Building a Telescope, a drama in 21 Acts

Act 0 (anecdotal): In which the Builders catch the Aperture Fever and start to dream of mirrors large.

Act 1 (2008 July 22): In which the Builders acquire the Glass and first smell the Carborundum.

Act 2 (2008 July 30): In which the Glass is bevelled.

Act 3 (2008 August 1): In which the Builders observe a partial solar-eclipse.

Act 4 (2008 August 4): In which, after much work, the sagitta deepens to 2 mm.

Act 5 (2008 September 1): Birth of the pitch-lap.

Act 6 (2008 September 4): In which polishing begins and an early Ronchi-test is performed.

Act 7 (2008 September 28): In which the Focault-test is tried but the Builders yearn for something more quantitative.

Act 8 (2008 November 6): (tragic) In which a secondary-holder is turned on the New Lathe - only to be abandoned later.

Act 9 (2008 November 7): In which the builders cook-up a Bath Interferometer around a HeNe-laser.

Act 10 (2008 November 8 ): In which Interferograms are first photographed.

Act 11 (2008 November 18): In which the Builders inhale an inordinate amount of saw-dust and the Tube is born.

Act 12 (2008 December 2): In which the Interferometer's younger sibling is born.

Act 13 (2008 December 6): In which polishing continues.

Act 14 (2008 December 7): In which the Glass is polished spherical

Act 15 (2009 January 17): In which the Glass is figured to its final parabolic shape.

Act 16 (2009 January 17): In which the polishing tools are presented and make their exit.

Act 17 (2009 March 22): In which the Builders travel to a Big Telescope and preach of Interferometry to crowds.

Act 18 (2009 April 9): Birth of the Mirror Mount.

Act 19 (2009 June 12): In which the Tube acquires a colour reminiscent of much nobler tree-species.

Act  20 (2009 June 14): In which the Epoxy cures too fast and the Builders curse.

Act 21 (2009 July 2): (triumphant!) In which the focuser and spider are aquainted with the Tube, and the First Light is seen.

Tags:

Leave a Reply