On January 11, 2019, the world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope and the country’s major scientific and technological infrastructure known as the “Sky Eye of China”-500 The meter-aperture spherical radio telescope (FAST) successfully passed national acceptance at the FAST site in Pingtang, Guizhou, and was officially opened for operation. From the first discovery of 2 pulsars in October 2017 by China Sky Eyes, to the announcement of the National Acceptance Conference on the 11th, 102 pulsars have been found. The pulsars it has discovered in more than two years exceeded the number of pulsar searches in Europe and the United States in the same period The team found the sum of the numbers.

Nan Rendong, the “Father of Chinese Heavenly Eyes”, died on September 15, 2017. Nan Rendong is the founder and founder of the 500-meter spherical spherical radio telescope (FAST) project, known as the “Chinese Sky Eye.” Since 1994, he has been responsible for the site selection, pre-research, project establishment, feasibility study and preliminary design of the project, formulating scientific goals, and guiding the research and testing of key technologies. Most of the members of the “China Skyeye” core team are students of Nan Rendong. S s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s A G of the following are the affiliates of the affiliate group:

this article from” I am a scientist iScientist “, It was made by Nan Rendong’s assistant and the leader of the FAST commissioning team. I would like to use this article as a commemoration of the official operation of FAST.

Me and “Old South”. Photo: Jiang Peng

“How many times you lift and lower your pen, you don’t want to touch the pain in your heart.”

We called him “Old South” behind us. He e-mailed us, and so did WeChat. It feels so easy to call.

In the morning of September 16, open WeChat and know that “Lao Nan” is gone forever. Despite some preparation, I was still at a loss. The movie in my mind generally recalls the intersection with the life of “Lao Nan”.

“Do you have time to come back?” “Too much work here …”

The first few days before his departure were around May 15 this year. I just probably remember because he was in the United States on May 18. I called him to report work, but I just wanted to tell him something. I knew he was going abroad, but he learned from others. He didn’t tell me, it was estimated that he was afraid of affecting work-because I was in charge of debugging FAST. FAST is regarded as “life” by “Old South”.

We have a natural tacit understanding. I do n’t usually ask more about what he does n’t say. This has always been the case, but this time it was an exception. At the beginning of the phone call, I reported the work, and then suddenly asked him, “Master, I heard that you are going to the United States?” He said in a low voice, “Yes.” After we were silent for a while, he asked: “You have time Come back? “The answer made me blame so far:” There are so many things here, I may not go back. “

I didn’t expect him to ask me this way, because he never did that. Although my answer is the actual situation, it is without thinking. On weekdays, most of our conversations are like this, going straight. Only this time, I was really wrong. Every time I think about it, my heart is hard to calm down.

Later, some progress was made in the commissioning work.It gave him a little comfort. So far I have comforted myself this way: Maybe I went back at the time, and “Lao Nan” could not see the debugging results of FAST. I feel better in this way, but I know that it is just deceiving myself.

“Meeting for the first time, bandit leader”

Like most colleagues, the first meeting with “Lao Nan” was during the interview and joined the FAST project team. It was 2009, and my doctorate just graduated.

Lao Nan asked a lot of questions during the interview, but it was not difficult, but the scope was wide. Later, I could generally feel that he should be examining our intuition and perception more. I think it must be careless like everything else he did, but in essence, every question was carefully prepared by him.

In fact, I didn’t know who he was when I was interviewing. I just felt his powerful aura. At first glance, he was a “head”, and even a bit like a “bandit leader”. I still remember what he said to me during the interview. He took my resume, looked at it, and said, “Just your resume, it is not easy to find a job in other institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences system, right?” I have to admit that what he said is the fact, my undergraduate school is not considered Well, the profession also favors engineering applications. But I still felt that he was a little rude at the time, so I refuted him a few words. Now thinking about it, it is also an interesting episode between me and him …

“You are a little kid who has just graduated two years ago, can I trust you completely?”

The real in-depth exchange with “Lao Nan” began with a nearly catastrophic challenge experienced by FAST-the fatigue problem of the cable network. This is also the beginning of my life’s close interaction with Teacher Nan.

That was in 2010. We purchased more than ten steel cable structures from well-known companies for fatigue tests. As a result, none of them could meet the requirements of FAST. As a result, a arduous technical research began. At that time, the site excavation project had begun, and the equipment foundation engineering was imminent. However, due to the cable fatigue problem, the structural form of the reflective surface was not yet determined.

Think of the pressure of “Lao Nan”. He was almost sleepless, and communicated with our technicians every day to find ways to solve the problem in terms of craftsmanship and materials. It was difficult for me to understand that such a big scientist would be at a loss, maybe he had too many responsibilities …

“Old South” even whimsically hopes to use spring as a carrier of elastic deformation to solve the problem of cable fatigue. In my opinion, it’s a bit wild and incredible. He hopes that everyone will diverge thinking, and I am an engineer-practically difficult for him to accept. In order to end this process as soon as possible, I proposed an ultimate version of the spring solution. In fact, I just want to say that if this scheme is not working, other spring schemes need not be considered.

I remember clearly that when I finished drawing on the blackboard, “Lao Nan” asked a few simple questions and was silent for a long time. I don’t even remember how the meeting ended, I just remember it was surprisingly quiet. Remember, when I left the meeting room, I scanned with Yu Guang, “Lao Nan” was still standing in front of the blackboard, holding his hand and looking at the picture I drew … At that time, I felt like a child …

Later, the direction turned to the development of steel cables. The entire development work was nearly two years and experienced nearly a hundred failures. Almost every time he failed, “Lao Nan” came to the scene to communicate improvement measures. In the end, the development of a steel cable structure that meets the requirements of FAST was considered to be an obstacle for FAST.

After that, our project team encountered a relatively large change. “Lao Nan” called me to his office and asked: “Jiang Peng, you said you were a little boy who just graduated two years ago. I can Do you totally believe in you? “I was silent there for a long while, answering word by word:” Mr. Nan, I think you can trust me. “I think my answer at that time caught him off guard. I talked for a long time after that, but I do n’t remember the specific content. I just remember his panic. Maybe I did n’t follow the routine too much. Haha, I still think it ’s funny …

But maybe only he can tolerate my unbridledness …

“I never thought such a little old man would have such a legendary life”

Later, I became the assistant of “Lao Nan”, and slowly came into contact with his heart. He began to tell his story to me, how he used the opportunity of big tandem to run through the great rivers and mountains of his motherland; how he spent the difficult and uphill ten years in the mountains and countryside; how he returned to the Beijing Observatory, How to study in the Netherlands, how to work in Japan, and how to return to China … I was so enthralled that I never thought of such a little old man with such a legendary life. It was so interesting that I dare not think about it. .

At first, I thought “Lao Nan” was bragging, and slowly discovered that it was not the case. What I can verify, what he said is true. His life is full of mischief, ethics, cynicism, and even some troubles … I like it so much, how much I yearn for, but I ca n’t find it. I even started to envy his legendary life. I even started to understand his family. He told me his fatherMother, his siblings, talk about his paintings, talk about his favorite songs, talk about his radio astronomy methods, etc …

“Old South” doesn’t care about fame or fortune, otherwise he won’t give up Japan’s high salary. He is also quite indifferent to the academician’s name. I haven’t seen him bow his head for anything since he knew him. But he himself said that for the FAST project, he bowed his head. In his words, he even drank alcohol for FAST projects. I think this is probably his limit.

I will never learn some of his qualities. For example, compassion. He often said that I was not kind enough, and I think he was right. I may never be as good as him. He sympathizes with the weak and is willing to look at the world from the perspective of the weak.

He has sponsored more than a dozen children in poor mountainous areas to go to school, and so far there are still students who have received funding to write to him. He was with the workers at the scene, and a big scientist was short with their parents in the humble shed. He remembers the names of many workers, knows what kind of work they do, knows their income, and knows the chores of their family. He often brought some snacks to the workers and bought them clothes … The respect he had for the workers would have been unimaginable if he hadn’t seen them. Maybe it is too ignorant of me, but in my previous life, I have never seen such a situation.

But to me, since I became his assistant, I have never seen him boast about me again. In addition to criticism, it still seems to be the case. Sometimes I feel that I have done a good job, why do I still criticize it, or even have a little emotion. However, it is always good to hear his evaluation of me from others’ mouths. In the days he was with him, I went from research assistant, associate research to researcher, and my professional life seemed to others to be very smooth. I think, in addition to his own efforts, it has nothing to do with his evaluation of me. Because everyone recognizes his character and the people around him …

“Master, can we still talk? How do I feel like I’m in a bad mood …”

The last email I had with him was that I was worried that he had misunderstood me, so I would like to introduce my current work situation, which will inevitably cause some disappointment. In his reply, after he comforted me, the last sentence he wrote was: “When everyone is in a good mood, let’s talk …” When I learned that he had passed away, I opened the mailbox to reply: “Father, can we still talk? How do I feel like I’m in a bad mood …” I don’t know if he can receive it there, I just know that I can’t get any more responses …