These include: what is the universe made of and how does it evolve? Are we alone in the universe? How do galaxies, stars and planets form and evolve? What are the laws of physics in extreme conditions? And how does the sun affect the earth? The University’s main role will be to search for signals which accompany the birth of stars.
Such an undertaking will require the completion of arrays of antennas to detect radio waves at metre-long wavelengths. The low frequencies of these waves gives rise to the telescope by the name of LOFAR – the LOw Frequency ARray. The arrays will be spread across the Netherlands, Germany, France and Great Britain.
The processing of the data will be done by a supercomputer situated at the University of Groningen and further radio telescopes may be constructed at sites in Poland, Sweden, Ireland and Ukraine.
Michael Smith, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Kent, said: ‘The LOFAR project has been launched to advance upon instrumentation based on the old 1960s technologies of radio telescopes that used large mechanical dishes to collect signals which were then detected by a receiver for analysis.
‘Even if scientists continued to use the old technologies, the instruments for this project would need to be one hundred times larger than existing ones, which is cost prohibitive as a high proportion of the outlay on these telescopes is the steel and moving structure. Therefore, new technology was required to make the next step in sensitivity necessary to unravel the secrets of the early universe, the physical processes in the centres of galaxies, and the formation of quasars, stars and planets.’
LOFAR is the first telescope of this new sort, using an array of simple omni-directional antennas instead of mechanical signal processing with a dish. The electronic signals from the antennas are digitised, transported to a central digital processor, and combined in software to emulate a conventional antenna.
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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