Why the SKA on National Mathematics Day 2011?
National Mathematics Day is about celebrating mathematics, so in 2011, our theme is some of the mathematics in one of the great scientific adventures of our times.
Mathematics is sometimes described as the “queen of the sciences”. Astronomy is one of the most ancient of the sciences, yet it is also one of the most modern. From the earliest times, humans have been fascinated by what they see in the sky -- and they have used mathematics to help explain and predict what they find.
The design of the SKA itself has mathematical features. The radio telescopes (dishes) will be in the shape of paraboloids. Half of the 3000 or so dishes will be randomly arrayed within a central core region. The remaining dishes will be logarithmically positioned in groups along five spiral arms.