Di Li

Chief Scientist, Radio Division; Deputy Chief Engineer of FAST
Academic title
Mailing Address
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, A20 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China,100012 , 100012

Education and Career History

2012.01 - Present          Chief Scientist                                                  Radio Astronomy Division, National Astronomical Observatories of China

2007.01 - 2011.12        Research Scientist                                           Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology

2005.05 - 2006.12       National Research Council Fellow                Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology

2002.02 – 2005.05      Astronomer                                                      Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

2002.02                      Ph.D.: Astrophysics ,                                       Cornell University, Ithaca, NY    

1995.07                     Bachelor of Science: Nuclear Physics,            Beijing University, Beijing, China      

1995.07                     Graduation Certificate: Computer Science,  Beijing University, Beijing, China  

Research Fields

Interstellar Medium

Star Formation

Radio Instrumentation

Pulsar Search

dwarf galaxies



Dr. Li has lead numerous research programs, including spectroscopic and mapping projects of VLA, GBT, Arecibo, FCRAO, SWAS, Spitzer, Herschel, SOFIA and ALMA.


He pioneered several observing and data analysis techniques, including HI narrow self-absorption technique and a new inversion solution to the dust temperature distribution. These techniques facilitate important measurements of star forming regions, such as the formation time scale.


His work has been featured on《Nature》magazine as a research highlight.


He was awarded the National Research Council (US) “residence research fellow” award and was a member of the NASA outstanding team award (2009).


He is now leading the science preparation efforts of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). He served on the Steering Committee of Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF), is now a co-chair of the “Cradle of Life” science working group (SWG) of SKA,a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Major-facilities Guidance Group, and an adviser to the Breakthrough Listen initiative.

Selected Publication

Xu, Xuefang; Li, Di*; Dai, Y. Sophia; Fuller, Gary A. and Yue, Nannan, Independent Core Rotation in Massive Filaments in Orion, 2020, ApJ, 894L, 20

Li, Di*; Gajjar, Vishal; Wang, Pei; Siemion, Andrew and Zhang, Zhi-Song; Zhang, Hai-Yan; Yue, You-Ling and Zhu, Yan; Jin, Cheng-Jin; Li, Shi-Yu; Berger, Sabrina and Brzycki, Bryan; Cobb, Jeff; Croft, Steve and Czech, Daniel; DeBoer, David; DeMarines, Julia and Drew, Jamie; Emilio Enriquez, J.; Gizani, Nectaria and Korpela, Eric J.; Isaacson, Howard; Lebofsky, Matthew and Lacki, Brian; MacMahon, David H. E.; Nanez, Morgan and Niu, Chen-Hui; Pei, Xin; Price, Danny C. and Werthimer, Dan; Worden, Pete; Gerry Zhang, Yunfan and Zhang, Tong-Jie; FAST Collaboration, Opportunities to search for extraterrestrial intelligence with the FAST, 2020, RAA, 20, 78

Tang, Ning-Yu; Zuo, Pei; Li, Di*; Qian, Lei and Liu, Tie; Wu, Yue-Fang; Krˇco, Marko and Liu, Meng-Ting; Yue, You-Ling; Zhu, Yan and Liu, Hong-Fei; Yu, Dong-Jun; Sun, Jing-Hai and Jiang, Peng; Pan, Gao-Feng; Li, Hui; Gan, Heng-Qian and Yao, Rui; Liu, Shu; FAST Collaboration, Pilot HI survey of Planck Galactic Cold Clumps with FAST, 2020, RAA, 20, 77

Cameron, A. D.; Li, D.; Hobbs, G.; Zhang, L. and Miao, C. C.; Wang, J. B.; Yuan, M.; Wang, S. and Jacobs Corban, G.; Cruces, M.; Dai, S.; Feng, Y. and Han, J.; Kaczmarek, J. F.; Niu, J. R.; Pan, Z. C. and Qian, L.; Tao, Z. Z.; Wang, P.; Wang, S. Q. and Xu, H.; Xu, R. X.; Yue, Y. L.; Zhang, S. B. and Zhi, Q. J.; Zhu, W. W.; Champion, D. J.; Kramer, M. and Zhou, S. Q.; Qiu, K. P.; Zhu, M., An in-depth investigation of 11 pulsars discovered by FAST, 2020, MNRAS, 495, 3515

Wang, Junzhi; Li, Di; Goldsmith, Paul F.; Zhang, Zhi-Yu; Gao, Yu; Shi, Yong; Li, Shanghuo; Fang, Min; Li, Juan; Zhang, Jiangshui, Molecular Oxygen in the Nearest QSO Mrk 231, 2020ApJ, 889, 129W

Liu, Boyang; Li, Di*; Staveley-Smith, Lister; Qian, Lei; Wong, Tony; Goldsmith, Paul, Tracing the Formation of Molecular Clouds in a Low-metallicity Galaxy: An H I Narrow Self-absorption Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud, 2019, ApJ, 887, 242L

Zhang, Lei; Li, Di*; Hobbs, George; Agar, Crispin H.; Manchester, Richard N.; Weltevrede, Patrick; Coles, William A.; Wang, Pei; Zhu, Weiwei; Wen, Zhigang; Yuan, Jianping; Cameron,;rew D.; Dai, Shi; Liu, Kuo; Zhi, Qijun; Miao, Chenchen; Yuan, Mao; Cao, Shuyun; Feng, Li; Gan, Hengqian; Gao, Long; Gu, Xuedong; Guo, Minglei; Hao, Qiaoli; Huang, Lin; Jiang, Peng; Jin, Chengjin; Li, Hui; Li, Qi; Li, Qisheng; Liu, Hongfei; Pan, Gaofeng; Pan, Zhichen; Peng, Bo; Qian, Hui; Qian, Lei; Shi, Xiangwei; Song, Jinyou; Song, Liqiang; Sun, Caihong; Sun, Jinghai; Wang, Hong; Wang, Qiming; Wang, Yi; Xie, Xiaoyao; Yan, Jun; Yang, Li; Yang, Shimo; Yao, Rui; Yu, Dongjun; Yu, Jinglong; Yue, Youling; Zhang, Chengmin; Zhang, Haiyan; Zhang, Shuxin; Zheng, Xiaonian; Zhou, Aiying; Zhu, Boqin; Zhu, Lichun; Zhu, Ming; Zhu, Wenbai; Zhu, Yan, PSR J1926-0652: A Pulsar with Interesting Emission Properties Discovered at FAST, 2019, ApJ, 877, 55Z

Li, Di*; Dickey, John M.; Liu, Shu, Preface: Planning the scientific applications of the Five- hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, 2019, RAA, 19, 16L

Zarka, Philippe; Li, Di*; Grie?meier, Jean-Mathias; Lamy, Laurent; Girard, Julien N.; Hess, S ?ebastien L. G.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Hallinan, Gregg, Detecting exoplanets with FAST?, 2019RAA, 19, 23Z

Heiles, Carl; Li, Di*; McClure-Griffiths, Naomi; Qian, Lei; Liu, Shu, The interstellar medium: the key component in galactic evolution; modern cosmology, 2019, RAA, 19, 17H

Zuo, Pei; Li, Di*; Peek, J. E. G.; Chang, Qiang; Zhang, Xia; Chapman, Nicholas; Goldsmith, Paul F.; Zhang, Zhi-Yu, Catching the Birth of a Dark Molecular Cloud for the First Time, 2018, ApJ, 867, 13Z

Li, Di*; Wang, Pei; Qian, Lei; Krco, Marko; Jiang, Peng; Yue, Youling; Jin, Chenjin; Zhu, Yan; Pan, Zhichen; Nan, Rendong; Dunning, Alex, FAST in Space: Considerations for a Multibeam, Multipurpose Survey Using China’s 500-m Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), 2018, IMMag, 19, 112L

Li, Di*; Tang, Ningyu; Nguyen, Hiep; Dawson, J. R.; Heiles, Carl; Xu, Duo; Pan, Zhichen; Goldsmith, Paul F.; Gibson, Steven J.; Murray, Claire E.; Robishaw, Tim; McClure-Griffiths, N. M.; Dickey, John; Pineda, Jorge; Stanimirovi ?c, Sneˇzana; Bronfman, L.; Troland, Thomas; PRIMO Collaboration, Where is OH; Does It Trace the Dark Molecular Gas (DMG)?, 2018, ApJS, 235, 1L

Li, Di*; Pan, Zhichen, The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope Project, 2016, RaSc, 51, 1060L

Xu, Duo; Li, Di*; Yue, Nannan; Goldsmith, Paul F., Evolution of OH: CO-Dark Molecular Gas Fraction across a Molecular Cloud Boundary in Taurus, 2016, ApJ, 819, 22X

Li, D.; Kauffmann, J.; Zhang, Q.; Chen, W., Massive Quiescent Cores in Orion: Dynamical State Revealed by High-resolution Ammonia Maps, 2013, ApJL, 768L, 5L

Qian, Lei; Li, Di; Goldsmith, Paul F., 13CO Cores in the Taurus Molecular Cloud, 2012, ApJ, 760, 147Q

Li, Di*; Goldsmith, Paul F., Is the Taurus B213 Region a True Filament?: Observations of Multiple Cyanoacetylene Transitions, 2012, ApJ, 756, 12L

Nan, Rendong; Li, Di*; Jin, Chengjin; Wang, Qiming; Zhu, Lichun; Zhu, Wenbai; Zhang, Haiyan; Yue, Youling; Qian, Lei, The Five-Hundred Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (fast) Project, 2011, IJMPD, 20, 989N

Li, D.; Velusamy, T.; Goldsmith, P. F.; Langer, William D., Massive Quiescent Cores in Orion. II. Core Mass Function, 2007, ApJ, 655, 351L

Li, D.; Goldsmith, P. F.; Menten, K., Massive Quiescent Cores in Orion. I. Temperature Structure, 2003, ApJ, 587, 262L

Li, D.; Goldsmith, P. F., H I Narrow Self-Absorption in Dark Clouds, 2003, ApJ, 585, 823L

Goldsmith, P. F.; Li, D.; Bergin, E. A.; Melnick, G. J.; Tolls, V.; Howe, J. E.; Snell, R. L.; Neufeld, D. A., Tentative Detection of Molecular Oxygen in the ρ Ophiuchi Cloud, 2002, ApJ, 576, 814G

Li, Di*; Goldsmith, Paul F.; Xie, Taoling, A New Method for Determining the Dust Temperature Distribution in Star-forming Regions, 1999, ApJ, 522, 897L

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