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Summit gathers top minds in science and tech

Top scientists in mathematical physics, astrophysics, brain-computer interfaces and intelligent robotics shared their insights on cutting-edge global science and technology innovations at the ninth We Summit held by Chinese tech behemoth Tencent on Saturday.

Nobel prize winners — British mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose and German astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel — along with four leading scientists John A Rogers, Krishna V Shenoy, Wang Chaoyang and Xplorer Prize winner Li Tiefeng attended the summit this year.

"By 2021, it became clear that our practices had to change. We could improve our quality of life, leveraging our new technologies and escaping the traditional constraints of nature while maintaining a new balance with natural forces on earth," said David Wallerstein, chief exploration officer and senior executive vice-president at Tencent.

Roger Penrose, emeritus professor at the University of Oxford, discussed the evolution of thinking around black holes, singularity and cyclic cosmology, and his experience spending decades alongside great minds such as Stephen Hawking.

He and his peers have been leveraging mathematics toward solving large and fundamental questions around the formation of black holes, as well as establishing the foundational mathematical structure that defines modern cosmology.

Reinhard Genzel, professor at the University of Munich and emeritus professor at the University of California Berkeley, provided an overview of his 40 years of work in proving the existence of black holes through observational methods, and obtaining definitive evidence that led to the creation of a new field of research on supermassive celestial bodies.

Pennsylvania State University Professor Wang Chaoyang, whose research has led to the development of all-climate battery technology used by the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to power electric vehicles during the Games, shared some of his latest research achievements regarding 10-minute fast-charging batteries, and how the technology represents an important step in the development of truly futuristic advancements such as the commercialization of flying cars with fast-charging battery technology.

Founded in 2013, Tencent's We Summit has shared the voices and insights of nearly 80 world-leading scientists to over 80 million people. In 2020, a record 25 million people watched the summit's livestream.

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