Modified on Wednesday, 17-Dec-2014 10:21:21 EST by Ellen Bouton
Nan Dieter Conklin: A Life in Science
by N.D. Conklin, © 2001
UC Berkeley: Recombination Line
In 1967 the Berkeley 85-foot telescope was no longer one of the large instruments in the world, but its very sensitive receivers could yield significant results. The receiver at 1600 MHz developed for the OH-radiation could also be used to study line emission from ionized hydrogen in galactic nebulae. I carried out a survey of 39 of these objects to study both the structure of the galaxy and the internal conditions in these nebulae. Such a survey does not have the excitement of a new discovery, but contributes to the slow buildup of information of a statistical nature, and occasionally turns up something unexpected. In this case the new information provided a challenge to one of the assumptions usually made in studying these objects. A method for determining their temperature included the assumption that it was uniform throughout, but this survey showed that the assumption led consistently to too low a value of the temperature. In fact, the observations suggested that the temperature decreased from the center outwards.