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The Yuan-Tseh Lee Array for Microwave Background Anisotropy (AMiBA) is a forefront instrument for research in the field of cosmology. It is an interferometer operating at 3mm wavelength to study arcminute-scale fluctuation in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. In addition to the primordial fluctuation, AMiBA can also detect perturbation to the CMB photons by galaxy clusters along the line of sight. The perturbation happens when hot electrons that reside in the deep gravitational potential scatters and transfer energy to the cold CMB photons. This perturbation, called the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect, is directly related to the density and temperature of the hot gas, which traces the underlying dark matter distribution, and is complementary to information derived from X-ray, gravitational lensing, and kinematic observations of the galaxy cluster.
As the first major international astronomical project lead by Taiwan, the AMiBA is also the first and the only CMB telescope for Asia. It established experimental cosmology as a viable field in Taiwan, assembled a team capable of leading, designing, and building frontier instruments. Young students, engineers, and faculty, have been trained, cultivated, and mentored for Taiwan.
AMiBA is designed, constructed, and operated by ASIAA, with major collaborations with the National Taiwan University Electrical Engineering (NTUEE) and Physics (NTUP) Departments, and the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF). Additional contributions were also provided by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The construction of AMiBA includes a novel hexapod mount, a carbon fiber platform, carbon fiber reflectors, low-noise receivers, a broadband correlator, sensitive and stable electronics, a retractable cover, site infrastructures, and software development.