Key Vocabulary

A group of telescopes that is coordinated to observe a particular target.

Cystic Fibrosis
A hereditary disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to collect in the lungs, resulting in clogged lungs, lung infections and the inability to break down and absorb food due to pancreatic obstruction.

Electromagnetic spectrum
The range of frequencies, from radio waves to gamma rays, that characterizes light.

Gamma ray burst
A burst of gamma rays from space lasting from a fraction of a second to many minutes. There is no clear scientific consensus as to their cause. Recently, their distances were determined to be large, placing the origins of the bursts in other galaxies.

The apparent enlargement of an object by an optical instrument.

An instrument that makes enlarged images of minute objects by using lenses and light, radiations other than light or vibrations

Studies mechanical, electrical, magnetic and other properties at a small scale that differ from properties of the same material in larger quantities. A nano-meter is one billionth of a meter. The scale under study is at a range of 1-100 nanometers.

Controlling matter in the range of 1-100 nanometers in an effort to create new products and applications.

PROMPT (Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescopes)
Six telescopes in Chile that were made to observe the afterglows of gamma ray bursts.

A proportion between two sets of measurements or a distinctive relative size, extent, or degree.

A usually tube-shaped optical device for viewing distant objects using refraction of light rays through a lens or reflection of light rays by a concave mirror.

Dr. Michael Falvo, UNC Deptartment of Physics and Astronomy