Astrophysicist Feryal Ozel has devoted her career to the study of black holes, like the one in this illustration, and other space oddities.

There are objects in the known universe so strange and unlike anything we know that, according to a University of Arizona news release, anyone who wants to study them has to be fairly fluent in Einstein’s general theory of relativity, be comfortable around supercomputers and know how to outfit a telescope with X-ray vision.

Feryal Ozel, a UA professor of astronomy and physics, checks off on all of the above. She is fascinated by neutron stars and black holes and has made it her career to help the rest of us understand those freaks of nature lurking in the abyss of space.

Ozel discussed her work as part of the “Rethinking Reality” public lecture series presented earlier this year by the UA College of Science. Because she is unable to give a reprise of her earlier lecture in person, the Senior Academy will present a video recording of her lecture, entitled “The Journey to the Extreme,” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (March 16) in the ASA Great Room.

Feryal Ozel

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Ozel received a BS summa cum laude from Columbia. Spending a year in Europe, she earned a master’s degree from the Niels Bohr Institute in 1997 and worked at CERN. She received her PhD from Harvard University in astrophysics in 2002 on the effects of the intense gravitational and magnetic fields of neutron stars. Before joining the faculty at the University of Arizona, she was a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

Ozel was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship last year—the only astrophysicist awarded in 2016 and one of only 15 natural scientists.

Written by Marcia Neugebauer, Academy Village Volunteer


Making Sense of Neutron Stars & Black Holes: March2017