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University Laboratories Develop New Amplifier


University scientists have developed a new amplifier which may extend the range of radio telescopes 10 times farther out in space, it was announced yesterday. This device, developed in the Gordon McKay Laboratory of Applied Science, may enable men to "hear" the radiation from hydrogen clouds in galaxies beyond the range of any present instruments.

Dr. Nicholas Bloembergen '41, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, Dr. J. O. Artman, Research Fellow in Applied Physics, and Sidney Shapiro '53, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, discoverers of the new amplifier, first operated the device in a laboratory test last Saturday.

Thomas Gold, professor of Astronomy, states that the telescope, equipped with the new amplifier, should provide a test of cosmological theories such as the theory of the expanding universe and be able to confirm or deny the existence of hydrogen gas between the galaxies.

University scientists plan to apply the amplifier to the radio telescope as soon as possible. "The job cannot be done immediately," Gold added, "because of the complicated and experimental nature of the device."

Success on 21 cm Band

"Maser," the technical name for the amplifier, is not the first of its kind, but the University's maser is the first to run successfully in the twenty-one centimeter wavelength band--the frequency of emission from interstellar hydrogen.

Since the maser operates on the 21 centimeter wavelength band, it can detect galactic signals 1000 times weaker than those detected by current equipment.

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