Prospectuses 2011-2012
Radboud universityProspectusesFaculty of Science > Bachelor Natuur- en Sterrenkunde

Radio Astronomy 

Course ID
third quarter
Teaching methods
  • 16 hrs lecture
  • 10 hrs student project
  • 16 hrs problem session
First year physics and astrophysics
  • the student will understand the basics of radio astronomy
  • the student will understand the physics of interferometry and its application in radio astronomy
  • the student will understand the application of radio astronomy in modern astrophysics in general
  • the student will be able to use the radio interferometer for (simple) radio observations

Radio astronomy is one of the strong points of Dutch astronomy, starting shortly after the second world war with the construction of the Dwingeloo telescope and continuing to the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope and now LOFAR.  The application of radio astronomy in astrophysics are wide and varies, ranging from the measurement of neutral hydrogen in galaxies to the timing of pulsars, and their use as ultrastationary clocks to detect passing gravitational waves. Radio astronomy is currently going through a big technological revival with the introduction of phased arrays such as LOFAR, which is now operational and the additional of focal plane arrays in traditional telescopes such as the Westerbork array. The course will give a basic overview of the practice and mathematical foundation of radio astronomy and in particular of radio-interfereometry. Students will practice basic radio-interferometric observations with the two-dish interferometer located on the roof of the Huygens building.



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