Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Via slashdot : A BBC report on the OWL telescope that is conceivably going to be built, most likely in the Andes. The idea of a 100m mirror is simply awe inspiring, given that the largest telescopes in existence now are a little over 10m. This improves what we can see in the universe by a tremendous scale. (Potentially you can see things that are a hundredth of the brightness at the same distance than the best telescope today). This is what happens when you reach a critical point in materials science and computing (both to design and control the thing) at the same time. (Actually the materials science is also largely a spinoff of developments in computing. This is what happens. The computer is invented in the 1950s. It takes a few decades for the impact of this to filter through all sorts of things. And then, suddenly, near miraculous things become possible.

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