The establishment of a Taiwan-based ground control center for an advanced particle physics detector in space is a win-win development, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday at the formal opening of the facility. A new generation of researchers can be trained, while Taiwanese scientists continue to contribute to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) project that is key to the future of the human race, Ma said.
The Payload Operations Control Center located in Taiwan, one of only two in the world, began operations on Sunday to help monitor the particle physics detector in space. The device is designed to detect charged particles in cosmic rays to find anti-matter and dark matter in the hope of answering questions about the “big bang” and the formation of the universe.
The military-run Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology in Taoyuan County, where the center is located, has sent six experts to the US and Switzerland for training, while the Ministry of National Defense has also trained a batch of servicemen to participate in the program, the president said. In the future, other young scientists who are interested in the field would be recruited to the project, Ma said.
The AMS project, headquartered at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, cost about US$100 billion. Ma said no single country can afford to shoulder that kind of price tag, but the research could become the basis for many fields of applied sciences in a few decades.
“It’s not being done for immediate benefit, but for future generations,” Ma said.
In order for the human race to advance, these types of scientific achievements must be passed on to coming generations, he said.
The AMS-02 project was launched by the US Department of Energy in 1999 in collaboration with 15 other countries, including Taiwan. It is scheduled to run for 15 years.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last