Professor, Physics department, Princeton University, Princeton, USA
His discovery in 1974 of the first binary pulsar. This unique phenomenon, two stars orbiting each other -- one of them giving off regular radio-frequency "beeps" -- has been important as a deep space proving ground for Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Professor Taylor's group continues to explore problems in astrophysics and gravitational physics by means of radio-wavelength studies of pulsars. Among recent highlights are the discovery of many new pulsars, including millisecond and binary pulsars, with detailed follow-up observations
The state of this art is such that finding each pulsar for the first time is in some ways much more difficult than studying it, after the discovery. However, it's the subsequent observations that yield the important results -which have spanned a wide range of topics in gravitational physics, stellar evolution, cosmology, fundamental astrometry, and time-keeping metrology. Most of these applications have been pioneered by the pulsar group at Princeton.
1993 Nobel Laureate in Physics, with Russell A. Hulse, "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation".
"Discovery of Two Fast-Rotating Pulsars," Camilo, F., Nice, D. J., and Taylor, J. H., Astrophys J. (Letters) 412, L37-L40 (1993).
"PSR 1620 - 26: A Binary Radio Pulsar with a Planetary Companion?" Arzoumanian, Z., Taylor, J. H. and Thorsett, S. E., Astrophys. J. (Letters) 412, L37--L40 (1993).
"Timing Behavior of 96 Radio Pulsars," Arzoumanian, Z., Nice, D. J., Taylor, J. H., and Thorsett, S. E., Astrophys. J. 422, 671--680 (1993).
"Orbital Variability in the Eclipsing Pulsar Binary PSR B1957+20," Arzoumanian, Z., Fruchter, A. S. and Taylor, J. H., Astrophys. J. 426, L85-L88 (1994).
"High-Precision Timing of Millisecond Pulsars. III. Long-Term Monitoring of PSRs B1855+09 and B1937+21," Kaspi, V. M., Ryba, M. F. and Taylor, J. H., Astrophys. J. 428, 713--728 (1994).
Nobel Lecture: "Binary Pulsars and Relativistic Gravity," Taylor, J. H., Rev. Mod. Phys. 711--719 (1994).