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23rd of January 2023
From the Sun to the Cosmos
The book Joe Pawsey and the Founding of Australian Radio Astronomy, subtitled Early Discoveries, from the Sun to the Cosmos has just been published by Springer as a open access publication. This biography of Joseph Pawsey examines his life, and also the birth and growth of the field of radio astronomy and the state of science itself in twentieth century Australia. Pawsey made a name for himself in the international astronomy community within a decade after WWII and coined the term radio astronomy. His most valuable talent was his ability to recruit and support bright young scientists who became the technical and methodological innovators of the era, building new telescopes from the (Bernard) Mills Cross and Chris (Christiansen) Cross to the Parkes radio telescope. The development of aperture synthesis and the controversy surrounding the cosmological interpretation of the first major survey which resulted in the Sydney research group's disagreements with Nobel laureate Martin Ryle play major roles in this story. This book also shows the connections among prominent astronomers like Oort, Minkowski, Baade, Struve, famous scientists in the UK such as J.A. Ratcliffe, Edward Appleton and Henry Tizard, and the engineers and physicists in Australia who helped develop the field of radio astronomy.

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