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Homemade Cosmic Microwave Background detector

  1. Nov 20, 2015 #1
    Hi Guys,

    I studied physics for my bachelor but still I am not a super expert, although I am still working closely to physics (but not so much astronomy).

    I was wondering if it would be possible to build a radio, or some other devise (any ideas?) that could be tuned at the frequency where the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is at its maximum. That would, in principle lead to a small bump in the noise heard, right? Or is it so subtel that, even in place with low external noise it would not be percievable?

    The CMB peak is at a wavelength of 1.87 mm. The usual radio FM wave length is around 3 meters.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be useful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I always thought old TVs would do.
  4. Nov 20, 2015 #3


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    The CMB was first discovered by engineers at Bell Labs with a "home made" device.
  5. Nov 20, 2015 #4


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    would be VERY difficult with out really specialist equip

    1.87mm = 160 GHz ( round figs)
    compared to FM broadcast
    3m = 100MHz

    I have used/built gear up to 24 GHz and that is difficult
    some of my fellow radio operators have built gear up to 48 and 76 GHz, and that is EXTREMELY difficult
    160 GHz is another whole new ball game again

    so without a BIG dish antenna, serious test gear and lots of expert help, the short answer would be no
    The other thing I haven't googled yet is if 160 GHz even penetrates the atmosphere and can be received at ground level
    of if it can only be received from outside the earth's atmosphere ... ie. an orbiting satellite observatory ??

  6. Nov 20, 2015 #5


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    True, but it is not a small piece of equipment:
  7. Nov 20, 2015 #6


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    and note where they worked and what they were
    There weren't the avg joe blogs

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