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TheoryofOrbits (2 volumes)
Volume 1: Integrable Systems
and Non-perturbative Methods
Volume 2: Perturbative
and Geometrical Methods
By D. Boccaletti and G. Pucacco

Tools of Radio Astronomy 3rd Edition


By K. Rohlfs and T. 1. Wilson
Tools of Radio Astronomy
Problems and Solutions
By T. 1. Wilson and S. Hiittemeister

The Solar System 2nd Edition


By T. Encrenaz and J.-P. Bibring

Atoms in Strong Magnetic Fields


Quantum Mechanical Treatment
and Applications in Astrophysics
and Quantum Chaos
By H. Ruder, G. Wunner, H. Herold
andE Geyer

The Physics and Dynamics


of Planetary Nebulae By G. A. Gurzadyan

TheStars
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ByM.Harwit

Cosmic Ray Astrophysics By R. Schlickeiser

Galaxies and Cosmology


By E Combes, P. Boisse, A. Mazure
and A. Blanchard

Stellar Structure and Evolution


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(2 volumes)
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and High Energy Astrophysics
Volume II: Space, Time, Matter
and Cosmology
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Observational Astrophysics 2nd Edition
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Galaxy Formation By M. S. Longair

Gravitational Lenses
By P. Schneider, J. Ehlers and E. E. Falco
Relativity in Astrometry, Celestial Mechanics
and Geodesy By M. H. Soffel
The Sun An Introduction By M. Stix
Galactic and Extragalactic Radio Astronomy
2ndEdition
Editors: G.1. Verschuur and K.1. Kellermann
Reflecting Telescope Optics (2 volumes)
Volume 1: Basic Design Theory
and its Historical Development
Volume II: Manufacture, Testing, Alignment,
Modern Techniques
ByR.N. Wilson

General Relativity, Astrophysics,


and Cosmology
By A. K. Raychaudhuri, S. Banerji
and A. Banerjee

Series homepage - http://www.springer.de/phys/books/aal

T. L. Wilson

S. Hiittemeister

Tools of
Radio Astronomy
Problems and Solutions
With 36 Figures and 8 Tabies

Springer

Dr. Thomas 1. Wilson


University of Arizona
Steward Observatory
Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
and
Max -Planck -Institut fiir Radioastronomie
Auf dem Hiigel69
53121 Bonn, Germany

Dr. Susanne Hiittemeister


Universitt Bonn
Radioastronomisches Institut
Auf dem Hiigel71
53121 Bonn, Germany

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data applied for.


Die deutsche Bibliothek - CIP-Einheitsaufnahme
Wilson, Thomas L.: Tools of radio astronomy : problems and solutions ; with 8 tab les /
T. L. Wilson ; S. Hiittemeister. - Berlin; Heidelberg; New York;
Barcelona ; Hong Kong ; London ; Milan ; Paris; Singapore; Tokyo:
Springer, 2000
(Astronomy and astrophysics library)
ISBN 978-3-540-66802-2

Cover picture: The Heinrich-Hertz-Telescope on MI. Graham, Arizona, USA. It is operated by the Submillimeter
Telescrope Observatory on behalf of the Steward Observatory, the University of Arizona, and the Max-PlanckInstitut fUr Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany.

ISSN 0941-7834
ISBN 978-3-540-66802-2

ISBN 978-3-642-57001-8 (eBook)

DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-57001-8

This work is subject to copyright. Ali rights are reserved, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned,
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German Copyright Law.
11:> Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000
Originally published by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York in 2000

The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in
the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations
and therefore free for general use.
Typesetting: Data conversion by Steingraeber Satztechnik GmbH, Heidelberg
Cover design: design & production GmbH, Heidelberg
Printed on acid-free paper

SPIN: 10654908

55/3144/tr - 5 43 21 0

Preface

This book of problems and solutions is an extension of the text 'Tools of


Radio Astronomy', second edition (hereafter 'Tools') by Rohlfs and Wilson
(Springer-Verlag, 1996). Our perspective is that the orders of magnitude, typical estimates and the basic understanding which one needs in observational
radio astronomy can be learned only by practice; this means problem solving. Since there are only a few solved problems in 'Tools' itself, we decided to
compose a set of ",200 problems (many multi-part) which applies the principles set forth in 'Tools'. In addition, we wanted to give the flavor of the
current state of radio astronomy, showing what is possible. We have tried to
select examples from all branches of radio astronomy. This is done to achieve
a 'practice-oriented' presentation which makes use of current instrumental
parameters and our present-day understanding of source parameters. These
problems can be considered as astronomical applications of the basic physics
encountered at the level of final-year undergraduates.
The problems are arranged according to the order of the chapters in
'Tools'. Usually the material is presented following the presentation in the
corresponding chapter in 'Tools'. In chapters where a number of different topics are covered, there are subsections arranged by topic. In cases where the
problems are more complex than usual, these have been divided into subsets.
The problems themselves are of two types:
Exercises which are a direct application of the material presented in the
text. If use of specific equations in 'Tools' is needed, these are given the
first time.
An extension of material or an alternative presentation of material III
'Tools'. This type of problem is identified by an asterisk (*).
We have made use of a number of texts dealing with the interstellar
medium, electromagnetic theory and modern physics. Where applicable, relevant texts or original literature citations are given. The general references for
each chapter are to be found in 'Tools'; we have not repeated these references
here.
We acknowledge the advice from co-workers, especially W.J. Altenhoff
(Max-Planck-Institut fur Radioastronomie) and R. Mauersberger (Steward
Observatory, University of Arizona and lRAM, Granada, Spain). Professor

VI

Preface

J.M. Moran (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) has given TLW


access to his lecture notes and problem sets. TLW thanks Profs. L.B. Snyder,
R.J. Allen, N. Panagia, G. Coyne, S.J. and C. Corbally, S.J. for their hospitality during the preparation of this work; he gratefully acknowledges partial
financial support from the Astronomy Department, University of Illinois, Urbana, as well as the Miller Professorship from the G.A. Miller Foundation
at the University of Illinois, Urbana, from NASA as a Guest Scientist at the
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, and the Vatican Summer
School. Mr. W. Fusshoeller and Mr. G. Engelein of MPIfR, Bonn, helped
with the preparation of figures. S. Lake (SMTO) helped to check the text.
A recurring problem is the choice of units. Astronomers prefer the CGS
system, whereas practical work is greatly facilitated by using MKS units
such as volts and amperes. We have tried to use the simplest approach in all
situations. We hope that our approach is clear, and that the choice of units
has not caused confusion. A collection of quantities with the usual symbols,
and in the appropriate (mostly CGS) units, is given below. These will be
needed thoughout this book. The relation of CGS and other systems of units
can be found in the Appendix of J.D. Jackson's 'Classical Electrodynamics'
(Wiley 1975).
Tucson
Bonn, January 2000

T.L. Wilson
S. Huttemeister

Some Relevant Physical Constants


velocity of light
gravitational constant
Planck's constant
charge of the electron
mass of the electron
mass of the proton
Boltzmann's constant
Avogadro's number
1 electron volt
Stefan-Boltzmann constant

G
h
e
me
mp
k

NA
eV
(J

2.997925 X 10 10 cms- 1
6.67 x 10- 8 dyne cm 2 g-1
6.626 x 10- 27 erg s
4.80325 x 10- 10 electrostatic units
9.10956 x 10- 28 g
1.672661 X 10- 24 g
1.38062 X 10- 16 erg degree- 1
6.02217 x 10 23 mole- 1
1.609 x 10-12 erg
5.6692 x 10- 5 erg cm- 2 degree- 4 S-1

Some Relevant Astronomical Constants


astronomical unit
parsec
light year
mass of the Sun
radius of the Sun
luminosity of the Sun
mass of the earth
radius of the earth (equator)
mass of the Galaxy

AU
pc
It yr

M0
R0
L0

Me

Re

MMilkyWay

1.45979 X 10 13 cm
3.085678 x 10 18 cm
9.460530 x 10 17 cm
1.989 x 1033 g
6.9599 X 10 10 cm
3.826 x 1033 erg S-1
5.976 x 10 27 g
6378.164km
"-'1011 M 0

Contents

1.

Radio Astronomical Fundamentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.

Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Fundamentals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.

Wave Polarization. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 11

4.

Signal Processing and Receivers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

5.

Fundamentals of Antenna Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 27

6.

Filled Aperture Antennas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 29

7.

Interferometers and Aperture Synthesis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 35

8.

Observational Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 39

9.

Emission Mechanisms of Continuous Radiation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 45

15

10. Some Examples of Thermal and Non-thermal Radio Sources. . . . .. 49


11. Spectral Line Fundamentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 53
12. Line Radiation of Neutral Hydrogen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 55
13. Recombination Lines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 63
14. Molecules in Interstellar Space. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 71
15. Solutions for Chapter 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 79
16. Solutions for Chapter 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 85
17. Solutions for Chapter 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 89
18. Solutions for Chapter 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 91
19. Solutions for Chapter 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 99

Contents

20. Solutions for Chapter 6

101

21. Solutions for Chapter 7

107

22. Solutions for Chapter 8

113

23. Solutions for Chapter 9

119

24. Solutions for Chapter 10

123

25.

129

Solutions for Chapter 11

26. Solutions for Chapter 12

133

27. Solutions for Chapter 13

143

28. Solutions for Chapter 14

151

Index

159