Monday, 12 August 2019

Happy 100th Birthday Margaret Burbridge!

Today, 12th August 2019, is the 100th birthday of Margaret Burbridge.  She is a British-American astrophysicist who is jointly responsible for the idea that stars are giant nuclear fusion reactors.  This started the whole field of nuclear astrophysics, and is canonical enough to be taught to undergraduates.  In fact, we (at Surrey) have a degree programme called Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics, which we wouldn't have if not for Prof (emeritus) Burbridge.  Happy Birthday!

The picture is from the Wikipedia article about her, and shows her in 1976 winning a Woman of the Year award.


  1. Is she the oldest living astronomer?

    1. good question! (and not one I know the answer to)

    2. My guess is that she is, at least the oldest well known astronomer. While justly famous for the stellar-nucleosynthesis paper on which she is first author (one of the few papers which has its own Wikipedia page), she was mainly an astronomer, at one point director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.