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Hao Wu
Attends Northwestern University
Lived in Evanston


Hao Wu

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Hao Wu

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Meet the most sensitive radio telescope in the world!

Deep inside a forest in Arecibo Puerto Rico is located the biggest single radio telescope in the world. What are some of their discoveries? First let's me explain how it work.

The radio waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. So radio wave is light that we can't see with our eyes. Human eyes only see part of the spectrum of the wavelength between 400-700 nm(nanometers). The equivalent for the color rage of violet through red. The radio waves are on the 1 meter and more, invisible to our eyes. But the big dish in Arecibo captures with a unique sensitivity that wavelengths.

With a diameter of 305 m(meters), the RT in Arecibo receive radio signals all around the universe, from distant pulsars to a near meteoroid(the RT in Arecibo is capable of sending radio signals to a near meteoroid to map it's topography)

When a radio signal is captured is concentrated on the dish and then reflected to the dome to a secondary reflector. In the dome the signal is reflected again to a third reflector and then directed to a receiving room for processing(see photos).

You may know obout the VLA(very large array) RT in New Mexico. Without doubt the VLR is more powerful. But the sensitive of the RT in Arecibo is by far much better. Why? The sensitive of a RT is given by the weak or strong of the radio signal. So, bigger dish = better sensitivity.

Well, is time to see some of their discoveries:
.1964 - Mercury rotates avery 59 days
.1968 - The neutron strar (pulsar) of the crap nebula rotates +/- 30 times x sec.
.1992 - The discovery of the first two exoplanets around a pulsar.

Anothers scientific investigations in the RT in Arecibo are:
.Planetary science
.Astronomy / Astrophysics science
.Atmospheric science

The truth is that the FAST (five hundred meters spherical telescope) radio telescope in China, when finished, would be the largest single and most sensitive. But till then the biggest RT is in my backyard.

Information source:
.Some of the information is based on:
   -A visit to the facilities of the RT in Arecibo, Puerto Rico
   -A course of astronomy by professor Armando Caussade, vice president of  the Puerto Rico Society of Astronomy. Metropolitan University, Cupey, Puerto Rico
.Photos: The rights belongs to the respectives owners.
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a Ph.D. student
  • Northwestern University
    Physics, 2011 - present
  • Harbin Institute of Technology
    Electronic Sci&Tech++Applied Physics, 2012
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