Na­tion makes fast progress in sci­en­tific drive: No­bel Physi­cist

Global Times US Edition - - BIZOVE -

The de­vel­op­ment of China’s sci­en­tific re­search has been marked by speed and qual­ity, es­pe­cially in the past five years, and the eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits will fol­low soon, Ger­ard Mourou, 2018 Physics No­bel Prize win­ner, said in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

“You’re go­ing in­cred­i­bly fast, which is good. Peo­ple in the West can’t be­lieve how fast you are mov­ing,” Mourou told the Global Times in an in­ter­view.

Mourou, , who is French, was in Bei­jing to speak at Pho­ton­ics Asia 2018, an event that is jointly or­ga­nized by the Chi­nese Op­ti­cal So­ci­ety (COS) and the International So­ci­ety for Op­tics and Pho­ton­ics (SPIE).

As a pioneer in the field of elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing and lasers, Mourou has been work­ing closely with Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the field closely. The lat­est de­vel­op­ments of the Shanghai Su­per­in­tense Ul­tra­fast Lasers Fa­cil­ity, a large-scale laser ma­chine that could cre­ate spe­cial con­di­tions for re­search and has prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions, have brought him to China sev­eral times in past three years.

“Pro­fes­sor Mourou was in China last month and in 2015. He cre­ated a sim­i­lar pro­gram in the EU. The ul­tra-short pulse laser pro­gram in Shanghai is go­ing 100 PW,” said Doc­tor Gu Bo, deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the COS.

“Europe was ahead. Now, Chi­nese are re­ally catch­ing up,” Mourou said. “Ob­vi­ously, Shanghai has a big project of go­ing 100 PW. Europe’s big­gest project now is 10 PW. On the sci­en­tific ground, it’s very in­ter­est­ing.”

As to Mourou’s in­ter­est in co­op­er­a­tion, Li Ruxin, di­rec­tor of the Shanghai In­sti­tute of Op­tics and Fine Mechanics and deputy di­rec­tor of the COS, said that “we will start co­op­er­a­tion on high-in­ten­sity sin­gle-cy­cle laser pulse re­search. If it goes well, we may start pro­ton ac­cel­er­a­tion re­search.”

The in­ven­tion for which Mourou is best known is the tech­nique of chirped pulse am­pli­fi­ca­tion of ul­tra­short op­ti­cal pulses, which has been ap­plied in can­cer therapy and eye surgery.

“Prod­ucts or out­comes in these ap­pli­ca­tions will fol­low soon, and this will give the Chi­nese econ­omy new power,” Mourou added.

The core of China’s in­dus­trial up­grad­ing is in­tel­li­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing, and the core of in­tel­li­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing is pho­ton­ics tech­niques, Gu noted.

The prospects of ba­sic sci­ence are un­pre­dictable. China’s pho­ton­ics ap­pli­ca­tions ac­count for one-fifth of the world to­tal. “It’s promis­ing,” Gu said.

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