On April 13, hawking and Russia Rich Milner announced the launch of "breakthrough camera" plan, developed hundreds of aircraft the size of a stamp, laser arrays from the ground, very thin Nano-sail drive, up to one-fifth in a few minutes the speed of light, a 20-year period flown to Proxima Centauri, photographed images transmitted back to Earth. He participated in the launch event, it is clear that he will be one of the financial backers. United States election place of birth could block
One-fifth: how fast is the speed of light? 2013 "travellers first" flew out of the solar system, has spent 36 years, one-fifth the speed of light, only 3.6 days.
This plan can succeed? Is feasible in principle. We first need to know the boundaries determined by the laws of physics, know what is possible and what is impossible. Within this context, technology has endless possibilities, can't use eye to judge now, otherwise it will only be bound themselves. Under the common goal of a whimsical, bringing together scientists and engineers will be intellectual resonance from an entirely new perspective thinking of science and technology. I firmly believe that brought only its byproduct--research and development of new technologies and new ideas, would be sufficient to return the investment. Therefore, whether successful or not is worth trying.
"Breakthrough camera" projects may take years, more practical perhaps decades. Milner will invest US $ 100 million, the entire project may cost from 50 to 10 billion US dollars, the project is still looking for investors.
2012 Milner set up basic physics breakthrough award, a $ 3 million, is known as "Super Nobel Prize". Later expanded to life science and math, renamed as "scientific breakthrough". His investment of several company executives, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder, Jack Ma of Alibaba joined the ranks of donors, Board Chairman Levinson, President of the Foundation. James Milner has invested in East Beijing, Twitter, millet, took a taxi to the last drop, Airbnb and Snapchat. "Breaking the camera" and "breakthrough Award" name on the line.
New technology will benefit from this project, but the company may not benefit directly. Milner and the Science Guy is extremely wealthy, $ 10 billion of riskier still is unable to bear the weight. On the degree of popularity and trust of the public, Milner is far better than hawking. Therefore, hawking April 12 opened Twitter power on April 13, announced the plan, but not to cover. This is a private project, Governments may not be directly involved in the investment. Money may be raised, perhaps to the bosses to raise money.
China recently proposed to initiating and leading international scientific planning and a large science and engineering. "Leader" means one is actually conducting research and development work, is the second proposed core idea and method of mastering core technologies. Even if it is not the lead, not the proposal should also be actively involved in, as long as the return on investment and match.
Returns, there are two. Scientific achievements, such as paper, or one of the greatest things, such as the Moon, which is the "face". Another is the development of the new technology, training of personnel, the creation of employment opportunities, this is the "lining". "Face" was not totally useless, it affects the country's image to promote the brand, is a soft power, but "stardom" in return more specific, less risk.
In high energy physics in big science projects, in accordance with international practices, investment in international cooperation in physical form (in-kind) contribution. For example, our participation in the large Hadron Collider in Europe, Chinese charge detector partly designed by China, made in China, integration to the European Assembly; last year the "breakthrough Award" Daya Bay neutrino experiment, United States has major input to their probe in the United States manufacturing, integration to China.
In this way, States formed in the development of new technologies and trained people to stay at home, contribute to development, but also to create jobs at home. Investment and return balance, actually "net investment" and the risk is relatively small. But there are also some projects, in-kind contributions, but did not participate in the design, organizations are sporadic, did not leave much, and some projects even pure financial contribution, harvested at the end of "face."
Involved in the "breakthrough camera", we should not resist, beyond their seal at the technological forefront, but avoid pure financial contribution--not organized, a lot of personal investing small amounts of cash to finance United States research and development, to create United States employment opportunities, technology to remain in the United States. No matter how much, must adhere to the in-kind contributions to domestic research and development of new technologies, or technology transfer abroad, in domestic production. Also try to participate in project design and technical design, develop it.
(Author Jun Cao, Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher at the Institute of high energy physics, starting from Web of science blogs, press reprinted the surging use authorized by the author. ）