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Paper: Fritz Zwicky: Novae Become Supernovae
Volume: 342, 1604-2004: Supernovae as Cosmological Lighthouses
Page: 53
Authors: Koenig, T.
Abstract: The Swiss physicist Fritz Zwicky (1898—1974) dabbled in a plethora of disciplines, including astronomy and astrophysics. His dabblings were with vested interest and he has left quite an impact. His first great success was his nova research. In the early 1930s, while supermarkets and Superman were flying, he labelled the distinctly brighter nova Supernova. It had been believed that novae were the collision of two stars, but Zwicky came to recognize supernovae as a phenomenon quite distinct from novae. He and Walter Baade explained supernova by melding astronomy and physics and in this aim they created neutron stars, explained the origin of cosmic rays, initiated the first sky survey, and confirmed that a number of historical novae were indeed supernovae. This was truly an important work in the history of astrophysics.
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