The people’s pulsar

Volunteer computing project discovers neutron star

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 14:43 PM August 12, 2010

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Devil schmevil. Idle computers are doing scientists’ work, helping researchers make all kinds of advances in fields from epidemiology to nanoscience to mathematics. Now home computers crunching away in Iowa and Germany have helped astronomers discover a neutron star known as a pulsar, a research team reports online August 12 in Science.

The discovery is another example of how programs downloaded to home and office computers can help analyze mountains of data, says physicist...

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