Interferometers and Aperture Synthesis
Using diffraction theory we have shown that the angular resolution of a radio telescope is δ ~ λ/D where δ is the smallest angular separation which two point sources can have in order to be recognized as separate objects, λ is the wavelength of the radiation received, and D is the diameter of the telescope. A numerical factor of order unity depends on the details of the telescope construction. In order to improve this angular resolution, for a given wavelength, the diameter D of the telescope must be increased. Materials limit the size of a single telescope to ~300m.
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