By David P.D. Munns
For greater than 3 thousand years, the technology of astronomy trusted obvious mild. in precisely the final sixty years, radio expertise has essentially altered how astronomers see the universe. Combining the wartime innovation of radar and the validated criteria of conventional optical telescopes, the "radio telescope" provided humanity a brand new imaginative and prescient of the universe. In A unmarried Sky, the historian David Munns explains how the belief of the radio telescope emerged from a brand new medical group uniting the ability of radio with the overseas aspirations of the self-discipline of astronomy. The radio astronomers challenged chilly battle period rivalries by way of forging a united medical neighborhood a unmarried sky.
Munns tells the interconnecting tales of Australian, British, Dutch, and American radio astronomers, all looking to the right way to see the universe through radio. together, this foreign array of radio astronomers outfitted a brand new "community" kind of technological know-how opposing the "glamour" of nuclear physics. A unmarried Sky describes a communitarian type of technology, a tradition of interdisciplinary and overseas integration and cooperation, and counters the thought that contemporary technological know-how has been pushed by way of pageant. Collaboration, or what a renowned radio astronomer referred to as "a mixing of radio invention and astronomical insight," produced a technological know-how as progressive as Galileo's first observations with a telescope. operating jointly, the neighborhood of radio astronomers printed the constitution of the galaxy.
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Additional info for A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy
The “sea-interferometer” combined two incident radio waves, the first directly incident on array of 40 half-wave dipoles and the second reflected off the ocean. The interference patterns formed by imposing the two signals on each other gave remarkably exact locations for the sources of the noise from sunspots as they traversed the face of the sun. ”8 Though Pawsey sought to identify external sources of radio noise, which clearly had applications to the future reliability of radar, his project did not take that course.
Ryle, like the chemist Linus Pauling, would become highly skeptical toward and even openly critical of the close relations between the military-industrial complex and nuclear physicists.
One could not escape the essential tension that the very existence of those devices undermined science and the nations that possessed them, since they required international controls and limitations on testing in order to provide security. ”57 The glimpses behind the atomic curtain we have been afforded, however, tell a chilling story. 58 Weapons development took place within the new National Laboratory system, subverting the very basis of open, free, communal exchange of knowledge. ”59 All the while, universities scrambled to acquire facilities more like the National Laboratories.