HEFEI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The
establishment of the Jiuzhang quantum computer prototype, and the return
capsule of China's Chang'e-5 probe touching down on Earth in the early
hours of Thursday, bringing back the country's first samples collected
from the moon, have attracted worldwide attention.
The naming of these two of the country's forefront scientific breakthroughs, however, has a deeper cultural meaning.
named it as a mark of tribute to one of China's oldest books dedicated
to mathematics, Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, also known as
'Jiuzhang Suanshu' in Chinese," said Pan Jianwei, a renowned Chinese
quantum physicist from the research team of the photonic quantum
The historical document
was published around the 1st century, nearly two millennia before the
launch of Jiuzhang quantum computer prototype, and later used for the
training of civil servants in the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220). The
document's importance in Chinese mathematical education is akin to that
of Euclid in Greek mathematical education. Besides, the algorithm
mechanism built upon the book laid a foundation for modern computers to
The modern interpretation of its name once again thrusts the ancient wisdom into the global limelight.
Suanshu has been significant in the evolution of human civilization,
representing a huge achievement in mathematical research at that time,
while today's photonic quantum computer also stands for the country's
state-of-the-art technologies," said Lu Fachun, a professor of history
at Anhui University.
Behind the name
also lies the efforts of Chinese scientists to marry the nation's
splendid traditional culture with its self-reliant technological
developments, according to Lu.
return capsule of China's Chang'e-5 probe landing on Earth Thursday
marks a successful conclusion of the country's current three-step lunar
exploration program of orbiting and landing on the Moon, and bringing
back samples to Earth, which began in 2004.
lunar exploration program is named after the legendary Chang'e, the
"Moon Lady" who took a potion and floated into the sky, eventually
landing on the Moon, where she became a goddess accompanied by a jade
rabbit. The charming myth and pure romance exuding from the name added a
dash of intimacy and enigma to the top-notch innovations, arousing
curiosity among the public and sparking heated discussions.
millions of netizens involved in naming a moon rover of the exploration
program, "Yutu," which stands for the jade rabbit that accompanied the
lunar goddess, the possibility of other options easily edged out.
Chinese nation has always attached great significance to the
inheritance and development of its own fine traditional culture, which
involves the commemoration of its representative figures and
quintessential items," Lu said.
2015, China sent its Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite in a
fresh search for smoking-gun signals of dark matter, invisible material
that scientists say makes up most of the universe's mass. The satellite
is nicknamed "Wukong" after the Monkey King with penetrating eyes in
the Chinese classical fiction Journey to the West. And just like the
mythical hero, the satellite also has a moral.
China's endeavor to seek the truth and unravel the mysteries, Chang'e,
Wukong and similar space missions are not alone. Nor are the scientists.
The ubiquitous fusion of China's past and future in the scientific community strikes a chord with academia and the public.
2016, China launched its quantum science experimental satellite "Mozi,"
in memory of a Chinese philosopher during an ancient era of great
cultural and intellectual expansion.
Chinese scientists in the long sweep of history not only show their
scientific spirit of exploration, adventure and pursuing the truth but
also share profound humanistic care and historical vision as well as an
increasingly firm cultural confidence," Lu said. Enditem