The Early Sciences from FAST 中国天眼FAST的首批科学成果

Prof. Di Li, National Astronomical Observatories
Wed, 2021-03-10 16:00 - 17:00
Room 300, No.5 Building, New Buildings of Sciences

The mid-1990s witnessed the birth of the FAST concept. The science operation started in 2020. The two-decade 'long march'  never lacked challenges and tribulations. This is a brief summary of our innovations in response. We developed the world’s first commensal observing mode in this band, capable of recording pulsar, Galactic HI, extra-galactic HI, and transient data streams, simultaneously. The thus based Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST Survey (CRAFTS) was approved as one of the five major surveys by the science committee and has produced the first batch of FAST’s science results, including new pulsars, new FRBs, the first paper on systematic timing of FAST new pulsars, etc. Before CRAFTS, there is no major survey that accomplished simultaneously searching for pulsars and imaging HI. CRAFTS helps improve the survey efficiency of FAST by more than three folds. In addition to surveys, FAST has started more than 100 PI-led programs, selected by open competitions through the “shared-risk” and the first open call for proposals. Many proposals focused on new frontiers, such as fast radio bursts (FRB) and exoplanets. FAST joined the compaign to monitor the only Galactic FRB source J1935+2154 and provided the most stringent constraint on its radio flux, which is crucial to understand the origin of FRBs. This result along with the discovery papers has been cited as one of the major scientific achievements by both 《Nature》 and 《Science》magazines.

Human’s view of the cosmos have been entirely shaped by what we can observe. The ultimate goal of FAST is to deepen mankind’s understanding of nature through worldview-altering discoveries.  As envisioned by Dr. Nan, Rendong, “FAST represents the collective ambition of Chinese astronomers to leap from chasing to leading.” It starts now.

Dr. Li is a radio astronomer. He is the Chief Scientist of both FAST and the radio division of NAOC. He pioneered several observing and data analysis techniques, including HI narrow self-absorption (HINSA) and a new inversion algorithm for solving the dust temperature distribution. These techniques facilitated important measurements of star forming regions, such as their formation time scale. Dr. Li has led and/or made multiple significant discoveries, including the first detection of interstellar molecular oxygen, the first new pulsar, and the first new Fast Radio Burst (FRB) discovered by FAST. He is leading a large FAST survey that has discovered more than 100 pulsars, more than 5 FRBs, and obtained the largest FRB pulse set in the world to date. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles with more than 3500 citations. He won the National Research Council (US) Resident Research Fellow award (2005) based on “his outstanding research capabilities” and as “a result of national competition”. He won (as a member) the NASA outstanding team award (2009). He won the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award (as a major contributor) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He took on many leading and/or advisory roles in national and international organizations, including the Steering Committee of Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF), the “Cradle of Life” science working group (as a co-chair) of the Square Kilometer Array, the CAS Major-facilities Guidance Group, and the advisory panel of the Breakthrough Listen initiative.