From Mo Zi to the Mo Zi satellite (从墨子到“墨子星”)

报告人: Ling-An Wu (吴令安) (中国科学院物理研究所研究员)

报告时间: 2017年4月06日 16:00

报告地点: 郑裕彤讲堂


Unknown to many people, the earliest extant record of optics was written by Mo Zi, who was born in China around 470 BCE [1, 2]. In the Mo Jing (墨经), he not only expounded upon logic, geometry and mechanics, but also described basic concepts of linear optics such as reflection by plane and curved mirrors, refraction, and the camera obscura, all based on actual experiments. Later, Liu An (179-122 BCE) wrote about various optical devices including “burning glasses” made of ice and the earliest surveillance periscope. However, this was followed by a long period during which scientific thought stagnated, and it is only over the last half century that China has begun to catch up with the west.

A brief overview will be presented of the history of optics in China, up to the development of quantum optics research which led to the landmark launch of the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale Satellite (QUESS, nicknamed the Mo Zi satellite) in 2016.

[1]    J. Needham, Science and Civilization in China, v.4, Part 1, Physics (Cambridge University Press, 1962).

[2]    Ling-An Wu, Guilu Long, Qihuang Gong and Guang-Can Guo, “Optics in Ancient China”, AAPPS Bulletin, 25, No. 4, 6 (Aug 2015).


中国科学院物理研究所研究员。1962年由英国回国后入北京大学物理系,1968毕业分配到河北冀衡农场,1971分配到中科院物理研究所,1981留学美国德州大学奥斯汀分校物理系,1987获博士学位后回物理所。其博士论文《Generation of squeezed states from an optical parametric oscillator》的实验已编入教科书,发表的Phys. Rev. Lett.相关文章入选美国物理学会庆祝2015国际光年网光学重大突破的论文集。回国后,在国内首次演示自由空间和光纤中量子密钥分发,同时开始研制基于单光子的真随机数源、单光子探测器等。2005国际上首次以真热光实现“鬼”成像。2009退休返聘继续从事科研;2015聘任中科院大学岗位教授,讲授量子光学。在非线性光学和量子光学方面发表文章170多篇,引用率3000多次,获发明专利16项。