Translator:Henyee TranslationsEditor:Henyee Translations
A rustic study room in Beijing.
An old man sat in front of a wooden desk while he read a letter in his hand.
Although he couldnt understand most of the letter, his assistant pointed out the key points for him. He skipped the paragraphs that contained technical words.
Footstep sounds came from the corridor; a knock was heard outside his office.
The old man put the letter down and said, Come in.
The door opened and an old man wearing a suit walked in.
Elder, are you looking for me?
I have something that Im not sure about, and I want to ask you, the old man said as he looked at Old Wu. He then asked, Its about the young man. Do you think he should get the first-class award or the second-class award?
Although the old man didnt say the name of the young person, Old Wu immediately knew who he was talking about.
Old Wu paused for a second before he said, I think both the first class and second class awards are not appropriate. The State Science and Technology Progress Award is more appropriate than the State Natural Science Award.
Although the State Science and Technology Progress Award was one of the top five awards in the country, it was still one level lower than the State Natural Science Award.
To make an analogy, this would be like the difference between the citys three best students and the states three best students.
The old man thought for a moment before he said, In the 1980s, Mr. Chen won the first-class Natural Science Award for his contribution to Goldbachs conjecture. With this in mind, the young man should be worthy.
Old Wu knew the old man would say this, so he smiled and tried to persuade him.
Its not the 1980s anymore; the domestic academic community was underdeveloped back then. Its different now. Goldbachs conjecture is only a mathematics conjecture.
The old man smiled and said, Then what about the lithium-sulfur batteries? Thats an applicable result.
According to the governments plan, they were going to increase the battery capacity to 350Wh/kg by 2020 and achieve a price of $1 yuan/Wh.
But now, with the breakthrough in lithium batteries, the battery capacity had more than tripled, thus fulfilling the governments plan.
The young man solved the technical problem of lithium dendrites and lithium-sulfur battery positive electrode materials. There was no doubt that the state energy department owed him one.
The old man loved young, capable people.
Old Wu was the head of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and he couldnt help but feel he was stuck in a dilemma.
He actually believed that Lu Zhou deserved this honor.
However, the state awards were different than academic institute awards. They had to think beyond academics; they had to think of the response of others.
Old Wu thought for a moment before asking, If you give him the honor now, what will happen if he achieves something greater? Are we going to give him the Highest Science and Technology Award?
The old man smiled and said, If he deserves it, then why not?
Old Wu sighed. The average Highest Science and Technology Award winner is over eighty years old. If you give it to a young person, Im afraid the public
He paused for a second before continuing, Regardless, it might not be a good thing for him.
He was right.
This time, the old man didnt speak. Instead, he merely nodded as he began to think.
After a minute, he spoke.
Go do your own stuff, Ill think about it.
Director Wu sighed and nodded.
He turned around and started to leave.
However, when he was at the door, he heard the old man said, Wait a second.
Director Wu turned around and asked respectfully, Is there anything else?
The old man slid the letter across his desk.
I have a letter here, take it and read it.
Director Wu immediately took the letter and opened it.
He was stunned when he saw the title of the letter.
[The Application of Computer Science in Cutting-Edge Research and The Trend Of Future Academia Development.]
Lu Zhou was in Germany. He didnt know that his letter to Jin Ling University was passed to the government heads.
After all, he was more interested in science than politics.
After he got back from the embassy, he and Professor Klitzing went to Greifswald in east Germany.
This small town had a population of less than 70,000. Almost all of them were members of the University of Greifswald. This was like the Princeton of Germany, quiet and rural, perfect for studying and retirement.
However, Lu Zhou and Professor Klitzing didnt come here for the University of Greifswald; they came for the Wendelstein 7-X research institute.
Professor Klitzing walked into the institute and brought Lu Zhou into a laboratory. He found the person in charge and spoke to Lu Zhou.
This is the person I told you about, Professor Ralph Keriber. Hes worked here for more than ten years, making him one of the oldest research engineers here.
Thats right, I watched this little guy grow up, Professor Keriber said as he took off his hard hat and smiled. He then offered his right hand to Lu Zhou and said, Welcome, professor from Princeton University, Im glad you are interested in this project.
He was talking about the stellarator. The stellarator was actually related to Princeton. Even though it was Germany that developed this technology, it was Lyman Spitzer, a physicist of Princeton University, who first proposed the idea.
However, the idea was considered too advanced at the time; it was unfeasible both from the engineering side and the materials science side.
Ten years later, the first stellarator was born. Fifty years after that, the stellarator was still a prototype. It might take another fifty years until a fully working model could be created.
Lu Zhou shook his hand and smiled as he spoke humbly.
Im only a mathematics professor, I havent done any research on nuclear fusion. Im only here to satisfy my curiosity, so Im afraid I cant help you.
As a Nobel Prize in Physics winner, Professor Keriber disrespected physics and said, Haha, who cares? In my opinion, Princeton mathematics professors are more remarkable than physics professors.
Professor Klitzing wanted to say something but Keriber put his hard hat on and spoke again.
Its the perfect time for you to come, theres an experiment planned for today. Come with me, Ill show you the little guy.
He took the two people and walked out of the laboratory.