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.
Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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