An astrophysicist who studies exotic “zombie stars” has become the first woman to win Canada’s top science prize.
Victoria Kaspi, a professor and Canada research chair at McGill University, is this year’s winner of the $1 million Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The award has been awarded annually since 1991 to recognize “sustained excellence and overall influence” of research conducted in Canada.
Kaspi studies the extreme physics of neutron stars.
Those are dead stars, sometimes referred to as “zombie stars,” that form when a massive star runs out of fuel and explodes in a supernova, but hasn’t collapsed to the point of becoming a black hole.
“They have very exotic properties that allow us to test physical theories in ways that you just could never imagine doing here on Earth,” Kaspi said.
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