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Proposed Facility

Clearly, what we need is a really large and sensitive radio telescope that can observe gas in the high redshift universe, using 21cm radiation. This will not be easy: the signals will be very faint and susceptible to interference, as the redshifted wavelengths of 21cm are crowded with commercial transmissions.

The solution is to go to a very large collecting area: one square kilometer, and to use fancy nulling techniques to screen out interference. This will not be easy or cheap, but a one square kilometer telescope (called the 1kT) would be an awesome instrument for studying the processes of galaxy formation. It promises to be the only technique that can study the motions of gas in the very early stages of galaxy formation, before the first stars light up.

Few of the people at this meeting seems to be radio astronomers, and so they may need to be persuaded of the manifest advantages of radio telescopes over optical in this type of research. Go out there and persuade them!

Paul Francis
Sun Aug 30 11:56:56 EST 1998