Construction of gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet underway - Economy & Society - Tibetol

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Construction of gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet underway
By:People's Daily
update:March 14,2018

Mar. 14, 2018 -- China is under smooth progress towards the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet Autonomous Region to detect the faintest echoes resonating from the universe, a project insider disclosed.

The main part for the first stage of the "Ngari plan", which was launched by China in March 2017 to eyeball the Big Bang cosmic waves at Ngari, Tibet, is almost completed, Zhang Xinmin, chief scientist of the project said on the sidelines of the ongoing first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The project will start operations in 2020 and observation results will arise in 2022, added Zhang, a senior researcher at the Institute of High Energy Physics in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

At the first stage of the two-phased project, a telescope code-named Ngari No.1 would be constructed at 5,250 meters above sea level to enable the first measurement of primordial gravitational waves in the northern hemisphere, according to the scientist.

The first telescope is expected to be installed at the end of 2019 and operational in 2020, added Zhang, also a member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee.

The second stage, according to him, involves a series of telescopes, code-named Ngari No. 2, to be located at an altitude of about 6,000 meters, to realize more accurate measurement of the waves.

Chinese scientists are now working on design of the first telescope with a team of Stanford University, and they would cooperate more in the future, he said.

The primordial gravitational waves, different from gravitational waves produced by motions and evolution of the heavenly bodies, were generated by the first tremors of the Big Bang.

Detection of the primordial gravitational waves is of great significance to studying the origin and evolution of the universe, said Zhang.

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