Chapter 2: Radio Astronomy Fundamentals

6 February
We started on Chapter 2.  Particular websites of interest are:   (History of radio astronomy) (Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation)
Click here for the latest satellite results to measure the 3K background radiation  (Little Green Men) (Discovery of Pulsars) (Indirect detection of gravitational waves)

8 - 15 February
We learned about power, spectral power, brightness, brightness distribution, and flux density. Do you recall the units?
We considered an antenna looking at part of a source brightness distribution and figured out what we would measure.
An antenna is, in most cases, a one-pixel camera.
We went in more detail through the differences and similarities between the convolution integral as a mathematical description of the output of a linear filter and the convolution integral as a mathematical description of what is measured by an antenna when scanning a source. Difference is that the source function is convolved with the mirror image of the beam pattern whereas the mirror image is not taken of the impulse response.
We looked at different combinations of source brightness distributions and beam patterns.

17 - 24 February
Reading week

27 February
We focused on blackbody characteristics, antenna temperature, spectral power and noise.

1 March
Midterm exam  

6 March
We finished Chapter 2.