On December 10th local time, the Nobel Prize Awarding Ceremony was held in the Swedish capital Stockholm. More than 1,500 representatives from the Swedish royal family, political circles, business circles and cultural circles attended the ceremony held at the Stockholm Concert Hall.
The three scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Clark Barish and Kip Stephen Thorne won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their decisive contribution to the study of gravitational waves, which made the study of gravitational waves also entered the public vision once again at the same time.
In Physics, gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime that are propagated as waves outward from radiation source. Gravitational waves transport energy as gravitational radiation. In 1916, based on the General Theory of Relativity, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. For over a century, scientists have been tirelessly exploring ways to prove the existence of gravitational waves. Finally, on February 11th, 2016, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo team announced that they had made the first observation of gravitational signals from a pair of merging black holes by using their advanced LIGO detectors.
Although it lasts for a century from its prediction to verification, scientists have never stopped exploring the gravitational waves. Our country started to study gravitational waves in the 1970s. In 2008, under the impetus of Academician Hu Wenrui from the National Microgravity Laboratory for Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Working Group on Space Gravity Wave Detection of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was set up and the study of gravitational waves in China officially started.
At present, there are mainly several means of detecting gravitational waves: Advanced LIGO, VIRGO, LISA, eLISA, etc., Pulsar Timing Array, B-mode polarization of CMB (cosmic microwave background) radiation, etc. At the same time that the LIGO detector started to operate, China started to build FAST, the world's largest radio telescope. However, the working principles of them are not the same: LIGO uses laser interference, while FAST adopts pulsar timing array. On the same day of the Nobel Prize Awarding Ceremony (December 10th), China's FAST radio telescope announced that the number of pulsars discovered in China had increased to nine.
Unlike LIGO (Laser Interference Gravitational Wave Observatory), FAST covers wider fields. According to scientists, pulsars are the natural extreme physical laboratories in the universe. At present, four basic interactions (gravitational interaction, electromagnetic interaction, strong interaction and weak interaction) recognized by the physics community are just the study of pulsar; Breakthroughs can be made in the first three interactions. It is noteworthy that the high stability of pulsar rotation can be compared with that of atomic clock (the required timing tool in demanding production and scientific research) and is praised as the most stable astronomical clock in nature. The future is worth looking forward to; you can use the pulsar rotation period to give more accurate timing standards. And pulsars can also be used to navigate, not to navigate the car on the ground, but to navigate the spaceship in space.
The three scientists won the Nobel Prize for the study of gravitational waves, which regarded as an iconic event in the study of the universe. The present scientific research is the manifestation of the power of a country and stands on the shoulders of the scientific community formed by a large number of scientists and based on the continuous exploration results. As one of the state nine science and technology infrastructures, FAST has the requirements of “astronomical” storage and high efficient and precise computing. For this purpose, Sugon deployed dedicated petaflop HPC for FAST HPC data center, which contributes world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope to explore the vast universe.
The future scientific research is developing towards polarization, such as from nanotechnology to astrophysical universe. Therefore, during the process of research, enterprises and institutions from each chain of computing, observation and analysis need to work and innovate together. As the China’s leading enterprise in the field of computing, Sugon will continue to innovate and promote Chinese scientific research to a new level with advanced computing.