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.
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying:
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while