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Scott Ransom Astronomer

Scott Ransom works on a wide variety of projects that involve finding, timing, and exploiting pulsars of various types, using data from many different instruments and at energies from radio waves to gamma-rays. His main focus is searching for exotic pulsar systems, such as millisecond pulsars and binaries. Once these pulsars are identified, he uses them as tools to probe a variety of basic physics, including tests of General Relativity, the emission of gravitational waves (and hopefully soon their direct detection, as part of the NANOGrav collaboration), and the physics of matter at supra-nuclear densities. Much of his time is spent working on the state-of-the-art signal-processing instrumentation, high-performance computing and software that pulsar astronomy requires.


Research Professor, Astronomy Department, University of Virginia

Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2015.

All Souls College Visiting Fellow, Oxford University, 2014.

AAS Helen B. Warner Prize, 2010.

Bart J. Bok Prize, 2006.

Relevant Publications

C. Pallanca et al, “Radio Timing and Optical Photometry of the Black Widow System PSR J1518+0204C in the Globular Cluster M5,” Astrophys. J, 795, 29, 2014



Senior Fellow Gravity & the Extreme Universe


National Radio Astronomy Observatory


PhD (Astronomy) Harvard University

BS (Engineering Physics) United States Military Academy


United States

Ideas Related to Scott Ransom

News | Gravity & the Extreme Universe

Fast radio burst source linked to ‘extreme’ environment

Astrophysicists have just discovered a major new clue about the environment that is home to a series of mysterious cosmic...

Symposium Debrief | Cosmology & Gravity

Symposium Brief: Untangling the Cosmos

On May 17, 2017, CIFAR, in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre, held a day-long symposium called “Untangling the Cosmos:...

Video | Cosmology & Gravity

Pulsars – Perfect Clocks for Physics

Associate Fellow Scott Ransom discusses pulsars at the Untangling the Cosmos Symposium.

Research Brief | Cosmology & Gravity

A Repeating Fast Radio Burst

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are enigmatic bursts of light seen in radio telescopes and which are thought to originate from...

News | Cosmology & Gravity

Astronomers trace radio burst to its home galaxy

Astronomers have pinpointed the source of a series of mysterious cosmic signals to a distant dwarf galaxy 3 billion light...