It's no secret that China is beating up on America and the West in everything from infrastructure to technology investment, but news of exactly what the People's Republic is up to is often scarce. So while the diplomatic establishment continues to reel from the stink of its own dirty laundry in last week's Wikileaks document dump, cables coming from the American Embassy in Beijing are also shedding light on the strides Chinese scientists are making in far-out fields like nuclear fission, biometrics, and even quantum teleportation.
One confidential diplomatic cable sent from the Beijing Embassy to Washington in February suggests China is doing big things at the small scale. For one, China is aggressively expanding its nuclear energy resources, with plans to open at least 70 nuclear plants in the next decade. More interestingly, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is pouring research funding into its Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) to conduct ongoing research into nuclear fusion.
Apparently China has been hard at work on its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, which is designed to sustain a controlled fusion reaction that can go on indefinitely at high temperatures. In 2009, researchers apparently sustained a 18-million-degree reaction for 400 seconds, and a 180-million-degree reaction for 60 seconds. Their goal for 2010 was to sustain a 180-million-degree reaction for more than 400 seconds, though it's unclear if they achieved that. Moreover, IPP is apparently conducting research on hybrid fission-fusion reactors, though details are slim.
Perhaps most interesting: China doubled the IPP budget in 2009 over 2008, and the diplomatic chatter suggests 2010's budget saw a significant boost as well. Amid choppy economic waters, such funding bumps indicate a real commitment on China's part to figure out the fusion energy puzzle.
China's sci-tech ambitions don't stop there. While the evidence is anecdotal, the embassy seems to think the Chinese are pulling ahead in fields like quantum communications and even teleportation. To quote one diplomat's description of a trip to the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei: "A cursory walk through their labs seemed to indicate they had already succeeded in single-particle quantum teleportation and are now trying to conduct dual-particle quantum teleportation."
Then there's the Big Brother tech that we've come to expect from China. The same cable says the CAS's Institute of Intelligent Machines (IIM) in Hefei has created a biometric system that identifies individuals through their pace and gait. "The device measure weight and two-dimensional sheer forces applied by a person's foot during walking to create a uniquely identifiable biometrics profile," the cable says, and can be installed covertly in a floor to surreptitiously collect biometric data.
This isn't a leak. There was a PopSci article in May talking about China's work in quantum teleportation and that they were able to do so at a distance of 10 miles.
Anyway, I'm glad someone's working in quantum teleportation. Too bad there's no such thing as actual matter teleportation though. I get nervous on planes... lol
Even though this article made think damn their pushing forward.A more positive outlook can be what ever technology China has we are probably decades ahead of them in classified labs.
It must be nice to be a scientist in a country that is NEVER concerned about the environment!
lol @ all, but LeanPocket - you get 1st place. ;-)
Meanwhile, the USA throws 10's of $billions down the sewer on NUTTY Renewable Energy SCAMS that won't do ZIP to replace Economy Destroying Oil Imports - with Peak Oil rapidly approaching - or significantly reduce CO2 emissions. And instead of financing a rapid expansion of Fusion & Fission R&D, the US gov't is dedicated to stifling Nuclear Power with Harry "boondoggle" Reid's lapdog, Jackzo, directing the NRC. And Harry Reid is trying to push through his so-called "Clean Energy Act" whose purpose seems to be to Bankrupt the US treasury, throwing 100's of $billions away on Wacky Renewable Energy SCAMS.
Wait I thought current tech related to nuclear power was fission not fusion. To clear that up fission is the displacement of neutrons as part of radioactive decay of uranium 235. Nuclear fusion on the other hand is what the sun does.
oops not neutron neutrinos.
Chinese inventors are also working on alternative energy using magnets, magnetic fields etc. A fellow called Wang Shen He has made a 5kw generator which uses magnets and supplies electricity to homes. At the Shanghai Expo it was shown.
@ twobrain..... you were right the first time fission=neutrons not neutrinos
if China like others are pursuing the torroid tokamak
concept invented by Russia. They will be doing research
till the next Ice Age.
The Tokamak concept is flawed from beginning to end with
many assumptions that are wrong and clueg designs on the
fly trying to compensate for the assumptions.
Longest Takamak (Torroid) ignition ~ 100 nanosec. before
100 million degree magnetic disconnects.
Too many problems to list so research for yourself.
"If you walk without rhythm, you won't attract the worm."
So, we needed WikiLeaks to tell us things that have been published months ago right here in PopSci? We needed leaked diplomatic cables from China to tell us that China is going to build 70 nuclear reactors--using OUR senior technicians--or that their plasma physics experimental facility is almost mirroring our National Laboratory in California that was also featured here? The same with their claim of teleportation; although the article from a couple months ago didn't have the corroboration of a diplomat who did a cursory walk through and found that it SEEMED to indicate a prior success. Cmon, people. Was this article a quiz to see if we were paying attention? Or to try to get us to believe that a diplomat on a cursory walk through could tell the difference between a prior successful quantum teleportation and a David Copperfield act?
Now the Big Brother biometric sensors in a walkway, that's both new and interesting. I'd suspect that it could easily determine whether a person was trying to conceal a weapon or something likewise concealed. It could easily tell the difference between say, one of our Presidents or a double; as all of our Commanders in Chief have utilized doubles for some years now. Even being able to tell things like how tired or possibly inebriated a negotiator is would be very valuable in dealings between nations, or corporations for that matter. Still, it brings me to the thought that soon we will be at a point where actual face-to-face meetings will become much more rare, indeed. Instant voice analysis for ID or for stress, instant fingerprinting, retinal and iris scanning are all on the rise or old news already. We are probably going to have to give multiple types of living DNA soon to open our car doors. If we don't get to the utopian society soon we are really screwed, because we've come just about as far as we are gonna without it.