Preparations and experimental details 1971–1974

  • Brian Harold May


This chapter details the preparations for making the radial velocity measurements, and the manner in which observations were actually performed. It includes the choice of wavelength and resolving power, the site, the building of the observatory, and the construction of the Fabry-Perot Interference Spectrometer – its optics, control electronics, counting electronics, calibration equipment, and information output devices. The optimisation of the instrument is then described, and finally the techniques of operation are detailed, in the two observing periods during which my data were collected. In the following sections it should be noted that I inherited a system used in the experiments of Reay and Ring, but it soon became apparent that this was subject to inherent shortcomings and unreliabilities, and in any case needed substantial changes to operate at a new wavelength in a new, purpose-built observatory. My first year of work on the PhD was spent in redesigning and rebuilding the optics and electronics for an essentially new Fabry-Perot system, featuring a number of important improvements, which will become apparent below.


Free Spectral Range Clock Pulse Nand Gate Entrance Aperture Pressure Controller 
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Copyright information

© Brian May 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Harold May
    • 1
  1. 1.Astrophysics Group Department of PhysicsImperial CollegeLondonUK

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