellow astronomer in the United States, to let him at the Harvard College Observatory, the new Director, Harlow Shapley imagine.

Date Of Update: 02 July 2020, 17:19

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