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World's Largest Cosmic Ray Lab to be Built in Tibet

Xinhua, 25 May 2001

LHASA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China is cooperating with Italy to build the world's largest cosmic ray laboratory at Yangbajain in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

The first-phase construction of the lab is to begin in June this year. Italy will invest 9 million U.S. dollars in the first phase and the Chinese side will contribute 35 million yuan to the project.

The experimental hall of the laboratory is designed to cover 10, 000 square meters, of which 5,000 square meters are installed with cosmic ray detectors, said Meng Xianru, head of the Yangbajain Cosmic Ray Observation Station.

Yangbajain lies on the Tanggula Mountain range at an elevation of 4,700 meters. As it has much longer hours of sunshine than other areas of the world, it is considered one of the best positions for observing cosmic rays on earth.

The Yangbajain Cosmic Ray Observation Station was built by China and Japan in 1990. Currently, scientists from a dozen countries work at the observation station.

When the laboratory becomes operational, it will open to scientists around the globe, Meng said.