The trouble with the sort of experimental science that I do is that you tend to go a while between publications. The vast majority of your time being consumed by, for instance, making sure that your telescope doesn't turn right in response to a command to go up. (So far as I know, it doesn't.) This is in marked contrast to my observer friends down the hall, who appear to spend more time trying to corral their results into papers than they do actually obtaining said results. On the third hand, I have no clear idea of how exactly the theorists upstairs spend their days, except that it seems to involve more coffee than the rest of us put together.

Point being, last year I successfully scored another paper, which came out this month. By all means check out the January issue of Applied Optics if you're into that sort of thing. Here's the abstract, with the full PDF text available from there as well.

"Comparison of the crossed and the Gregorian Mizuguchi-Dragone for wide-field millimeter-wave astronomy" by H. Tran, A. Lee, S. Hanany, M. Milligan, and T. Renbarger grew out of some work I was involved in a couple of years back when we were hammering out the optical design for the EBEX telescope. We found that a wide swath of the design space could be collapsed down to a choice between two different classes of telescope geometry, and that the pros and cons of that choice weren't well understood, at least for millimeter-waves. These frequencies roughly straddle the worlds of radio astronomy (where telescopes are designed using well understood principles of antenna physics) and optical astronomy (which relies upon the similarly well understood field of optics). As a result, to really understand the trade-offs, we needed to consider both worlds. Add to that the fact that we're interested in really high-precision polarization measurements, which is considered a rather quirky subfield on its own. Then it's easy to understand how we'd stumbled onto a problem that had barely been considered before, but has become quite important in recent years as the significance to cosmology of the polarization of the CMB has been recognized, and numerous teams have joined the race to observe it.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on January 16, 2008 3:22 PM.

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