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NSF RUI awarded to Joel Weisberg

September 9, 2013 at 11:10 am
By Dee Menning, CFR

Joel Weisberg, Herman and Gertrude Mosier Stark Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Natural Sciences, has received $329,474 from the National Science Foundation Division of Astronomical Sciences in support of his four-year project “RUI: Relativistic Gravitation, Pulsar Beams and Birth Processes, and the Interstellar Medium.” This is Weisberg’s eighth NSF grant for his student-faculty team’s astrophysical research centered at Carleton. The team will use the grant to support radioastronomical and theoretical studies of pulsars at Carleton and at radiotelescopes in Puerto Rico and Australia.

Pulsars are the cores of dead stars, about the size of a city and containing more mass than the Sun, weighing a billion tons per teaspoonful, that spin at rates up to hundreds of times per second. In addition to studying pulsars own fascinating properties, the team will use pulsars to study other astronomical phenomena and theories.

This RUI (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) grant funds the PI’s and student’s research at Carleton, their travel to meetings and observatories, and two month-long residencies at the Australia Telescope National Facility.

[Pictures, right: Weisberg's Carleton-student faculty team at the largest radiotelescope in the southern hemisphere, the Parkes (Australia) 64-meter dish]