By David P.D. Munns
For greater than 3 thousand years, the technological know-how of astronomy relied on noticeable mild. in exactly the final sixty years, radio know-how 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 assumption of the radio telescope emerged from a brand new medical neighborhood uniting the facility of radio with the overseas aspirations of the self-discipline of astronomy. The radio astronomers challenged chilly battle period rivalries through forging a united medical group a unmarried sky.
Munns tells the interconnecting tales of Australian, British, Dutch, and American radio astronomers, all looking to how one can see the universe by way of radio. together, this foreign array of radio astronomers outfitted a brand new "community" kind of technology opposing the "glamour" of nuclear physics. A unmarried Sky describes a communitarian sort of technology, a tradition of interdisciplinary and foreign integration and cooperation, and counters the suggestion that contemporary technological know-how has been pushed via festival. Collaboration, or what a popular radio astronomer known as "a mixing of radio invention and astronomical insight," produced a technology 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 resources for A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy
Reber looked to Greenstein to aid his plans for a giant radio antenna in the form of a dish to detect radio signals from stars and galaxies. 31 Greenstein was the first professional astronomer to become interested in the curious radio noise that Karl Jansky had detected from the Milky Way region of the sky as early as 1937. In his youth, Greenstein had been curious about the antennas he had noticed at Holmdel during summers on the New Jersey shore. 35 Both Harvard and Caltech would build radio telescopes within ten years, but entirely without Reber.
Their wartime experience with radar, with solid-state electronics, and with the production and detection of radio waves secured them especially appealing offers in the new field of avionics, and most went easily and lucratively to work for the militaryindustrial complexes in Britain and the United States. Most choose a path that, as David Kaiser has argued, similarly lured the nuclear physicists: the move to a culture of suburban science oriented toward service to the state. The radio astronomers didn’t emerge either from Edwin Hubble’s dreams of scientific purity or from the easy allure of the military-industrial patron.
20 Many young British scientists, like their American cousins, sought financial security in industry, while others looked to pursue research less focused on immediate application. For instance, Jack Ratcliffe, a professor at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, wanted to talk to young Bernard Lovell about “Cosmic Ray bursts” in early June of 1945. 21 Looking to leave the wartime radar work behind him, Lovell embraced cosmic ray research, which sought to understand the properties of naturally occurring elementary particles and which stood as a viable alternative to the artificial production of particles that by then was taking place in cyclotrons.
A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy by David P.D. Munns