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More important, Chinese particle physicists are poised to make a major contribution to one of the grandest collaborations of all, a proposed giant accelerator called the International Linear Collider, or I.L.C. The world’s physicists have already determined that it will be the Next Big Thing, but how many billions it will cost and where it will be built have yet to be decided.
China wants to stand up scientifically, as it is beginning to economically, and it is pouring money and talent into the sciences, particularly physics. Jie Zhang, director general of basic sciences for the Chinese academy, said his budget had been increasing 17 percent a year for the last few years as China tried to ramp up research spending to about 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product. By comparison, the United States spends slightly less than 2 percent, according to the National Science Foundation.
More articles by Dennis Overbye on the breaktrough of Chinese science:
Hawking Takes Beijing; Now, Will Science Follow?
Einstein’s Man in Beijing: A Rebel With a Cause
The Emperor of Math
The Weekend Politics Overshadowed Physics