China Grew Two Cotton Leaves on the Moon

IEEE Spectrum  September 30, 2019 The experiment began shortly after China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first ever landing on the far side of the moon, on 3 January this year. Cotton, arabidopsis and potato seeds, fruit-fly eggs and yeast were all aboard the 2.6-kilogram mini biosphere, but only the cotton produced positive results. Image processing has now shown that two cotton leaves had grown. All the species died with the onset of the first lunar night, with no power to protect the canister from temperatures that reached as low as minus 190 degrees Celsius. The cotton leaves were dead within […]

China’s next big thing: a new fourth-generation synchrotron facility in Beijing

Physics World  August 15, 2019 As China emerged on the global scientific stage it was keen to get in on the act. It therefore built the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BSRF) – the country’s first such light source when it opened in 1991. Still operating, the BSRF is limited compared to other synchrotrons. After the BSRF, two more synchrotron sources were built in China. The HEPS will, however, be the country’s first fourth-generation synchrotron source – and one of only a handful of such facilities around the world. It will have even brighter beams using a still more advanced magnet […]

Debating China’s BRI and Being Home to the Next Silicon Valley

Next Big Future  March 18, 2019 China’s Belt and Road has some questionable economic return potential. However, the Belt and Road is providing geopolitical returns. It has successful projects in Pakistan, Greece and some other countries. The projects are boosting the volume of trade with the countries in the Belt and Road. China is already second to the United States in large technology companies and second in billion+ dollar technology unicorn companies. Shenzhen is the location of this new silicon valley… read more.

China Is Reportedly Building a Solar Power Station in Space

Science Alert  February 2019 China has plans to launch a test facility before 2025, pursuing space-based clean energy showing that China is committed to its ongoing push towards using more renewable energy and asserting its place among global leaders in space. The plan is to have solar arrays in space capture light from the sun and then beam electricity down to a facility on Earth in the form of a microwave or a laser. If the launch goes well and the energy-transmitting beam works like it is supposed to, the Chinese scientists have plans to test and launch bigger and […]

The man turning China into a quantum superpower

MIT Technology Review  December 19, 2018 An international team of scientists (Austria, China) made possible an unhackable videoconference between Vienna and Beijing. They include a plan to create a globe-­­spanning constellation of satellites that constitute a super-secure quantum internet. As funding for government programs is opaque, it could be $1.1 billilon. In spite of this China still trails the US in quantum computing. If China thinks the technology could give it a military edge, it might pull back on international collaborations and keep innovations to itself. Close coordination between Chinese government research groups, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the […]

China’s giant ultra-high voltage grid is ambitious as its high speed rail

Next Big Future  November 9, 2018 A 100-mile power line at 765 kilovolt carrying 1000 MW of power can have losses of 1.1% to 0.5%. China’s 1.1 megavolt line can have power losses that 10 to 20 times less than 345 kilovolt lines. When fully operational the link will be capable of transporting 12,000 megawatts of electricity over 3,000 km. China’s high voltage grid will be nearly 23,000 miles long. It will be able to deliver about 150 gigawatts of electricity. This is roughly the output of 150 nuclear reactors. In a study published in Nature in 2016, it was […]

New moon: China to launch lunar lighting in outer space  October 19, 2018 Researchers in China are developing “illumination satellites” which will shine in tandem with the real moon but are eight times brighter. By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas. If the first test goes well three more to follow in 2022. The extraterrestrial source of light could also help rescue efforts in disaster zones during blackouts. In the 1990s, Russian scientists reportedly used giant mirrors to reflect light from space in an experimental project called Znamya or Banner… read more.

The 2018 Physics World Special Report on China is out now

Physics World  September 14, 2018 In this year’s report  – the fourth Physics World special report on physics in China following publications in 2011 , 2016 and 2017  – Physics World examines a recent document released by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China which indicates a new shift in emphasis in China’s talent-recruitment drive. Through the new policy, the Chinese government is ramping up its quest to attract non-Chinese scientists, recognizing that the country needs to foster a more collaborative approach to become truly innovative. Foreign scientists are frustrated by career progression in China because they are denied new […]