Astronomers' Universe

Making Waves

The Story of Ruby Payne-Scott: Australian Pioneer Radio Astronomer

Authors: Goss, Miller

  • Presents the popular science version of a book that received gleaming reviews in the press and by historians of astronomy
  • Gives insight into the pioneering contributions of a female scientist at the beginning of radio astronomy
  • Provides a critical view on the role of women in science in the first half of the 20th century
  • Illustrates Australia's important contribution to the onset of radio astronomy as a new window of research in the electromagnetic spectrum
  • With an overview of Solar Astrophysics and the Tools of the Radio Astronomer, illustrated with many colourful photos
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eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-35752-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-35751-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
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About this book

This book is an abbreviated, partly re-written version of "Under the Radar - The First Woman in Radio Astronomy: Ruby Payne-Scott." It addresses a general readership interested in historical and sociological aspects of astronomy and presents the biography of Ruby Payne-Scott (1912 – 1981). As the first female radio astronomer (and one of the first people in the world to consider radio astronomy), she made classic contributions to solar radio physics.
She also played a major role in the design of the Australian government's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research radars, which were in turn of vital importance in the Southwest Pacific Theatre in World War II. These radars were used by military personnel from Australia, the United States and New Zealand. From a sociological perspective, her career offers many examples of the perils of being a female academic in the first half of the 20th century.

Written in an engaging style and complemented by many historical photographs, this book offers fascinating insights into the beginnings of radio astronomy and the role of a pioneering woman in astronomy. To set the scene, the first colourfully illustrated chapter presents an overview of solar astrophysics and the tools of the radio astronomer.

From the reviews of “Under the Radar”:

“This is a beautifully-researched, copiously-illustrated and well-written book that tells us much more than the life of one amazing female radio astronomer. It also provides a profile on radar developments during WWII and on Australia’s pre-eminent place in solar radio astronomy in the years following WWII. Under the Radar is compelling reading, and if you have taken the time to read right through this review then it certainly belongs on your bookshelf!” (Wayne Orchiston, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, March, 2010)

About the authors

Miller Goss received his undergraduate degree in astronomy from Harvard in 1963 and a PhD from the University of California (Berkeley) in 1967, working on the newly discovered OH radio frequency line at the Hat Creek Observatory. He then moved to Australia to the CSIRO Division of Radiophysics, first as a postdoctoral fellow and later as a staff member. In 1976 he was the recipient of the Pawsey Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. From 1977 to 1986 he was on the staff of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and then professor from 1980 to 1986. In 1986 he moved to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro New Mexico (USA). He was Director of the Very Large Array and the Very Long Baseline Array from 1988 to 2002. He and Dick McGee began working on Under the Radar, the First Woman in Radio Astronomy: Ruby Payne-Scott, in 1997. It was published in 2009 with book launches in Sydney and Canberra. At present Goss and Claire Hooker are working on a joint biography of J.L. Pawsey and J.G. Bolton. Goss’ scientific interests are radio astronomical studies of the interstellar medium in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Goss is currently on the scientific staff of NRAO and is the author of over 500 astronomical publications.

Under the Radar, the First Woman in Radio Astronomy: Ruby Payne-Scott, in 1997. It was published in 2009 with book launches in Sydney and Canberra. At present Goss and Claire Hooker are working on a joint biography of J.L. Pawsey and J.G. Bolton. Goss’ scientific interests are radio astronomical studies of the interstellar medium in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Goss is currently on the scientific staff of NRAO and is the author of over 500 astronomical publications.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“This book documents the history of the early days of radar astronomy in Australia and the scientific career of Ruby Payne-Scott. … For everyone else, I recommend reading Making Waves … . Printed in paperback, and with colour pictures, the book even looks easier to read.” (Kate Brooks, Historical Records of Australian Science, Vol. 25 (1), 2014)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Goss, W. M.

    Pages 1-11

  • A Brief, Basic Guide to Terms and Concepts of Solar Radio Astronomy

    Goss, W. M.

    Pages 13-42

  • Ruby Payne-Scott’s Ancestors and Her Early Childhood

    Goss, W. M.

    Pages 43-51

  • Ruby Payne-Scott’s Education and Early Employment

    Goss, W. M.

    Pages 53-66

  • Wartime Research by Ruby Payne-Scott at the Radiophysics Laboratory

    Goss, W. M.

    Pages 67-86

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-35752-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-35751-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Making Waves
Book Subtitle
The Story of Ruby Payne-Scott: Australian Pioneer Radio Astronomer
Authors
Series Title
Astronomers' Universe
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-642-35752-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-35752-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-35751-0
Series ISSN
1614-659X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 262
Number of Illustrations and Tables
60 b/w illustrations, 27 illustrations in colour
Topics