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Sir Martin Ryle

Ryle, Sir Martin, 1918–84, British radio astronomer, B.S. Oxford, 1939. Ryle was a researcher and professor at Cambridge from 1945 until his retirement in 1982. Knighted in 1966, he was Britain's Astronomer Royal from 1972 to 1982. Ryle and Antony Hewish were jointly awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics. Ryle was cited for his observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis technique, which enabled a large, extremely accurate telescope to be formed from several small telescopes. He used this equipment to locate and image weak radio sources and in the process revealed the most distant known galaxies of the universe. His extensive catalogs of radio sources provided the basis for the discovery of quasars.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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