Tenerife Experiment

Tenerife Experiment

Tenerife Experiment

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The Tenerife Experiment was a Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiment built by Jodrell Bank of the University of Manchester and in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC). It was installed and run at the Observatorio del Teide in Tenerife in 1984 and ran with various upgrades and additional experiments until 2000. Contact was made with the Instituto de Astrof√≠sica de Canarias (IAC) which had shown that the Teide Observatory was an ideal site for infra-red observations. An agreement was arrived at and the first radiometer (10 GHz) was installed in 1984 and so was born the Tenerife Experiment.

It measured anisotropy of the CMB on angular sizes of 5 degrees, about the size of the upper half of the constellation of Orion (from the "belt" to the "shoulders"). To reduce receiver instability, it performed fast Dicke Switching between two horns separated by 8 degrees. To remove long term drifts and atmospheric variations, it used a further switch of 8 degrees using a flat mirror in front of the horns.

There were three radiometers working at 10.45, 14.9 and 32.5 GHz (i.e. 3, 2 and 1 cm in wavelength) at the Teide Observatory, Tenerife. This allowed the identification of CMB and galactic signals since the thermal black body CMB signal has the same temperature at these frequencies, whereas galactic signals rapidally drop with frequency.

In 1994, the discovery of the "thermal footprints" in the fossil...
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