The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is no longer a distant future. China, through NAOC, has joined the TMT as a founding partner, and ground-breaking for the TMT project began in October 2014. When completed, the TMT will be one of the most powerful telescopes in the history of astronomy, and it will be one of the greatest astronomical facilities that China will possess in the beginning of the 21st century. It will bring unprecedented opportunity to Chinese astronomy. How to achieve scientific and technical readiness for TMT to maximize its impact is a great challenge that the Chinese astronomy community is facing.
The theme of this year's KIAA-PKU Astrophysics Forum, held on November 2-4, 2014, is "Thirty-Meter Telescope in China: Scientific and Technological Frontiers". The meeting is jointly organized by KIAA and NAOC. Participants include academician Chen Jiancheng, academician Cui Xiangchun, NAOC director Yan Jun, NAOC vice directors Zhao Gang and Xue Suijian. The opening ceremony was attended by Peking University President Wang Enge and NSFC/DMPS vice director Dong Guoxuan. Opening remarks were given by KIAA Director Luis Ho, PKU President Wang Enge, Academician Chen Jiansheng, and NAOC Director Yan Jun. In total, there were over 120 participants from 26 institutions and universities in China. A broad range of technical and scientific topics were covered, including the TMT and its connections to other large facilities, China's involvement in instrumentation related to TMT, cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution, active galactic nuclei and black hole physics, stars and stellar systems, and extrasolar planets.
In addition to scientific presentations, there was time allocated for detailed discussion of short-term and long-term strategies in developing optical and infrared astronomy in China. The participants reached the following consensus. One one hand, we need to do the research and get the community trained to use currently available domestic and international observing facilities. On the other hand, we need to accumulate the necessary experience and advantages in technology and science by joining the international collaborations including TMT, and be well prepared for building the big domestic facilities in the future.
The meeting's poster, program, list of participants, and conference photo are included as supplements. The following link provides additional information on the Forum, including photos and presentation files for the talks.