It's full of Pulsars

Posted on Sun 12 November 2006 in geek

I spent the day at Jodrell Bank on a tour of the facility. It was all good science geek stuff with a fair dash of engineering thrown in. In computational terms they are dealing with massive amounts of data at very high speeds. The new fibre optic link that is being built to link their MERLIN array will operate at a bandwidth of around 30 Gbits/s. It was impressive how a their measurements are working so close to background noise and how they get around that with clever processing. They were quite proud at how good their sensors are and how close to the limit of physics they are. The guy giving the talk and tour was very good going through the basics of the history up to the physics of their latest observations. He was particularly proud of the observation of the binary pulsar which supports General Relativity.