FAST: 观天巨眼

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 Time:  Monday, December 19, 2016, 07:00pm
 Title:  FAST: 观天巨眼
 Speaker:  Di Li (NAOC)



The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) opened its 'eye' on September 25, 2016, the exact date promised by the project team more than five and a half years ago. One of the so-called national 'mega'-science projects, the successful construction of FAST is a testament to the ever-growing industrial infrastructure of China, the determination of the central government to develop modern science, and last but not the least, to the visionary and persevering efforts lasting more than two decades from all members of the FAST project. Now it is up to all Chinese astronomers to realize its science potential in a timely manner, mindful of both the kind wishes from our national leaders and also the paramount challenges of commissioning a pioneering facility with a relatively unexperienced team.

FAST will lead the world in terms of absolute sensitivity for radio astronomy below 3 GHz. I will introduce the immediate plans for scientific observation with FAST, focusing on three aspects 1)the 21cm hyperfine transition of hydrogen atoms, which is traces significant amount of the cosmic baryons, much more massive than all visible stars and galaxies; 2)pulsed emission from neutron stars, which have extremely high density and spin at relativistic speed. Observation of pulsars can test general relativity and is expected to provide new detection of gravitational wave in a few years; 3)Molecular spectral lines, which help reveal the origin of stars, planets, and life. Furthermore, I will touch on the challenges in
data storage and processing, associated with a data rate between 1 to 10 Terabytes per hour. Finally, the potential for revolutionary breakthroughs in the known unknown and unknown unknowns will be discussed, in terms of, e.g. the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

Slides: Di Li.pdf