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Hello! Mt. Qomolangma!

Updated:2008-05-05 17:34 | Source:Beijing2008


Hello! Mt. Qomolangma!
Mt. Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest

Which height else that makes people so anxious to look forward to? Which mountain peak else that makes people lost in a reverie?

People have never for a moment ceased their yearning and aspiration for reaching it ever since the name of Qomolangma (also called Mt. Everest in the West) was first marked out on the map in 1717. "I came, I saw, I conquered." For the past century, over 1,500 good mountaineers or athletes, with great passion, have successfully reached the peak, and nearly 200 valiant people have died in snowstorms. A path that leads up to the mountain is filled with dangers and difficulties and engraved with humans' infinite thoughts and feelings of getting close to, probing and understanding nature.

The desire to get a profound understanding of the natural world has inspired people's endless latent capacity. In the era featuring a "path high into the clouds" that clasps the moon in the Ninth Heaven and "mountaineers talking and laughing in their triumphant return" like having seized turtles deep down in the Five Seas, Mt. Qomolangma is no longer too high to be reached as it was before.

Scaling the peak by one single person, striding across from both the north and the south, or getting over the mountain by a blind man, climbing without inhaling oxygen, the mountaineers upraise the surveyor's pole again and again as they press on, making it seem that difficulties and challenges are not big enough. Only when they turn their courageous eyes downward, would they suddenly discover that they actually still know little about this mysterious "third goddess", whether in terms of her past, her future or her present exact height.

This is nothing surprising. It is possible by aid of even a Hubble telescope to distinguish stars beyond 10 billion light years, but is to date still difficult to give an answer to such a seemingly simple question of whether we can "see with our naked eyes the Great Wall in the outer space". Even though the computer remote-controlled procedures can push up the Mars bus bogged down deep in a sandpit to restart off, our engineers are still worried about the loosened water tap and the turntable that often gets stuck. The devil is in the minutiae that are so numerous. Even science and technology have to take great pains to deal with them even they had the superhuman powers.

A careful calculation reveals that the Chinese have gone though a history of nearly 50 years in making precise measurement of Mt. Qomolangma. But regrettably, professional surveyors are only amateur mountaineers, they have never engaged in personal operation on top of the mountain peak, while specialized mountaineers have only limited surveying knowledge and skill, their grasp and handling of complicated situations is hardly regarded as perfect. Professional surveyors and specialized mountaineers simultaneously scaling the peak and making repetition measurement of the Mt. Qomolangma with state-of-the-art technology and the highest precision, thus making the current comprehensive scientific research on the Mt. Qumolangma the greatest point of sight.

Perhaps some people feel that whether it is 8843.13 meters high, or 8850 meters or 8846 meters, such insignificant difference can change nothing. Is that really so? Mathematicians had spent almost 1,000 full years in exploring the precision of the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter calculated by Zu Chongzhi (a Chinese scientist during the Southern Dynasties) by pushing 10's place forward behind the decimal point, as long as physicists can prove the 0.001 percent change in the numerical value of the constant of the fine structure in the over 10 billion years since the big-bang cosmology, it is possible for them to thoroughly rewrite the broad-sense relativity theory. Any miracle can be wrought after the devil in the minutia is driven out by science. When scientists turn round from the scientific exploration without national boundaries and stand under the national flag of their motherland, when they grasp such a group of accurate figures, their heartbeat from excitement can be clearly heard by everybody.

Hello! Mt. Qomolangma!

Salute to you, heroes and heroines engaged in scientific research on Mt. Qomolangma!

Editor : Zhang

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics