newsletter15_6_1.jpg (7480 bytes) Dr. Ueberschaer, German Ambassador to China, confers on Professor Lu Yongxiang, President and Member of CAS, the Knight Commanders Cross (Badge and Star) of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

CAS to Launch Program in West

On 21 January 2000, CAS President Lu Yongxiang announced the launching of an Action Program for West China, which involves investment of 250 million yuan (USD 80 million) to conduct a variety of fundamental, strategic and forward-looking research projects in western areas of the country.

The Program mainly comprises:

Making a fresh integrated survey of the resources and ecological environment of West China and a thorough, synthetic analysis of the available data by adopting modern scientific approaches and technical means, so as to provide scientific grounds for the development strategy of the area;

Perfecting the environment and ecological monitoring network based on the existing 22 field stations, and choosing a few typical areas for establishing demonstration sites of environment management and ecological agriculture; and

Organizing joint research and development projects on key practical techniques, focusing on the development of the resources of Qinghai Salt Lake, and the petroleum and natural gas in West China, and constructing a series of demonstration works, such as projects making use of solar and wind energy for electricity generation, air conditioning or heating, and engineering works that make use of ground heat.

Currently, the CAS has 26 institutes situated in West China, which employ more than 6,000 professionals. Under the CAS Pilot Project of the Knowledge Innovation Program, two research bases have been established in the area: a research base of resources, the environment and sustainable development in Northwest China, and a research base of biological resources and biodiversity in Southwest China.

newsletter15_11.jpg (6266 bytes) CAS President Lu Yongxiang and Sichuan Provincial Director Zhang Zhongwei sign a cooperation agreement of science and technology between the Academy and the Province. In recent years, the Academy has established cooperative links with 14 provinces or municipalities and contributed to their development

Academy to take major measures to deepen reform in 2000

In the year 2000, the CAS will take eight major actions to promote implementation of its Pilot Project of the Knowledge Innovation Program, and to establish a sound scientific and technological innovation system and mechanisms adaptable to the challenges of the globalized knowledge-based economy. That was disclosed at the CAS annual working conference concluded on 21st January, 2000. CAS President Lu Yongxiang announced that, in order to further its reform, the Academy will focus its efforts on the reform of the existing system and working mechanisms by taking the following eight major measures:

  1. To establish a strict and normalized evaluation system for its research institutes. Evaluation will be carried out among all CAS pilot units of the Knowledge Innovation Program.
  2. To reform its budget system and optimize the configuration of its resources by further enhancing the resource control ability and autonomy of the institute-level financial departments.
  3. To facilitate the establishment and improvement of a normalized allocation and stimulus system and gradually increase its budget on personnel.
  4. To raise awareness of the importance of re-locating its employees so as to optimize the staff configuration and promote the rational and orderly flow of personnel.
  5. To carry out experimental reform in changing the whole system of technology development oriented institutes.
  6. To establish a modern enterprise system for all CAS-run or institute-run companies.
  7. To speed up the construction of science parks.
  8. To further the streamlining of the CAS headquarters and branches, which is expected to be completed in the first half this year.

Over the last year since the launching of the pilot project of the knowledge innovation program, 18 institutes of the CAS have been recomposed, more than 40 research institutes, 112 national key laboratories or CAS open laboratories and about 8,000 professionals have been operating under the knowledge innovation project.

Six New Nuclides Synthesized in One Experiment

The key project The synthesis and study of new nuclides, conducted by the CAS Institute of Modern Physics, has made major progress and breakthroughs in the light rare earth proton dropping line area, which is of technological difficulty and of great physical importance. Six new nuclides with a half-life period of 1 second were synthesized; the decay mode of 5 nuclides were set up, and for the first time the proton decay of one nuclide was observed. A referee of Physics Review made the comment that the finding of these new nuclides in such a forbidding region of the nuclide chart is a remarkable achievement. The result symbolizes a great breakthrough in the study of light rare earth nuclear radiation. The result indicates that these studies of light rare earth nuclear radiation in China are in the forefront among intense world competition.

The formation of atomic nuclei under extreme conditions and their characteristics of odd decay and nuclear structures are frontier areas of

physics research. The study of nuclei near the proton dropping line, of which the ratio of the number of neutrons to that of protons has an extreme value, is a hot point which has attracted much attention in the world. The light rare earth dropping line area is a more challenging area. Faced with the extremely low production and technical difficulties such as short life, the research group led by Xu Shuwei gave up the popular resolution method of on-line isotope separator + X proton coincidence, and wisely adopted the He nozzle band transmission + proton-g conincidence method. The sensitivity of the measurement was increased 50 times, providing decisive conditions for effective measurement and discrimination of short-life nuclei. They eventually separated and discriminated 6 new nuclides: Nd-125, Pm-128, Sm-129, Gd-137, Dy-139 and Tb-139, and determined their half-life periods to be 0.6s, 1.0s, 0.55s, 2.2s, 0.6s and 1.6s respectively. Specialists say that such fruitful achievement in one experiment is rarely seen in nuclear physics studies in China.

newsletter15_4_11.jpg (3782 bytes) CAS President Lu Yongxiang delivers a key-note speech at the Academy's working conference of 2000. Also present at the rostrum are senior scientists of the Academy, including former presidents Lu jiaxi and Zhou Guangzhao

New Progress in Study of Quantum Mechanics

Professor Fan Hongyi of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) has made original contributions to quantum mechanics. He developed the symbolic method of quantum theory founded by Dirac, and established the integration within ordered products(IWOP) method. He opened a new direction in the theory of quantum mechanics, made a breakthrough in representation and transformation theories, further enclosed the beauty and brevity of Diracs symbolic method, and enriched its physical meaning and application potential.

Dirac was one of the founders of quantum mechanics and a Nobel Prize winner. Dirac himself cherished the symbolic method. Since 1930, Dirac's symbolic method not only has promoted the

application of quantum mechanics in the field of physics, but also has become the standard language in the study and application of quantum mechanics, constituting the elementary basis of quantum mechanics. With Diracs theory Fan Hongyi waded through the old to bring forth the new and originally developed the integral theories in ordered operators, which are respectively applicable in Bose and Fermi system and have the advantages of clear physical meaning and beautiful and brief mathematics. These theories overcame the disadvantages and limitations of the former formations, making Dirac's systematic method more expressive of physical principles. The theories can not only solve some outstanding problems to open new topics, but also indicate the inner  mathematical beauty of quantum mechanics.  Additionally these methods provide a shortcut for the search  and establishment of a series of new representations useful in physics.

IWOP has become a most important mathematical tool of quantum optics and has greatly enriched the theory of coherent and squeezed states. In addition IWOP has wide applications in the fields of quantum statistics, molecular vibration, group representation, and solid state theory. IWOP has also made the abstract systematic method easy to understand and grasp, thus making it easy to be taught and studied. Thus it would be valuable to popularize Fan's theories in the teaching of quantum mechanics.

Major Advance in Experiment on HT-7 Tokamak

A historic breakthrough was achieved in obtaining stable, repeatable quasi-steady- state plasma with a discharge time of 10.71 seconds by the Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP/CAS) on the HT-7 Tokamak on the early morning of 30 December 1999. Nuclear fusion research in the world has targeted high-power reactors. The historic mission of HT-7, the first superconducting Tokamak in China, is to solve scientific and technical problems associated with the realization of a steady, high-power reactor. The plasma discharge time of over 10 seconds is a new record for China. In addition, the Institute can now demonstrate the quasi-steady state process on a time scale of 100 times the confinement-time of plasma energy and particles. All this indicates that the integrated strength and level of scientific and technological research in magnet confined nuclear fusion research in China has kept up with advanced international level.

The IPP/CAS is an important base for nuclear fusion research in China. The HT-7 superconducting Tokamak has also conducted a range of high-level physical experiments on wave-driven current, wave heating, plasma profile optimization, interactions between plasma and the first wall, improved confinement performance, deuterium ice pellet injection, and the formation and evolution of negative current profiles. Excellent results have been achieved in the development of fusion engineering technology, including plasma monitoring and control technology, superconducting technology, large-power source technology, and high-power microwave technology.

Experimental studies have been conducted on low hybrid waves, radio frequency waves and Ohm heating, the total input of which was over 1 million watts, and a 12 million-degree electron temperature has been achieved. Meanwhile, a wave-driven current experiment under high parameters has been conducted and other forefront subjects have been explored, including the formation and performance of a negative current profile, the instability of MARFE, and boronization and siliconization with RF waves in the ion cyclotron frequency range. The breakthrough made on the eve of the new century has paved the way for the HT-7 superconducting Tokamak to enter a new stage of scientific research.

Microbial Genetic Codes Decoded First Time in China

The genetic codes of a thermophilic bacterium have recently been decoded by Chinese scientists and the first "microbial genome framework" in China has been obtained, marking another important step forward in genome research in China. This is the first time that Chinese scientists have decoded microbial genetic codes, and the thermophilic bacterium is the first microbe, besides virus, whose genetic codes have been basically decoded.

Microbial genome research is at the forefront of genome research in the world. In early 1998, during their field visit to the area of Tengchong, Yunnan Province, Chinese scientists noticed a thermophilic bacterium which was able to survive under the high temperature condition of 75 0c. Since last April, scientists from the Institute of Genetics, the Institute of Microbiology and the Institute of Biophysics have worked together to identify the DNA sequence of all the genomes of the thermophilic bacterium. Genome DNAs were extracted from a cultured bacterium to establish the sequencing mode library. Software for assembling, interpreting, and searching for genes as well as for reflecting the status of identification and existing problems has been compiled. In gene sequencing, satisfactory results have been achieved in the indexes such as the daily production of a single machine, the reading length of a sequence and the precision rate which have reached international standards. Up to now, more than 14 million base pairs have been identified, accounting for more than 99% of the total, and a "framework" of the microbial genome consisting of more than 2,000 genes has been made.

Internationally, there are 26 microbes whose genetic codes have been decoded, according to sources.

newsletter15_21.jpg (8405 bytes) The experimental devices in the superconductor Tokamak HT-7 unit

Detoxication Enzymatic Gene Used to Degrade Fertilizer Residues

By applying the entomological resistance gene cloning technique, scientists have successfully cloned a detoxication enzymatic gene at the State Key Laboratory of Rats and Insects in the CAS Institute of Zoology. With the promotion and application of the technique, the disturbing problem of fertilizer residuals will be solved.

The state key laboratory embarked on studies of the cloning of the entomological resistance gene in 1991. With the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the researchers cloned the detoxication enzymatic gene from the insects which had acquired resistance to fertilizers. This kind of detoxication enzymatic gene can degrade the extremely poisonous compounds into nonpoisonous or lowly poisonous ones. Application of the detoxication enzyme degraded the toxicity by 58% in one hours time and all the toxicity was degraded several hours later. The detoxication enzyme can not only be used to treat water and soil polluted by poisonous compounds but also can be made into detoxication medicines. Detergent made by the detoxication enzyme will have special effects on fertilizer residuals on vegetables and fruits.

Major Headway in Research of Nanometer Carbon Tubes in Institute of Metallurgy

Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, the advanced carbon materials group, led by Dr. Cheng Huiming of the Institute of Metallurgy, has made remarkable headway in hydrogen storage of single-wall nanometer carbon tubes. Papers on the project have been published in Science.

Nano-meter carbon tubes are a hot topic in materials science nowadays. The single-wall nano-meter carbon tube is a critical state of the nanometer tube and its physical characteristics vary greatly. Early in 1998, the group launched experimental studies on the hydrogen storing properties of one-dimensional nanometer carbon tubes, and is one of the few groups in the world carrying out such research. The group used a macro-number of self-made single-wall nanometer carbon tubes and obtained excellent hydrogen storing properties at room temperature. The hydrogen storage amounted to 4wt%, 3/4 of which could be emitted at room temperature and under ordinary pressure. The result is the first in the world and has attracted wide attention at home and abroad. One-dimensional nanometer carbon materials such as nano-meter carbon tubes and fibers will become strong candidates for storing hydrogen. This will have wide application prospects in the new century and will promote the application of hydrogen energy, especially the development of the green automobile C the hydrogen electric vehicle.

Message to Overseas Chinese Scholars

Dear friends,

Nov. 1st of 1999 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). As a scientist and a science administrator, I would like to invite you to share the happiness of celebrating the occasion together with all the colleagues of the Academy.

On Oct. 19, 1949, the State Council appointed Guo Moruo, the famous historian, archaeologist, littérateur and social activist, as President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. On Nov. 1, 1949 the Chinese Academy of Sciences was founded according to the Organization Act of the State Council. This symbolized that the cause of science and technology in China had entered a new historical stage.

The establishment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was an important message conveyed to the whole world by New China that China is a country which cherishes science, respects science, attaches great importance to science and relies on science. The torch of democracy and science, which was lit by the "May 4th" Movement, is now held aloft by the People's Republic of China. In the 50 years since its founding, the Academy, keeping pace with the advance of the motherland, the people and the times, has taken an active part in national economic construction and all kinds of social activities, and has scored great achievements in science and technology, such as in the development of artificial satellites, synthesis of crystalline protein bovine insulin, and the proof of "Goldbach's conjecture", to name only a few. Since the inauguration of reform and opening up, the scientists of several generations have emancipated their minds, bravely blazed new trails and obtained important achievements in basic research, life sciences and biotechnology, natural resources, eco-environment and the study of sustainable development, high-tech research and development and high-tech industrialization. At present the Chinese Academy of Sciences has become the base of national science research, training of talents and industrialization of high technologies. Last year the central government assigned the Academy the task of making experiment of establishing the countrys knowledge innovation system, requiring the Academy to make basic, strategic and forward looking contributions to the development of national economy and social progress. We are very pleased that the Pilot Program of the Knowledge Innovation Project has started well and is going on smoothly with the efforts of the staff of the Academy. The initiative and creativeness of the scientists and engineers have been fully displayed. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is entering a brand new stage of development.

The development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is closely linked with the returned scholars. The management of the Academy in its initial stage was composed of returned scholars. As soon as the Academy announced its formation, such world-renowned scientists as LI Siguang, ZHAO Zhongyao, HUA Luogeng and GE Tingsui immediately embarked for their home-land. QIAN Xuesen and GUO Yonghuai even waged hard struggles before they were able to get back to China. The achievements obtained by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the past 50 years embodied the efforts of the returned scholars. Since the beginning of reform and opening up, international academic exchanges of the Academy have increased tremendously. A large number of scholars studying abroad have come back and become the mainstay in different areas of the Academy.

I am one of the scientists who were sent abroad for advanced studies after the beginning of reform and opening up. More than ten years of experience since my return has made me realize that the governmental policy of encouraging students to study abroad is far-sighted and that China urgently needs returned students. Although material conditions at home cannot be compared with those of the developed countries, yet just as Deng Xiaoping said, you had better come back if you want to make achievements. I would like especially to draw your attention to the following fact: In recent years, the central government has put strong emphasis on science, technology and education and, based on the strategy of rejuvenating China through science and education, has remarkably increased the national input to science, technology and education. Research and living conditions of scientists in the Academy have improved considerably. We have adhered to the glorious tradition that the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the academy of all Chinese scientists. We welcome all brilliant young people who are engaged in science and technology. Our laboratories are places for you to put your talents to good use. We quite understand that you have to study or work abroad for a period of time for schooling or projects of research. It is our hope that you will come back frequently when conditions permit. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is always your home.

Finally I would like to convey my best regards and sincere greetings to all our colleagues who are living outside China temporarily and who always cherish their motherland. I wish you all good health, family happiness and every success in your careers.

LU Yongxiang

Member and President of CAS

Chinese American Recruited as Director of Institute

Dr. Mu-Ming Poo, a Chinese American scientist, has been recruited as director of the Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences (INCAS), which was newly founded on November 27, 1999 as a "special zone" in the territory of scientific research. The INCAS will adopt a brand new management system and operating mechanisms in implementing the Pilot Program of the Knowledge Innovation Project and in building the research base of life sciences in Shanghai.

In order to reduce the gap in neuroscience between China and advanced countries, the Academy has decided to re-organize and strengthen its research capacity in neuroscience and to establish a new institute in Shanghai, which should absorb the Shanghai Institute of Brain Research. The new institute is part of the Shanghai Academy of Life Sciences, CAS, comprising seven research laboratories in neuronal ductility, vision and cognition, learning and memory, and other related areas. Outstanding scientists have been recruited from both home and abroad to carry out research at the frontiers. The institute provides them with the best equipment and cultivates an inspiring academic atmosphere favorable to productive research. Only a few posts are permanent and strict and fair evaluations will be conducted regularly with the involvement of foreign scientists.

Educated in the USA, Dr. Mu-Ming Poo is now a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and an internationally known neuroscientist in the areas of neuraxis growing and synaptic ductility.

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Professor Zhu Rixiang and his team in their laboratory. Zhu is one of the first batch of young scientists who were selected to conduct the Hundred Talents Project

Young People Play Key Role in Knowledge Innovation Project

Human resources will be the focus of scientific and technological competition in the 21st century. Those who possess rich human resources will take the lead in science and technology. The Shanghai Institute of Optics & Fine Machinery has made great efforts in selecting and retaining young talented people as the key priority in carrying out the Pilot Program of the Knowledge Innovation Project. A variety of measures have been taken to meet the challenges of scientific & technological competition in the new century. Researchers below the age of 45 account for 60% of the total research staff. Sixty young and middle-aged professionals have been promoted as senior engineers, research professors or associate research professors, the majority of whom are undertaking important projects. Some are persons-in-charge of key projects under the National 863 Program. Young and middle-aged professionals constitute the major force of scientific & technological innovation of the institute.

To attract outstanding overseas young scholars is a key step to implement the Institutes strategy of human resources. Among the young scientists and engineers recruited in recent years, 95% hold Ph.D. degrees and 85% are returned overseas scholars. Dr. Shao Jianda, a visiting scientist at the Institute of Semi-conductor Chemical Physics and Components in Bolonia, Italy, was recruited as the person-in-charge of one of the key projects of the CAS -- Supporting Technology for High-power Laser-Associated Series. Dr. Lu Baolong, who was conducting research in the USA as a post-doc, came back to his mother institute when he learned from his supervisor Wang Yuzhu that the Institute was in great need of young personnel. Other young people who can be cited as examples include Drs. Li Ruxin, Zhou Changhe, and Wang Xiangchao. Now, these young scientists stand out for their age advantage, academic level and strong capability of organization and management, and are entrusted with heavy research tasks.

Scientists Serving Local Economies

Since 1985, CAS has sent 530 scientists and technologists to 26 different provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions to help promote the role of science in local economies. According to incomplete statistics, the scientific deputy governors or magistrates from the Academy have helped the local governments in introducing 1,350 technological projects with a total funding of 4.23 billion RMB yuan and 13.5 million US dollars, training nearly 1.99 million personnel, constructing 4 primary schools of the Hope Project, 1 hospital and 2 mountain roads, and getting 137 dropouts back to the classrooms.

As a linkage between research institutions and the localities, scientific deputy magistrates have contributed to the transfer of research achievements into productivity. Li Yeye, a research professor of the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Physics, was sent to the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in 1998 to serve as assistant mayor, and has since promoted negotiation of 186 technical contracts between Suzhou and research institutions of CAS, universities and ministries. So far, 98 contracts have been signed and 60 of the contracted projects have been undertaken. Among the 100 contracts between Suzhou and CAS, 41 have been enforced.

Scientific deputy governors or magistrates serve as scientific consultants to local governments and disseminators of science and technology among the people. They help the local people come to understand science and throw off poverty with the help of science and technology. They are active in organizing training courses for local managers and farmers. For example, Wang Qingyi, Assistant Mayor of the city of Liupanshui, Guizhou Province, organized in succession three training courses for county-level leaders of the province at the Institute of Management, CAS, on themes such as national conditions, economics, agriculture, scientific management, computers and network information. Such courses are found very popular among the localities.

Scientific adjutancy has become an important channel for the CAS to cultivate its staff members. Through practical management experience with the local governments, scientific adjutants have strengthened their awareness of the legal system, improved their knowledge of the actual conditions of the country and the people, and tempered their will. Some of them have been promoted to leading positions of institutes or bureaus since their return, and others have been appointed as general managers of companies.

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CAS President Lu Yongxiang and newly-appointed Vice President Jiang Mianheng (second from left) pose with scientists when they visit the Institute of Software.