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### Dome A

Today I took a workshop “Frontier cosmology at Dome A, Antarctica” held at IHEP. Dome A is the highest point in Antarctica. Although often “spammed” by news about Antarctica, I found I knew little about it. Anyway it is a bit far from us.

“Antarctic is larger than China”, the first speaker, Nobel Prize laureate George Smoot said. I know that the largest neutrino telescope icecube locates at the South Pole. Several of our Daya Bay collaborators come from icecube. “Icecube is the most impor, er, the most expensive experiment in Antarctica”, said by Smoot. “The largest advantage doing experiments in Antarctica is probably the cost. Sending 1 kg equipment to space cost 15,000$by rocket, 60,000$ by shuttle, but only several dollars to Antarctica.” In some wave bands, Dome A is even better than in space.

Actually it is not easy to do experiments at Dome A. Starting from Zhong Shan station, it takes 20 days, 1,250 km trek under -50 degree C to reach Dome A, above 4,000 m altitude. It is probably as difficult as climbing the Everest. Nevertheless, several small programs, including an international collaborative PLATO observatory, have been started in 2008. The data will provide the parameters needed to establish a future observatory. The next programs, such as the THz telescope, may greatly contribute to the studies of the dark matter, dark energy, and the origin of the universe, etc.