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Joanna Rankin : University of Vermont

Joanna Rankin


Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Physics Department, Cook Physical Sciences
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
Tel: 802/656-0051
Fax: 802/656-0817

Joanna.Rankin@uvm.edu

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Office hours for Fall 2013 (Schedule):

  • Wednesday, 1-2 pm; Thursday 3-4 pm


I carry out research in observational radio astronomy with primary interests in the areas of the pulsar radio-frequency emission problem, pulsars as probes of the interstellar medium, and feminist studies of science. I have published a series of papers describing a phenomenological model of pulsar radio emission, based on the study of the average and individual-pulse emission properties of pulsars. In 1999, my colleague Avinash Deshpande (of the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore) and I found a rotating (carousel) subbeam system in pulsar B0943+10, which has provided remarkable new insights into how pulsars generate their radio radiation. This work has been extended to a number of other pulsars, and we have been able to show that many pulsar "nulls" and some mode changes are also effects of the carouse system.  Now, we are using all these results to interpret sequences of individual pulses in full polarization, in an effort to better understand the physics of the stars' emission characteristics.

    Together with my collaborators, I regularly make new pulsar observations using a number of different instruments.  During 2001 and 2002 we conceived and started the Multi-Frequency, Multi-Observatory Pulsar Polarimetry Project (MFO) using instruments in Holland, Germany, England, India, Russian and Ukraine. I collaborate with astronomers in these and other countries and am also interested in science as it is connected to militarism, the position of the so-called "Third-World", and women's emancipation.

    I earned my B.S. degree in Physics and Mathematics from Southern Methodist University and my Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Iowa. At Iowa, she studied under Professor James A. Van Allen.

Last modified September 03 2013 08:05 PM

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