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In 1968 (10 November), Lovelace and his collaborators discovered period \(P\approx 33\) ms of the Crab Pulsar.[1][2] As a graduate student working at Arecibo Observatory, Lovelace developed a version of the Fast Fourier transform program [3] [4] which was adapted to run on the Arecibo Observatory's CDC 3200 computer [5]. This program helped to separate the periodic pulsar signal from the noise, and one night he discovered the period of the Crab pulsar, which is approximately 33 ms. [6][7] A few weeks earlier, observers from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory reported about two pulsating sources near the Crab Nebula, with no evident periodicities.[8][9]. Lovelace and collaborators found that one of pulsars (the NP 0532 - the Crab Pulsar) is located in the center of the Crab Nebula (with precision of 10') and found it's period with a high precision: 33.09 ms.[6][7]


  1. “Pulsar NP 0532 Near Crab Nebula” R. V. E. Lovelace, J. M. Sutton, and H. D. Craft 1968, November, IAU Circ., No. 2113, #1 (1968)
  2. "Out of the Zenith. Jodrell Bank 1957-1970" Sir. Bernard Lovell, 1973, London: Oxford University Press, pp 1-255 (see page159).
  3. "Digital Search Methods for Pulsars" 1969, R. V. E. Lovelace, J. M. Sutton, E. E. Salpeter, Nature 222 (5190), 231-233.
  4. "Gauss and the history of the fast Fourier transform" Heideman, Michael T., Johnson, Don H., Burrus, Charles Sidney (1984). (PDF). IEEE ASSP Magazine. 1 (4): 14–21. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/MASSP.1984.1162257. S2CID 10032502.
  5. "On the Discovery of the Period of the Crab Nebula Pulsar" R.V.E. Lovelace & G. Leonard Tyler, 2012, The Observatory, V. 132, p. 186-188
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Crab nebula pulsar NP 0532" 1969, J. M. Comella, H. D. Craft, R. V. E. Lovelace, J. M. Sutton, G. L. Tyler, Nature 221 (5179), 453-454.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Astrophysical Formulae. Space, Time, Matter and Cosmology" Kenneth R. Lang 2014, Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  8. "Pulsating radio sources near Crab Nebula" Howard, W. E., Staelin, D. H., Reifenstein, E. C. 1968, IAU Circ., No. 2110, #2 (1968)
  9. "Pulsating Radio Sources near the Crab Nebula" Staelin, David H. and Reifenstein, Edward C., III, December 1968, Science, Volume 162, Issue 3861, pp. 1481-1483