Types of Discovery
The SKA will give one an opportunity to uncover that which we don’t yet know. But in order to appreciate this knowledge, we must first understand epistemology. That is, we must study how we know what we do and don’t know and whether we can claim to know what we know for sure.
The SKA will provide us with new knowledge as well as improving our depth of understanding for that which we claim to already know. It will be allow us to do this through the sheer scale of the information it will be able to analyse (Giavelisco, 2004). Because it will be up to fifty times more accurate than any other telescope we have at our disposal at present (van der Lust, 2004) through the reduction in background “noise” it will experience, it will allow us to examine the universe in unprecedented detail. Thus, it is predicted that we may be able to better trace cosmic evolution, better test the theory of general relativity, and more deeply understand the notion of spacetime itself (Garrett, 2002).
Examples of new knowledge in fields about phenomena which we know we do not know include asteroids approaching the Earth from the direction of the sun and those from the Kuiper –belt (Ferguson, 2002). Also, knowledge about the accuracy of the HI mass function we use to predict redshift in developing galaxies which is useful in the study of dark matter and galaxy evolution (van der Lust, 2004). Further data could be sought about why very old and dull galaxies emit radiation of low frequencies and whether this really can be explained by supermassive black holes and the centre of these distant galaxies (Hogg, 2004). Information on magnetized parts of galaxies and binary pulsars could be used to examine how gravity affects the workings of globular clusters of galaxies. This could be used to probe the surroundings of the environment and behaviour of spacetime around the black hole Sgr A* (Hopkins, 2000). The increased accuracy of the telescope could be used to further vindicate the “Big Bang...