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Read e-book online A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the PDF

By David P.D. Munns

ISBN-10: 0262018330

ISBN-13: 9780262018333

For greater than 3 thousand years, the technology of astronomy relied on noticeable gentle. in precisely 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 group uniting the facility of radio with the overseas aspirations of the self-discipline of astronomy. The radio astronomers challenged chilly struggle period rivalries by way of forging a united clinical group taking a look at a unmarried sky.

Munns tells the interconnecting tales of Australian, British, Dutch, and American radio astronomers, all trying to the way to see the universe through radio. together, this overseas array of radio astronomers outfitted a brand new "community" type of technological know-how opposing the "glamour" of nuclear physics. A unmarried Sky describes a communitarian form of technology, a tradition of interdisciplinary and overseas integration and cooperation, and counters the proposal that fresh technological know-how has been pushed by means of festival. Collaboration, or what a widespread 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 group 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

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Nervous about his move to industry, Baum hoped “the actual job” wasn’t too different what he had been led to expect. The bait was money. His recruiter, a Dr. ” No salary in astronomy was going to compete with that. 16 Hughes, Consolidated Vultee, the military, the government, and Berkeley all wanted scientific knowledge put to work for the security of the state, whether through aircraft, electronics, or atomic bombs. Edwin Hubble’s vision for pure science, alone and uninterrupted on a mountaintop, contrasted with Custer’s Baum’s desire for financial security and willingness to enter corporate research.

Eisenhower, who coined the term) spoke bravely. So too did the father of radar, Sir Robert WatsonWatt. Having attended the third Pugwash Conference in Vienna, he harshly condemned any nationalist imperative toward further development or testing of nuclear weapons in the cause of peace or defense. The fusion bomb rendered national distinctions mute: “[W]e are, quite clearly, no longer masters in our own national houses. ”56 Though Watson-Watt himself had been an inventor of military technologies during World War II, by the dawn of the Space Age he too had become disillusioned with justifications of national security for nuclear weapons.

Wartime exploits deeply affected how both radio physicists and astronomers viewed the pursuit of any science into the future. To understand the new science of radio astronomy and the new community of the radio astronomers, we must consider a strange discovery on a Pacific island, the appointment of a physicist to the “astronomical center of the world,” and numerous apparently unconnected decisions by loosely affiliated people. Only by revealing this complex story of uncertain decisions can we explain the slow coalescing of a new ethos of science based on cooperation, openness, new technology, and interdisciplinary and internationalism—radio astronomy.

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A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy by David P.D. Munns


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