August, 2008

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Basic Science

A Major Step in Single Photon Horizontal Switch

Recently, with concerted efforts of the three research teams under the Institute of Physics, CAS, and Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, the theoretical experiment of ultra-fast all-optical switch, in which the weak light controls the strong beam, was completed successfully. The photon number injected was reduced to single photon, and the ultra-fast all-optical switch at single photon level was demonstrated in the experiment. The achievement was firstly published by APL 92(2008)151109 and later briefed by Nature Photonics, Vol. 2£¬331 (June 2008) in the column of Research Highlights. With All-optical Switching Single-photon Power as the title, the article commented that the ultra-fast all-optical switch is not limited by the time constant of traditional electronic switch, thus the significant progress of revolutionary nature in communication and information processing is hopefully to realize.

Progress in LAMOST to Attract Strong Repercussions

From June 23 to June 28, the SPIE Conference on Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008 was held in Marseille, France. On June 23 morning, Research Fellow Cui Xiangqun, Vice President of the National Astronomical Observatories and Director General of the Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology, made a special lecture entitled ¡°Preparing First Light of LAMOST¡±. The lecture briefed participants the latest progress and plan of LAMOST program; and emphatically expounded the process where the successful development of the LAMOST sub- system had laid solid foundation for the overall accomplishment of the program in 2008.

As a reflecting Schmidt telescope with a main telescope of 6.67m ¡Á 6.05m and a Schmidt corrector of 5.72m ¡Á4.4m, LAMOST has a field of 5 degrees and the spectrum of 4,000 celestial bodies can be observed simultaneously at the same time. After completion, it will become not only one telescope with the highest spectrum acquisition ratio, but also a wide field telescope with the largest caliber in the world.

Progress in Screening Biological Drugs by New Chip Mode

The research group headed by Qin Jianhua and Lin Bingcheng, research fellows of the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, has made new progress in screening high throughput drugs with the micro-fluidic chip as platform. The result was published in the latest issue of Lab on a Chip. With the upgraded high throughput liquid drops on the chip as micro-reactor and one kind of classical model organism Caenorhabditis elegans as object, the research firstly established the high throughput drug screening system of model organism based on liquid drop micro-fluidic chip to screen the drugs against neurodegenerative diseases with Parkinson¡¯s disease as representative.
When the research was published, it was soon reported by Chemical Biology as highlight. In the report, the comments made by Prof. N. Chronis, one famous scholar in the study of nematode in U. S. A. Michigan University, were as follow, ¡°the work is very encouraging. It can isolate one single nematode from the group, and the transportation is made one by one, which makes it extremely possible for people to accurately record the transient changes of one single nematode when receiving the stimulation of drugs, and provide an important platform to screen the high throughput drugs of model organism.¡±

Nano Materials See Series Novel Fruits

On July 6, the acceptance check was made on a special subject, the Research and Development of Nanometer Molecular Functional Materials under the Functional Nanometer Materials Program that was completed under the direction of Wu Xintao, member of CAS from the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter. Based on the viewpoint that the structure of matter determines the performance, the research group deeply systematically carried out research on the design, synthesis, structure and performance of nanometer materials, porous nanometer adsorption or hydrogen storage material, and new-type transparent ceramic or glass ceramic laser material with excellent semi-conduction or fluorescence nature, and obtained a series of innovative results. A series of new-type nanometer materials with excellent luminescence characteristics and important application prospect in the photoelectric field were achieved, and the results have promoted the development in preparing nanometer optical functional materials, as well as research on the relations between structure adjustment, control and structure activity, which has important significance in the application of nanometer materials and technology. During the implementation of the Program, 119 papers have been published in SCI, including 52 in J. Am. Chem. Soc, Chem. Commun., and other magazines, while 31 inventions have applied for inventive patents.
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