Principles of Radio Astronomy / Grundlagen der Radioastronomie

Vorlesung im Sommersemester 2022 (SS22), 2SWS, 2 Credit Points


Dr. Fabian Walter (MPIA)


This lecture will take place every Friday during the summer term, from 9:15-10:45am (dates below).


R106 / Philosophenweg 12


Registration via email -- please contact


This Lecture will be given in English.

Credit points:

Required credit points can be obtained at the end of the term via oral examinations.


In this lecture, we will discuss the principles of radio and millimeter astronomy. This field is progressing rapidly, thanks to new facilities that reach high sensitivities and resolutions, such as ALMA and MeerKat. We will discuss the physical processes that give rise to radio and millimeter wave emission, from star forming regions in the Milky Way to galaxies in the very young universe. A focus will also be the technology by which to capture radio and millimeter emission, including the concepts of radio and millimeter interferometry. A short outline is given below.

The physics behind radio astronomy
The electromagnetic spectrum from radio to sub-millimeter wavelengths
Radio and millimeter facilites: single dish telescopes and interferometers
Radio and millimeter instrumentation
Science applications, from the solar system to the cosmic microwave background


All times are Fridays, 9:15-10:45am

[1] Introduction and overview: Why radio and millimeter astronomy? PDF
[2] Radiation Fundamentals, Emission mechanisms PDF
[3] May 6: Atomic and Molecular Lines PDF
[4] Radiometers / Receivers I PDF
[5] Radiometers / Receivers II PDF
[6] Interferometry - Basics PDF
[7] Interferometry - Imaging I PDF
[8] Interferometry - Imaging II PDF
[9] Interferometry - Calibration, The next generation of Interferometers I PDF
[10] The next generation of Interferometers II + Applications I (EHT) PDF
[11] Applications II + Satellite Constellations PDF
[11_2] First JWST results PDF
Written Exam: July 22, 2022, 9:15am R106 / Philosophenweg 12