Jiuzhang, a quantum computer prototype developed at the University of Science and Technology of China, represents such a giant leap forward in computing that just 200 seconds of its time dedicated to a specific task would equal 600 million years of computing time for today's current most powerful supercomputer.
On Dec 4, Science magazine announced a major breakthrough made by a team from USTC headed by renowned physicist Pan Jianwei. The team had jointly developed a 76-photon Jiuzhang, realizing an initial milestone on the path to full-scale quantum computing.
This quantum computational advantage, also known as "quantum supremacy", established China's leading position in the sphere of quantum computing research in the world.
USTC has produced a string of wonders: Sending Wukong, China-'s first dark matter particle explorer, and Mozi, the world's first quantum communication satellite, into space; and witnessing the National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory sending off light from the Hefei Light Source.
During the past 50 years, USTC has made significant achievements in the fields of quantum physics, high-temperature superconductivity, thermonuclear fusion, artificial intelligence and nanomaterials.
Technology is the foundation of a country's prosperity, while innovation is the soul of national progress.
Since 1970, when USTC was relocated to Hefei, Anhui province, it has focused on research and innovation, targeting basic and strategic work in a bid to fulfill its oath to scale "the peak of sciences".
The large number of world-renowned innovative achievements shined glory on USTC, exhibiting its courage to innovate, daring to surpass its peers and unremitting pursuit of striving to be a top university in the world.
Although USTC was set up only 62 years ago, it established the country's first national laboratory and also the first national research center. It has obtained the largest number of achievements selected among China's Top 10 News for Scientific and Technological Progress each year since its founding.
Its reputation as an "important stronghold of innovation" has become stronger over the years.
While facing the frontiers of world science and technology, the main economic battlefield, the major needs of China and people's healthcare, USTC focuses on cultivating high-level scientific and technological innovation talents and teams, and shoulders national tasks.
It has used innovation to generate transformative technologies and develop strategic emerging industries, perfecting its ability to serve national strategic demand, and regional economic and social development.
Facing sci-tech frontiers
USTC has top disciplines covering mathematics, physics, chemistry, Earth and space sciences, biology and materials science. While based on basic research, USTC pays close attention to cutting-edge exploration, encouraging innovative achievements.
Serving major needs
In response to major national needs, USTC has led and participated in a number of significant scientific and technological projects that showcase the nation's strategic aims.
For example, sending the Mozi satellite and Wukong probe into space. Meanwhile, it also participated in the development of core components of Tiangong-2, China's first space lab, and Tianwen-1, the nation's first Mars exploration mission.
Main economic battlefield
In the face of economic and social development needs, USTC has balanced meeting national needs and boosting exploration in frontier spheres.
It has witnessed a series of innovative achievements in the fields of materials science, energy, environment, advanced manufacturing, AI, big data and security.
USTC's School of Life Sciences was founded in 1958 with emphasis on biophysics. In recent years, this flourished into many branches of biological sciences.
The new School of Life Sciences was established in Hefei in 1998. Based on its years of cultivation in the field of life sciences, the university has contributed much to China's medical science.
In 2020, the university developed the "USTC protocol" to treat COVID-19 patients, which has been introduced to more than 20 countries and regions.
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