In our lifetime, we may be able to witness the realization of interstellar navigation.

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To create 442 speakers, Wang Linghua.

Professor, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University

Cover from the movie "Interstellar Crossing"

I am a university teacher. My research direction is space physics. Many people may not have heard of this subject. I first heard that in 1995, when I entered Peking University to study.

What is space physics? As the name implies, it studies physical processes and phenomena in space.

Some people may ask, what is the difference between space physics and astronomy? Space physics is mainly the use of space vehicles (such as satellites and spacecraft) to study physical processes and physical phenomena in space, while astronomy mainly uses telemetry telemetry.

Let's take a look at this picture, which simplifies the entire three-dimensional universe into one-dimensional logarithmic coordinates. You can see that the sun starts from the sun, and the average distance between the earth and the sun is an astronomical unit (AU). Further we can see Jupiter and Saturn, our well-known planets. This area is the boundary between the solar system's solar layer and interstellar space. Currently, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are located near the border. Further we can see here, it is the star closest to the sun - where the neighboring star is.

According to the different observation methods, the space scope of space physics and astronomy is different. In short, the area that man-made satellite can reach now belongs to us, and the area that man-made satellite can not reach now belongs to astronomy.

Space physics is a very young subject, which is closely related to the ability of human beings to explore space.

The launch of the first man-made satellite by the former Soviet Union on 4 October 1957 marked the opening of the space era.

The incident greatly stimulated the United States, prompted the United States to speed up the research process, and led it to launch its first satellite, explorer one, in 1958 the following year.

The satellite has made many important observations, one of which is that it shows that a large number of high-energy charged particles are gathered in an area near Earth, which is called a radiation belt.

The discovery of radiation belts marks the opening of space physics. Peking University's space physics major was founded in the same year, synchronizing with the international community, because NASA's (NASA) was also established this year.

Currently we mainly study the range from the sun to the solar layer. This animation shows that the sun will continue to blow out the solar wind. The interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium will blow a huge cavity structure in the entire space. This is the solar layer.

With the progress of human space exploration ability, the scope of space physics research is expanding.

In August 2012, Voyager-1 satellites crossed the boundary of the solar sphere and entered the interstellar medium, indicating that humanity officially opened the interstellar era. In our lifetime, it is likely to witness the realization of interstellar navigation and interstellar settlement.

The study of space physics is of great significance. Academically, it can help us understand the space of the universe and lead the unremitting pursuit of truth and essence. In application, it can help us to forecast and warn of severe space weather and ensure the safety of human space exploration in the future.

What is disastrous space weather? Because some explosive activities of the sun may lead to severe disturbances in the Earth's space environment, thus causing harm to satellites, human beings and instruments in space, or power systems on the ground, pipeline systems, and so on. The study of space physics can help us avoid and reduce such losses.

There are four major milestones in the history of space physics.

The first was Dr Van Allen's discovery of a large number of high-energy charged particles in a space region close to Earth, known as the Van Allen radiation belt, through instrumental data on the explorer-1 satellite. This discovery marks the opening of space physics.

The second milestone is the first field observation of the solar wind. The sun provides a huge natural laboratory to help us understand how other star systems in the universe work. Studies have shown that the sun will continue to blow out the radial charged particle flow, as we can see in the imaging photos. These radial particle flows are called solar winds.

Dr. Neugbauer used the instrumentation data from the Sailor-2 satellite to observe the solar wind in the galaxy for the first time and confirmed that the solar wind was supersonic. This finding provides a breakthrough to our understanding of the origin and acceleration of the solar wind and the nature of the star wind.

Space physics also includes planetary science. Dr. Kivelson used the observations of the Galileo spacecraft to discover that there is a liquid ocean beneath the satellite ice shell of Jupiter, called Europa. Now, based on our understanding of life, we believe that life and liquid water are closely related. This discovery provides important clues to our understanding of the origin of life, or whether there are other lives outside the Earth.

The fourth milestone is the discovery of solar flares. The origin and acceleration of high energy particles in the universe has always been one of the frontier topics pursued by human beings, and the sun provides us with a good research opportunity. Dr. Lin used space observation data to find that there is a very common phenomenon of energy release and particle acceleration in the solar atmosphere.

Here I would like to ask you a question: the pioneers who have completed these four milestones, you can guess which of them is a woman and which is a man? Before I reveal the answer, I would like to share with you some of my experiences and experiences in scientific research.

My scientific research experience is very simple, first, according to interest, I chose science in middle school; secondly, according to interest, I chose space physics in college; and finally, of course, according to interest, I chose my own research direction-solar and heliosphere high energy particles.

The sun is a natural giant particle accelerator. This image was completed using observations of the same solar burst using seven instruments on three satellites near the Earth.

We push the observation lens from the vicinity of the earth to the sun, and see various activities in the sun and the sun's atmosphere. In this region, energy is released and particles are accelerated. The particles interact with the atmosphere to produce X-rays, and then see a large amount of material being thrown into the interplanetary space. The accelerated particles in the explosive activity escape into the interplanetary space and reach the vicinity of the satellite. The effect in the instrument is the snowflake-like spot that appears at the end of the picture.

One aspect of my research work is the use of satellite observations to study the physical nature of the origin, acceleration and propagation of high-energy particles, and the development of high-energy particle detectors. Unlike many other physics disciplines, space physics is a discipline that is presumed by space exploration.

That is to say, who has mastered the development ability of space instrument detector, who determines the development direction of the subject. At present, a huge bottleneck in the development of space physics in China is the development ability of space probes. I hope my work will help break through this bottleneck.

Different occupations have some subtle effects on practitioners. As far as I can see, space physicists also have some commonalities caused by occupational diseases. First, we are usually curious about life and the world. In the face of difficulties and challenges, we are more positive, optimistic and enterprising.

Here I would like to share with you a story of my mentor and former colleague, which shows a high-energy solar spectroscope imager satellite that belongs to NASA's scientific plan for imaging the sun, by the University of California, Berkeley. The Space Science Laboratory is responsible for the development and brings together the efforts and expectations of several generations.

After successful development of the satellite, it is customary to send it to the jet propulsion laboratory in the United States for pre-launch vibration tests. However, due to the failure of the vibration platform, the satellite was accidentally destroyed in the vibration test. It cost $40 million at the time, and NASA had no budget to remake a satellite.

So at the time, many people, including NASA, thought the satellite exploration program had failed. But the Berkley team didn't give up. Under the leadership of the satellite's chief scientist, my later director, scientists and engineers came up with a lot of bold repairs to the damaged satellite, finally picked out the best solution, and succeeded in persuading NASA to pay $1 million to repair the satellite.

Everyone thinks this may be the end of the story, but it is not. When the satellite was repaired, but due to a series of problems with the launch vehicle, its launch window was repeatedly postponed, and many scientists were very depressed. Everyone wants to know how space physicists are dealing with this depressed mood?

A scientist at Berkeley has written a very long email, with time, location, and plot, including at what time of the day, which launch center in the United States, which type of rocket is launched. When is the rocket, when will the rocket be detached, when will the satellite be launched, and when will it be successfully tracked? After the launch, the reporter interviewed these other scientists. Everyone expressed tears and expressed very excited emotions... This is a very long email. At the end of it, everyone can think about it.

"Happy April Fools' Day."

Finally, on 1 April, scientists sent the Email group to the space physics community and received a congratulations message from all over the world. This suggests that many people are looking forward to satellites and that many people never read them until they reply to Email.

In the end, the satellite was successfully launched in 2002, a story that happened just before I went to Berkley to study. When I heard the story, I felt two things at that time: first, if I had been born two years earlier, I would have experienced this event myself; the second was that I also wanted to be such a scientist. In the face of difficulties and challenges, they supported each other, did not give up lightly, positive, optimistic and enterprising.

The second commonality is that we prefer to treat many things with logical thinking, make judgments independently, and not blindly follow authority and public opinion.

I want to tell you about two stories that happened recently around me.

The first one was a widely spread message on the Internet half a month ago, saying that Mohe appeared on June 15th. The news was posted on a public account similar to the official website, which quoted a large section of Baidu Encyclopedia, saying that the best places to observe the Northern Lights include Alaska, northern Canada, and China's Mohe. Then it put a lot of photos, here I intercepted the most crucial one.

I believe that many people here may choose to forward this information if they see this information. But how do our space physicists deal with this situation? First of all, we are very curious and have a series of discussions on it. I intercepted a discussion record of the Peking University space group. One teacher first said that this photo is PS, and the other pictures are radiant. A group of alumni agreed, another alumnus later pointed out that the biggest problem lies in the Baidu Encyclopedia saying that China's Mohe is one of the best places to observe the Northern Lights. This sentence is wrong.

At present, Mohe River is unable to see the aurora borealis in most cases. Alumni then quickly pulled out the original picture of the material, believing that the original aurora might have been taken from the Icelandic region, so the news was false.

When I returned home, I heard this from public opinion and even from some parents, that women were born unfit to study science or do scientific research.

At the same time, in contact with college students, sometimes I will see some female students, although she is an adult, but she still can not according to or can not adhere to their own wishes to choose a major. Although these girls have been very reluctant to express their feelings, but she still obeys the will of her parents or other factors, and finally chose a professional direction that she does not like in particular.

Among the female students engaged in scientific research, some people in my opinion, the foundation and thinking are very good. But because of the subtle influence of these remarks, she is very unconfident about herself, and she will be very hesitant when she makes scientific conclusions. These are some of the most regrettable situations.

So is it natural for women to study science and to do scientific research? Let's go back to the previous problem. Can you tell if these four scientists are men or women, according to the landmark findings I mentioned earlier?

Let me reveal the answer.

It can be seen that scientific achievements have nothing to do with gender. Both men and women can achieve great scientific achievements.

So what drives these scientists to make these breakthroughs? From my personal contact with them, I found that there is another commonality: they have a great interest in their own research direction, they can invest a lot of enthusiasm, great concentration.

In addition, research has nothing to do with age, and any time can be the golden age of scientific research. For example, the Kivelson academician, who is 91 years old this year, is still active in the first line of research.

So we see that science has nothing to do with gender and age, it is only about interest.

I personally disapprove of simply and brutally limiting a person's abilities and potential on the basis of sex. Regardless of gender, when you are choosing a major and career, hope to judge from interests or your own independence, do not blindly follow the public opinion of the family and society.

Finally, I would like to say that we are in a very lucky era, because we are experiencing the beginning of the golden age of space science in China.

I want to use the phrase I liked very much since the high school days as the end of this speech - our journey is the sea of ​​stars.

Thank you。

* The article is the independent view of the author, does not represent the position of the tiger sniffing net. This article was published by the Talk Authorized Tiger Sniff Network and edited by Tiger Sniff Network. Reprint this article with the author's consent, and please attach the source (虎 sniffing net) and the link on this page. Original link: https://www.huxiu.com/article/308141.html

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