Professor helps study signals from space

December 19, 2011 | Vince Moore

shutterstock_138660212
shutterstock_138660212
shutterstock_138660212

by Vince Moore, Media Relations Director

David Moffett, Associate Professor of Physics at Furman, played a key role in the process that led to two highly specialized receivers being mounted onto radio telescopes last week at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), in Transylvania County, N.C.

Faculty and students at UNC-Asheville and Furman, as well as PARI staff, have spent six years designing and constructing the new instrument for studying signals from space. The two custom-built receivers, each mounted on PARI’s 26-meter radio telescopes, will be linked using specialized, high-speed computers to create a complex piece of equipment called an interferometer.

Moffett, who teaches physics and astronomy at Furman, collaborates with faculty from UNC-Asheville, and staff at the Pisgah Astronomical Institute.  He is manager of Furman’s Timmons Planetarium, and his research interests include the study of supernova remnants, pulsars, and the promotion of astronomy through education and outreach.  He also serves as the Physics Department’s pre-engineering dual-degree advisor.

Moffett joined the Furman faculty in 1999.  He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from North Carolina State University, and his Ph.D. from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Read more in UNC-Asheville news release