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My part in the discovery of the black hole in Cygnus X-1

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Antonio M. M. Rodrigues.

I was a PhD student and a post-doctoral fellow around 1970 when I tracked down the then newly discovered source of celestial X-rays in the constellation Cygnus. I was able to provide a significant fact about it that proved it to be a stellar-sized black hole, the first to be identified. In this talk I will reveal what (after I had followed a number of false trails) led me to it. I will discuss the scientific environment that put me in a position to make this identification, and the kick-start that the discovery gave to my scientific career, culminating in two aspirational pinnacles of recognition, having an asteroid named after me and being the subject of an inaccurate entry in Wikipedia.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Science Society series.

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