Martin Ryle

Sir Martin Ryle

Martin Ryle.jpg
Born(1918-09-27)27 September 1918
Died14 October 1984(1984-10-14) (aged 66)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
EducationBradfield College
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (BA, DPhil)
Known forAperture synthesis
Radio astronomy
Rowena Palmer (m. 1947)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorJ. A. Ratcliffe[1]
Doctoral studentsMalcolm Longair[1][2]
Peter Rentzepis
Jan Högbom[3]

Sir Martin Ryle FRS[4] (27 September 1918 – 14 October 1984) was an English radio astronomer who developed revolutionary radio telescope systems (see e.g. aperture synthesis) and used them for accurate location and imaging of weak radio sources. In 1946 Ryle and Derek Vonberg were the first people to publish interferometric astronomical measurements at radio wavelengths. With improved equipment, Ryle observed the most distant known galaxies in the universe at that time. He was the first Professor of Radio Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, and founding director of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. He was Astronomer Royal from 1972 to 1982.[5] Ryle and Antony Hewish shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1974, the first Nobel prize awarded in recognition of astronomical research.[6] In the 1970s, Ryle turned the greater part of his attention from astronomy to social and political issues which he considered to be more urgent.

Education and early life

Martin Ryle was born in Brighton, the son of Professor John Alfred Ryle and Miriam (née Scully) Ryle. He was the nephew of Oxford University Professor of Philosophy Gilbert Ryle. After studying at Bradfield College, Ryle studied physics at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1939, Ryle worked with the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) on the design of antennas for airborne radar equipment during World War II. After the war, he received a fellowship at the Cavendish Laboratory.

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