2010 05 02 10 Dr Daniel C Tsui  Physics Nobel Prize King Carl Xvi Gustaf Of Sweden 10 December 1998
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2010 05 02 10 Dr Daniel C Tsui Physics Nobel Prize King Carl Xvi Gustaf Of Sweden 10 December 1998

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2010 05 02 10 Dr Daniel C Tsui  Physics Nobel Prize King Carl Xvi Gustaf Of Sweden 10 December 1998 2010 05 02 10 Dr Daniel C Tsui Physics Nobel Prize King Carl Xvi Gustaf Of Sweden 10 December 1998 Presentation Transcript

  • 2010 05 02 10 Dr Daniel C Tsui receiving his Nobel Prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at the Stockholm Concert Hall 10 December 1998. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1998/tsui-photo.html Copyright © FLT-Pica 1998, SE-105 17 Stockholm, Sweden, telephone: +46-8-13 52 40 Photo: Anders Wiklund
  • Daniel C. Tsui receiving his Nobel Prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at the Stockholm Concert Hall, 10 December 1998. Copyright © FLT-Pica 1998, SE-105 17 Stockholm, Sweden, telephone: +46-8-13 52 40 Photo: Anders Wiklund
  • http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1998/press.html The Nobel Prize in Physics 1998 English Swedish Press Release 13 October 1998 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly to Professor Robert B. Laughlin, Stanford University, California, USA, Professor Horst L. Störmer, Columbia University, New York and Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs, New Jersey, USA, and Professor Daniel C. Tsui, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. The three researchers are being awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that electrons acting together in strong magnetic fields can form new types of "particles", with charges that are fractions of electron charges. Citation: "for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations." Electrons in New Guises Horst L. Störmer and Daniel C. Tsui made the discovery in 1982 in an experiment using extremely powerful magnetic fields and low temperatures. Within a year of the discovery Robert B. Laughlin had succeeded in explaining their result. Through theoretical analysis he showed that the electrons in a powerful magnetic field can condense to form a kind of quantum fluid related to the quantum fluids that occur in superconductivity and in liquid helium. What makes these fluids particularly important for researchers is that events in a drop of quantum fluid can afford more profound insights into the general
  • inner structure and dynamics of matter. The contributions of the three laureates have thus led to yet another breakthrough in our understanding of quantum physics and to the development of new theoretical concepts of significance in many branches of modern physics. Quantum effects become visible As a young student in 1879 Edwin H. Hall discovered an unexpected phenomenon. He found that if a thin gold plate is placed in a magnetic field at right angles to its surface an electric current flowing along the plate can cause a potential drop at right angles both to the current and the magnetic field (see figure 1). Termed the Hall effect, this takes place because electrically charged particles (in this case electrons) moving in a magnetic field are influenced by a force and deflect laterally. The Hall effect can be used to determine the density of charge carriers (negative electrons or positive holes) in conductors and semi-conductors, and has become a standard tool in physics laboratories the world over. Fig. 1. A voltage V drives a current I in the positive x direction. Normal Ohmic resistance is V / I. A magnetic field in the positive z direction shifts positive charge carriers in the negative y direction. This generates a Hall potential ( VH) and a Hall resistance (VH/ I ) in the y direction. (Kosmos 1986) Hall performed his experiments at room temperature and with moderate magnetic fields of less than one tesla (T). At the end of the 1970's researchers used extremely low temperatures (only a few degrees from absolute zero, i.e. around -272°C) and very powerful magnetic fields (max approx. 30 T). They studied the Hall effect in the type of semiconductor design used in the electronics industry for manufacturing low-noise transistors. The material contains electrons which, though trapped close to an internal surface, separating two distinct parts of the material, are highly mobile along the surface.
  • In such a layer at low temperatures electrons can be caused to move as if on a plane surface, i.e. in two dimensions only. This geometrical limitation leads to many unexpected effects. One is that the Hall effect changes character. This is seen most simply when one measures how the Hall resistance varies with the strength of the applied magnetic field. In 1980 the German physicist Klaus von Klitzing discovered in a similar experiment that the Hall resistance does not vary in linear fashion, but "stepwise" with the strength of the magnetic field (see figure 2). The steps occur at resistance values that do not depend on the properties of the material but are given by a combination of fundamental physical constants divided by an integer. We say that the resistance is quantized. At quantized Hall resistance values, normal Ohmic resistance disappears and the material becomes in a sense superconducting. Fig. 2. The Hall resistance varies stepwise with changes in magnetic field B. Step height is given by the physical constant h/e2 ( value approximately 25 kilo-ohm ) divided by an integer i. The figure shows steps for i =2,3,4,5,6,8 and 10. The effect has given rise to a new international standard for resistance. Since 1990 this has been represented by the unit 1 klitzing, defined as the Hall resistance at the fourth step ( h/4e2 ). The lower peaked curve represents the Ohmic resistance, which disappears at each step. (Kosmos 1986) For his discovery of what is termed the integer quantum Hall effect von Klitzing received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1985. The effect may be understood if one accepts the laws of quantum physics for how individual electrons behave in powerful magnetic fields. In simple terms, the electrons move only in
  • certain circular paths, the basic sizes of which are determined by the magnetic field. The various steps turn out to show how many of the smallest paths are entirely full of electrons. In their refined experimental studies of the quantum Hall effect, using among other things lower temperatures and more powerful magnetic fields, Störmer, Tsui and their co-workers found to their great surprise a new step in the Hall resistance which was three times higher than von Klitzing's highest. They subsequently found more and more new steps, both above and between the integers. All the new step heights can be expressed with the same constant as earlier but now divided by different fractions. For this reason the new discovery was named the fractional quantum Hall effect. It posed a great mystery for the researchers who could not explain how the new steps came about. A new type of quantum fluid A year after the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect, Laughlin offered a theoretical explanation. According to his theory the low temperature and the powerful magnetic field compel the electron gas to condense to form a new type of quantum fluid. Since electrons are most reluctant to condense (they are what is termed fermions) they first, in a sense, combine with the "flux quanta" of the magnetic field. Particularly for the first steps discovered by Störmer and Tsui, the electrons each capture three flux quanta, thus forming a kind of composite particle with no objection to condensing (they become what is termed bosons). Quantum fluids have earlier occurred at very low temperatures in liquid helium (1962 Nobel Prize to Landau; 1978 to Kapitsa; 1996 to Lee, Osheroff and Richardson) and in superconductors (1913 Nobel prize to Kamerlingh Onnes; 1972 to Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer; 1987 to Bednorz and Müller). Quantum fluids have certain properties in common, e.g. superfluidity, but they also show important differences in behaviour. Some, like Laughlin's fluid, consist of composite particles. Apart from its superfluidity, which explains the disappearance of Ohmic resistance at the Hall resistance steps, the new quantum fluid proposed by Laughlin has many unusual properties. One of the most remarkable is that if one electron is added the fluid will be affected (excited) and a number of fractionally charged "quasiparticles" created. These quasiparticles are not particles in the normal sense but a result of the common dance of electrons in the quantum fluid. Laughlin was the first to demonstrate that the quasiparticles have precisely the correct fractional charge to explain Störmer's and Tsui's results. Subsequent measurements have demonstrated more and more fractionally charged steps in the Hall effect (see figure 3), and Laughlin's quantum fluid has proved capable of explaining all the steps found experimentally.
  • Fig. 3. The dashed diagonal line represents the classical Hall resistance and the full drawn diagonal stepped curve the experimental results. The magnetic fields causing the steps are marked with arrows. Note particularly the step first discovered by Störmer and Tsui (1/3) at the highest value of the magnetic field and the steps earlier discovered by von Klitzing (integers) with a weaker magnetic field. (Science 1990) The new quantum fluid strongly resists compression; it is said to be incompressible. This is because it reacts to compression by forming more quasiparticles, which costs energy. Direct demonstration of quasiparticles The discovery and the explanation of the fractional quantum Hall effect in 1982-83 may be said to represent an indirect demonstration of the new quantum fluid and its fractionally charged quasiparticles. Several research groups have recently succeeded in observing these new particles directly (see reference list). This has for instance taken place in experiments where very small variations in a current have been ascribable to individual quasiparticles flowing through the circuit. These measurements, comparable to distinguishing the sound of individual hailstones during a hailstorm and determining that they are only a fraction of their normal size, were made possible by the astonishing development of microelectronics since this year's three laureates made their pioneering contributions. The measurements may be viewed as the conclusive verification of their discoveries.
  • Further reading Additional background material on the Nobel Prize in Physics 1998 [pdf] Splitting the electron, by B. Daviss, New Scientist, 31 January 1998, p. 36. Fractionally charged quasiparticles signal their presence with noise, by G. P. Collins, Physics Today, November 1997, p. 17. When the electron falls apart, by P.W. Anderson, Physics Today, October 1997, p. 42. Electrons in flatland, by S. Kivelson, D.H. Lee and S.C. Zhang, Scientific American, March 1996, p.64. Composite Fermions: New particles in the fractional quantum Hall effect, by H. Störmer and D. Tsui, Physics News in 1994, American Institute of Physics 1995, p. 33. The fractional quantum Hall effect, by J.P. Eisenstein and H.L. Stormer, Science, 22 June 1990, p. 1510. Robert B. Laughlin born 1950 in Visalia, CA, USA. American citizen. PhD in physics 1979 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. Professor of Physics at Stanford University since 1989. Laughlin has received among other awards the 1986 Oliver E. Buckley Prize from the American Physical Society and the Medal of the Franklin Institute, 1998, for his work associated with the fractional quantum Hall effect. Professor Robert B. Laughlin Department of Physics, Varian Bldg Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-4060 USA Horst L. Störmer born 1949 in Frankfurt/Main. PhD in physics 1977 at Stuttgart University, Germany. Director of Physical Research Laboratory, Bell Laboratories 1992-97. Professor, Columbia University, New York and Adjunct Physics Director at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs since 1998. Störmer received among other awards the 1984 Oliver E. Buckley Prize from the American Physical Society, and the Medal of the Franklin Institute, 1998, for his work associated with the fractional quantum Hall effect. Professor Horst L. Störmer Physics Department Columbia University New York, NY 10027 USA Daniel C. Tsui born 1939 in Henan, China. American citizen. PhD in physics 1967 at University of Chicago, USA. Professor at Princeton University since 1982. Tsui
  • received among other awards the 1984 Oliver E. Buckley Prize from the American Physical Society, and the Medal of the Franklin Institute, 1998, for his work associated with the fractional quantum Hall effect. Professor Daniel C. Tsui Department of Electrical Engineering Princeton University PO Box 5263 Princeton, NJ 08544 USA • Printer Friendly • Comments & Questions • Tell a Friend The 1998 Prize in: • Prev. year • Next year The Nobel Prize in Physics 1998 • Press Release • Presentation Speech • Illustrated Presentation Robert B. Laughlin • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Nobel Diploma • Photo Gallery • Prize Presentation • Banquet Speech • Other Resources Horst L. Störmer
  • • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Nobel Diploma • Photo Gallery • Prize Presentation • Other Resources Daniel C. Tsui • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Nobel Diploma • Photo Gallery • Prize Presentation • Other Resources All Physics Nobel Laureates Explore the Physics games! ** The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009 "for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication" "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor"
  • Photo: U. Montan Photo: U. Montan Photo: U. Montan # 6. Charles K. Kao Willard S. Boyle George E. Smith 1/2 of the prize 1/4 of the prize 1/4 of the prize Standard Telecommunication Laboratories Harlow, United Kingdom; Chinese University of Hong Kong Bell Laboratories Bell Laboratories Murray Hill, NJ, USA Murray Hill, NJ, USA Hong Kong, China b. 1933 b. 1924 b. 1930 (in Shanghai, China) (in Amherst, NS, Canada) Titles, data and places given above refer to the time of the award. Photos: Copyright © The Nobel Foundation
  • http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1998/tsui-autobio.html
  • # 5. Daniel C. Tsui The Nobel Prize in Physics 1998 Autobiography I tend to partition my life into three compartments: childhood years in a remote village in the province of Henan in central China, schooling years in Hong Kong, and the years since I came to attend college in the United States. The only thread connecting them is the kindness, generosity and friendship from the people around me that I have experienced all my life. My childhood memories are filled with the years of drought, flood and war which were constantly on the consciousness of the inhabitants of my over-populated village, but also with my parents' self-sacrificing love and the happy moments they created for me. Like most other villagers, my parents never had the opportunity to learn how to read and write. They suffered from their illiteracy and their suffering made them determined not to have their children follow the same path at any and whatever cost to them. In early 1951, my parents seized the first and perhaps the only opportunity to have me leave them and their village to pursue education in so far away a place that neither they nor I knew how far it truly was. In Hong Kong, I began my formal schooling at the sixth grade level with fear and trembling, mixed with some pride and elation. I remember the difficulties that I encountered in not knowing the Cantonese dialect in the beginning, but, even more vividly, the overwhelming kindness of schoolmates who went out of their way to help by offering me their friendship, bringing me into their circle, and taking me to their out-of-class activities. In the middle of my second year in Hong Kong, I entered Pui Ching Middle School, which was known for being outstanding, especially in natural science subjects. Many of the teachers there were
  • overqualified. They were the brightest graduates of the best universities in China and under normal circumstances would have been highly accomplished scholars and scientists. The upheaval of war in China, however, forced them to hibernate in Hong Kong teaching high school kids. They might not have been the best teachers pedagogically, but their intellects and their visions inspired us. Even their casual remarks and the stories from their romantic reminiscences of the glorious days at Peking University could leave indelible marks on us. It was they, I think, who in their unconscious ways dared us students, living in a most commercialized city, to look beyond the dollar sign and see the exploration of new frontiers in human knowledge as an intellectually rewarding and challenging pursuit. I graduated from Pui Ching in 1957 and was admitted to the medical school of National Taiwan University in Taiwan. However, since it was unclear at the time how my parents were and whether I could return to them in China, I stayed in Hong Kong and entered a two-year special program run by the government to prepare Chinese high school graduates for the University of Hong Kong. In late spring the next year, I received the surprising good news from the United States that I was admitted with a full scholarship to my church pastor's Lutheran alma mater, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. I arrived on campus right after Labor Day 1958, and there spent the best three years of my life. It was there that I had for the first time the leisure to wrestle with my Lutheran faith and to think through and make some sense out of my life experience. In Hong Kong, I was always extremely busy as a scholarship student, heavily involved with church activities and responsibilities, and worn-out from long distance daily commuting. Here, I was free to read, to learn and to think through things at my own pace. I knew from the start that I would go to graduate school, and the choice of subject and school was never a problem. C.N. Yang and T.D. Lee were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1957 and they both went to the University of Chicago. Yang and Lee were the role models for Chinese students of my generation and going to the University of Chicago for a graduate education was the ideal pilgrimage. The University of Chicago was intense and intellectual. I liked its being in a major city, its cosmopolitan atmosphere, and even its grimy buildings and the austerity they appeared to convey. There, I luckily met and fell in love with Linda Varland, an undergraduate in the college, and we were married after her graduation. I was also fortunate that Royal Stark, who had just joined the physics faculty as a solid state experimentalist, took me on as a research assistant in the building-up of his laboratory. I realized quite early that I wanted to do experimental physics and that I lacked the aptitude for colossal experimental setups and also the taste for grandeur. I wanted to do tabletop experiments and be allowed to tinker. Royal Stark trusted me and let me try my hands on everything in his laboratory. I was given the best opportunity to learn from the bottom up: from engineer drawing, soldering, machining, and design, to construction and building of our laboratory apparatus. By the time I received my Ph.D., I was confident that I could make a living using the technical skills I had learned there. Since I could always fall back on a job using my technical skills, I reasoned, why not then take a risk and try a research position doing something entirely novel and at the same time intellectually challenging. I left Chicago in early spring 1968 and took a position in Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey to do research in solid state physics. I found myself a niche in semiconductor research, though I never got into the main stream either in semiconductor physics,
  • which was mostly optics and high energy band-structures, or its use in device applications. I wandered into a new frontier, which was dubbed the physics of two-dimensional electrons. In February 1982, shortly after the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect, I moved to Princeton and started teaching. Many of my friends and esteemed colleagues had asked me: "Why did you choose to leave Bell Laboratories and go to Princeton University?". Even today, I do not know the answer. Was it to do with the schooling I missed in my childhood? Maybe. Perhaps it was the Confucius in me, the faint voice I often heard when I was alone, that the only meaningful life is a life of learning. What better way is there to learn than through teaching! From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1998, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1999 This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1998 2010 05 02 10 HJK: In 108 years, the Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded 103 times to 187 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2009. John Bardeen is the only Nobel Laureate who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice, in 1956 and 1972. This means that a total of 186 individuals have received the Nobel Prize in Physics. Upon analysis, there have been 6 Laurettes of Chinese ancestry: 4 [Professors Lee, Yang, Tsui and Kao] were born in China of which 2 [Professors Tsui and Kao] grew up in Hong Kong and were Hanson J Kan’s former school mates and 2 [Professors Ting and Chu] were born in the USA of Chinese parents: 1. 1957 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Tsung-Dao Lee was born in Shanghai: high school education in Shanghai, he attended the National Chekiang University in Kweichow Province, the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, Yunnan Province and after completing only his sophomore year at Southwest Associated University, Lee received a Chinese government fellowship for graduate study in the United States. From 1946-50, Lee studied at the University of Chicago. Columbia University 2. 1957 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Chen Ning Yang was born in Hofei, Anwhei, China, B Sc National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, China, MSc Tsinghua U, Ph D University of Chicago, Princeton, NJ 3. 1976 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Samuel C.C. Ting was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, BS & PhD Michigan U, MIT
  • 4. 1997 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Steven Chu was born in St. Louis, Missouri: Garden City High, Queens, NY, BSc Rochester University, NY, PhD UC Berkeley, Bell Labs, Stanford 5. 1998 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Daniel C. Tsui was born in Henan in central China, Pui Ching Middle School in Hong Kong, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, Ph D University of Chicago. Bell Labs, Princeton 6. 2009 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Charles K. Kao was born in Shanghai, St Joseph’s College in Hong Kong, PhD London University, ITT, Chancellor Chinese University of Hong Kong Of the 6, 4 were born in China of which 2 grew up in Hong Kong and were HJKan’s former school mates: 1. 1957 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Tsung-Dao Lee was born in Shanghai: high school education in Shanghai, he attended the National Chekiang University in Kweichow Province, the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, Yunnan Province and after completing only his sophomore year at Southwest Associated University, Lee received a Chinese government fellowship for graduate study in the United States. From 1946-50, Lee studied at the University of Chicago. Columbia University. 2. 1957 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Chen Ning Yang was born in Hofei, Anwhei, China, B Sc National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, China, MSc Tsinghua U, Ph D University of Chicago, Princeton, NJ 3. 1998 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Daniel C. Tsui was born in Henan in central China, Pui Ching Middle School in Hong Kong, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, PhD University of Chicago. Bell Labs, Princeton 4. 2009 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Charles K. Kao was born in Shanghai, St Joseph’s College in Hong Kong, PhD London University, ITT, Chinese University of Hong Kong Of the 6, 2 were born in the USA of Chinese parents: 1. 1976 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Samuel C.C. Ting was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, BS & PhD Michigan U, MIT 2. 1997 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Steven Chu was born in St. Louis, Missouri: Garden City High, Queens, NY, BS Rochester University, NY, Ph D UC Berkeley, Bell Labs, Stanford All Nobel Laureates in Physics The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded 103 times to 187 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2009. John Bardeen is the only Nobel Laureate who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice, in 1956 and 1972. This means that a total of 186 individuals have received the Nobel Prize in Physics. Click on each name to see the Nobel Laureate's page.
  • Jump down to: | 1980 | 1960 | 1940 | 1920 | 1901 | • 2009 - Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, George E. Smith • 2008 - Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa • 2007 - Albert Fert, Peter Grünberg • 2006 - John C. Mather, George F. Smoot • 2005 - Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall, Theodor W. Hänsch • 2004 - David J. Gross, H. David Politzer, Frank Wilczek • 2003 - Alexei A. Abrikosov, Vitaly L. Ginzburg, Anthony J. Leggett • 2002 - Raymond Davis Jr., Masatoshi Koshiba, Riccardo Giacconi • 2001 - Eric A. Cornell, Wolfgang Ketterle, Carl E. Wieman • 2000 - Zhores I. Alferov, Herbert Kroemer, Jack S. Kilby • 1999 - Gerardus 't Hooft, Martinus J.G. Veltman • 1998 - Robert B. Laughlin, Horst L. Störmer, Daniel C. Tsui • 1997 - Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, William D. Phillips • 1996 - David M. Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, Robert C. Richardson • 1995 - Martin L. Perl, Frederick Reines • 1994 - Bertram N. Brockhouse, Clifford G. Shull • 1993 - Russell A. Hulse, Joseph H. Taylor Jr. • 1992 - Georges Charpak • 1991 - Pierre-Gilles de Gennes • 1990 - Jerome I. Friedman, Henry W. Kendall, Richard E. Taylor • 1989 - Norman F. Ramsey, Hans G. Dehmelt, Wolfgang Paul • 1988 - Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, Jack Steinberger • 1987 - J. Georg Bednorz, K. Alex Müller • 1986 - Ernst Ruska, Gerd Binnig, Heinrich Rohrer • 1985 - Klaus von Klitzing • 1984 - Carlo Rubbia, Simon van der Meer • 1983 - Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, William A. Fowler • 1982 - Kenneth G. Wilson • 1981 - Nicolaas Bloembergen, Arthur L. Schawlow, Kai M. Siegbahn • 1980 - James Cronin, Val Fitch • 1979 - Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg • 1978 - Pyotr Kapitsa, Arno Penzias, Robert Woodrow Wilson • 1977 - Philip W. Anderson, Sir Nevill F. Mott, John H. van Vleck • 1976 - Burton Richter, Samuel C.C. Ting • 1975 - Aage N. Bohr, Ben R. Mottelson, James Rainwater • 1974 - Martin Ryle, Antony Hewish • 1973 - Leo Esaki, Ivar Giaever, Brian D. Josephson • 1972 - John Bardeen, Leon N. Cooper, Robert Schrieffer • 1971 - Dennis Gabor
  • • 1970 - Hannes Alfvén, Louis Néel • 1969 - Murray Gell-Mann • 1968 - Luis Alvarez • 1967 - Hans Bethe • 1966 - Alfred Kastler • 1965 - Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger, Richard P. Feynman • 1964 - Charles H. Townes, Nicolay G. Basov, Aleksandr M. Prokhorov • 1963 - Eugene Wigner, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, J. Hans D. Jensen • 1962 - Lev Landau • 1961 - Robert Hofstadter, Rudolf Mössbauer • 1960 - Donald A. Glaser • 1959 - Emilio Segrè, Owen Chamberlain • 1958 - Pavel A. Cherenkov, Il´ja M. Frank, Igor Y. Tamm • 1957 - Chen Ning Yang, Tsung-Dao Lee • 1956 - William B. Shockley, John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain • 1955 - Willis E. Lamb, Polykarp Kusch • 1954 - Max Born, Walther Bothe • 1953 - Frits Zernike • 1952 - Felix Bloch, E. M. Purcell • 1951 - John Cockcroft, Ernest T.S. Walton • 1950 - Cecil Powell • 1949 - Hideki Yukawa • 1948 - Patrick M.S. Blackett • 1947 - Edward V. Appleton • 1946 - Percy W. Bridgman • 1945 - Wolfgang Pauli • 1944 - Isidor Isaac Rabi • 1943 - Otto Stern • 1942 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section • 1941 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section • 1940 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section • 1939 - Ernest Lawrence • 1938 - Enrico Fermi • 1937 - Clinton Davisson, George Paget Thomson • 1936 - Victor F. Hess, Carl D. Anderson • 1935 - James Chadwick • 1934 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section • 1933 - Erwin Schrödinger, Paul A.M. Dirac • 1932 - Werner Heisenberg • 1931 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section • 1930 - Sir Venkata Raman
  • • 1929 - Louis de Broglie • 1928 - Owen Willans Richardson • 1927 - Arthur H. Compton, C.T.R. Wilson • 1926 - Jean Baptiste Perrin • 1925 - James Franck, Gustav Hertz • 1924 - Manne Siegbahn • 1923 - Robert A. Millikan • 1922 - Niels Bohr • 1921 - Albert Einstein • 1920 - Charles Edouard Guillaume • 1919 - Johannes Stark • 1918 - Max Planck • 1917 - Charles Glover Barkla • 1916 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section • 1915 - William Bragg, Lawrence Bragg • 1914 - Max von Laue • 1913 - Heike Kamerlingh Onnes • 1912 - Gustaf Dalén • 1911 - Wilhelm Wien • 1910 - Johannes Diderik van der Waals • 1909 - Guglielmo Marconi, Ferdinand Braun • 1908 - Gabriel Lippmann • 1907 - Albert A. Michelson • 1906 - J.J. Thomson • 1905 - Philipp Lenard • 1904 - Lord Rayleigh • 1903 - Henri Becquerel, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie • 1902 - Hendrik A. Lorentz, Pieter Zeeman • 1901 - Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen • Printer Friendly • Comments & Questions • Tell a Friend The Nobel Prize in Physics • All Nobel Laureates in Physics • Articles
  • • Facts on the Nobel Prize in Physics • Nobel Prize Amount • Nobel Prize Medal • Video Interviews • Video Nobel Lectures All Physics Nobel Laureates Explore the Physics games! # 4. Steven Chu The Nobel Prize in Physics 1997 Autobiography My father, Ju Chin Chu, came to the United States in 1943 to continue his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in chemical engineering, and two years later, my mother, Ching Chen Li, joined him to study economics. A generation earlier, my mother's father earned his advanced degrees in civil engineering at Cornell
  • while his brother studied physics under Perrin at the Sorbonne before they returned to China. However, when my parents married in 1945, China was in turmoil and the possibility of returning grew increasingly remote, and they decided to begin their family in the United States. My brothers and I were born as part of a typical nomadic academic career: my older brother was born in 1946 while my father was finishing at MIT, I was born in St. Louis in 1948 while my father taught at Washington University, and my younger brother completed the family in Queens shortly after my father took a position as a professor at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. In 1950, we settled in Garden City, New York, a bedroom community within commuting distance of Brooklyn Polytechnic. There were only two other Chinese families in this town of 25,000, but to our parents, the determining factor was the quality of the public school system. Education in my family was not merely emphasized, it was our raison d'être. Virtually all of our aunts and uncles had Ph.D.'s in science or engineering, and it was taken for granted that the next generation of Chu's were to follow the family tradition. When the dust had settled, my two brothers and four cousins collected three MDs, four Ph.D.s and a law degree. I could manage only a single advanced degree. In this family of accomplished scholars, I was to become the academic black sheep. I performed adequately at school, but in comparison to my older brother, who set the record for the highest cumulative average for our high school, my performance was decidedly mediocre. I studied, but not in a particularly efficient manner. Occasionally, I would focus on a particular school project and become obsessed with, what seemed to my mother, to be trivial details instead of apportioning the time I spent on school work in a more efficient way. I approached the bulk of my schoolwork as a chore rather than an intellectual adventure. The tedium was relieved by a few courses that seem to be qualitatively different. Geometry was the first exciting course I remember. Instead of memorizing facts, we were asked to think in clear, logical steps. Beginning from a few intuitive postulates, far reaching consequences could be derived, and I took immediately to the sport of proving theorems. I also fondly remember several of my English courses where the assigned reading often led to binges where I read many books by the same author. Despite the importance of education in our family, my life was not completely centered around school work or recreational reading. In the summer after kindergarten, a friend introduced me to the joys of building plastic model airplanes and warships. By the fourth grade, I graduated to an erector set and spent many happy hours constructing devices of unknown purpose where the main design criterion was to maximize the number of moving parts and
  • overall size. The living room rug was frequently littered with hundreds of metal "girders" and tiny nuts and bolts surrounding half-finished structures. An understanding mother allowed me to keep the projects going for days on end. As I grew older, my interests expanded to playing with chemistry: a friend and I experimented with homemade rockets, in part funded by money my parents gave me for lunch at school. One summer, we turned our hobby into a business as we tested our neighbors' soil for acidity and missing nutrients. I also developed an interest in sports, and played in informal games at a nearby school yard where the neighborhood children met to play touch football, baseball, basketball and occasionally, ice hockey. In the eighth grade, I taught myself tennis by reading a book, and in the following year, I joined the school team as a "second string" substitute, a position I held for the next three years. I also taught myself how to pole vault using bamboo poles obtained from the local carpet store. I was soon able to clear 8 feet, but was not good enough to make the track team. In my senior year, I took advanced placement physics and calculus. These two courses were taught with the same spirit as my earlier geometry course. Instead of a long list of formulas to memorize, we were presented with a few basic ideas or a set of very natural assumptions. I was also blessed by two talented and dedicated teachers. My physics teacher, Thomas Miner was particularly gifted. To this day, I remember how he introduced the subject of physics. He told us we were going to learn how to deal with very simple questions such as how a body falls due to the acceleration of gravity. Through a combination of conjecture and observations, ideas could be cast into a theory that can be tested by experiments. The small set of questions that physics could address might seem trivial compared to humanistic concerns. Despite the modest goals of physics, knowledge gained in this way would become collected wisdom through the ultimate arbitrator - experiment. In addition to an incredibly clear and precise introduction to the subject, Mr. Miner also encouraged ambitious laboratory projects. For the better part of my last semester at Garden City High, I constructed a physical pendulum and used it to make a "precision" measurement of gravity. The years of experience building things taught me skills that were directly applicable to the construction of the pendulum. Ironically, twenty five years later, I was to develop a refined version of this measurement using laser cooled atoms in an atomic fountain interferometer. I applied to a number of colleges in the fall of my senior year, but because of my relatively lackluster A-average in high school, I was rejected by the Ivy League schools, but was accepted at Rochester. By comparison, my older
  • brother was attending Princeton, two cousins were in Harvard and a third was at Bryn Mawr. My younger brother seemed to have escaped the family pressure to excel in school by going to college without earning a high school diploma and by avoiding a career in science. (He nevertheless got a Ph.D. at the age of 21 followed by a law degree from Harvard and is now a managing partner of a major law firm.) As I prepared to go to college, I consoled myself that I would be an anonymous student, out of the shadow of my illustrious family. The Rochester and Berkeley Years At Rochester, I came with the same emotions as many of the entering freshman: everything was new, exciting and a bit overwhelming, but at least nobody had heard of my brothers and cousins. I enrolled in a two-year, introductory physics sequence that used The Feynman Lectures in Physics as the textbook. The Lectures were mesmerizing and inspirational. Feynman made physics seem so beautiful and his love of the subject is shown through each page. Learning to do the problem sets was another matter, and it was only years later that I began to appreciate what a magician he was at getting answers. In my sophomore year, I became increasingly interested in mathematics and declared a major in both mathematics and physics. My math professors were particularly good, especially relative to the physics instructor I had that year. If it were not for the Feynman Lectures, I would have almost assuredly left physics. The pull towards mathematics was partly social: as a lowly undergraduate student, several math professors adopted me and I was invited to several faculty parties. The obvious compromise between mathematics and physics was to become a theoretical physicist. My heroes were Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, up to the contemporary giants such as Feynman, Gell-Mann, Yang and Lee. My courses did not stress the importance of the experimental contributions, and I was led to believe that the "smartest" students became theorists while the remainder were relegated to experimental grunts. Sadly, I had forgotten Mr. Miner's first important lesson in physics. Hoping to become a theoretical physicist, I applied to Berkeley, Stanford, Stony Brook (Yang was there!) and Princeton. I chose to go to Berkeley and entered in the fall of 1970. At that time, the number of available jobs in physics was shrinking and prospects were especially difficult for budding young theorists. I recall the faculty admonishing us about the perils of theoretical physics: unless we were going to be as good as Feynman, we would
  • be better off in experimental physics. To the best of my knowledge, this warning had no effect on either me or my fellow students. After I passed the qualifying exam, I was recruited by Eugene Commins. I admired his breadth of knowledge and his teaching ability but did not yet learn of his uncanny ability to bring out the best in all of his students. He was ending a series of beta decay experiments and was casting around for a new direction of research. He was getting interested in astrophysics at the time and asked me to think about proto-star formation of a closely coupled binary pair. I had spent the summer between Rochester and Berkeley at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory trying to determine the deceleration of the universe with high red-shift radio source galaxies and was drawn to astrophysics. However, in the next two months, I avoided working on the theoretical problem he gave me and instead played in the lab. One of my "play-experiments" was motivated by my interest in classical music. I noticed that one could hear out-of- tune notes played in a very fast run by a violinist. A simple estimate suggested that the frequency accuracy, times the duration of the note, did not satisfy the uncertainty relationship . In order to test the frequency sensitivity of the ear, I connected an audio oscillator to a linear gate so that a tone burst of varying duration could be produced. I then asked my fellow graduate students to match the frequency of an arbitrarily chosen tone by adjusting the knob of another audio oscillator until the notes sounded the same. Students with the best musical ears could identify the center frequency of a tone burst that eventually sounded like a "click" with an accuracy of . By this time it was becoming obvious (even to me) that I would be much happier as an experimentalist and I told my advisor. He agreed and started me on a beta-decay experiment looking for "second-class currents", but after a year of building, we abandoned it to measure the Lamb shift in high-Z hydrogen-like ions. In 1974, Claude and Marie Bouchiat published their proposal to look for parity non-conserving effects in atomic transitions. The unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions suggested by Weinberg, Salam and Glashow postulated a neutral mediator of the weak force in addition to the known charged forces. Such an interaction would manifest itself as a very slight asymmetry in the absorption of left and right circularly polarized light in a magnetic dipole transition. Gene was always drawn to work that probed the most fundamental aspects of physics, and we were excited by the prospect that a table-top experiment could say something decisive about high energy physics. The experiment needed a state- of-the-art laser and my advisor knew nothing about lasers. I brashly told him not to worry; I would build it and we would be up and running in no time.
  • This work was tremendously exciting and the world was definitely watching us. Steven Weinberg would call my advisor every few months, hoping to hear news of a parity violating effect. Dave Jackson, a high energy theorist, and I would sometimes meet at the university swimming pool. During several of these encounters, he squinted at me and tersely asked, "Got a number yet?" The unspoken message was, "How dare you swim when there is important work to be done!" Midway into the experiment, I told my advisor that I had suffered enough as a graduate student so he elevated me to post-doc status. Two years later, we and three graduate students published our first results. Unfortunately, we were scooped: a few months earlier, a beautiful high energy experiment at the Stanford Linear Collider had seen convincing evidence of neutral weak interactions between electrons and quarks. Nevertheless, I was offered a job as assistant professor at Berkeley in the spring of 1978. I had spent all of my graduate and postdoctoral days at Berkeley and the faculty was concerned about inbreeding. As a solution, they hired me but also would permit me to take an immediate leave of absence before starting my own group at Berkeley. I loved Berkeley, but realized that I had a narrow view of science and saw this as a wonderful opportunity to broaden myself. A Random Walk in Science at Bell Labs I joined Bell Laboratories in the fall of 1978. I was one of roughly two dozen brash, young scientists that were hired within a two year period. We felt like the "Chosen Ones", with no obligation to do anything except the research we loved best. The joy and excitement of doing science permeated the halls. The cramped labs and office cubicles forced us to interact with each other and follow each others' progress. The animated discussions were common during and after seminars and at lunch and continued on the tennis courts and at parties. The atmosphere was too electric to abandon, and I never returned to Berkeley. To this day I feel guilty about it, but I think that the faculty understood my decision and have forgiven me. Bell Labs management supplied us with funding, shielded us from extraneous bureaucracy, and urged us not to be satisfied with doing merely "good science." My department head, Peter Eisenberger, told me to spend my first six months in the library and talk to people before deciding what to do. A year later during a performance review, he chided me not to be content with anything less than "starting a new field". I responded that I would be more than happy to do that, but needed a hint as to what new field he had in mind.
  • I spent the first year at Bell writing a paper reviewing the current status of x-ray microscopy and started an experiment on energy transfer in ruby with Hyatt Gibbs and Sam McCall. I also began planning the experiment on the optical spectroscopy of positronium. Positronium, an atom made up of an electron and its anti-particle, was considered the most basic of all atoms, and a precise measurement of its energy levels was a long standing goal ever since the atom was discovered in 1950. The problem was that the atoms would annihilate into gamma rays after only 140x10-9 seconds, and it was impossible to produce enough of them at any given time. When I started the experiment, there were 12 published attempts to observe the optical fluorescence of the atom. People only publish failures if they have spent enough time and money so their funding agencies demand something in return. My management thought I was ruining my career by trying an impossible experiment. After two years of no results, they strongly suggested that I abandon my quest. But I was stubborn and I had a secret weapon: his name is Allen Mills. Our strengths complemented each other beautifully, but in the end, he helped me solve the laser and metrology problems while I helped him with his positrons. We finally managed to observe a signal working with only ~4 atoms per laser pulse! Two years later and with 20 atoms per pulse, we refined our methods and obtained one of the most accurate measurements of quantum electrodynamic corrections to an atomic system. In the fall of 1983, I became head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department and moved to another branch of Bell Labs at Holmdel, New Jersey. By then my research interests had broadened, and I was using picosecond laser techniques to look at excitons as a potential system for observing metal-insulator transitions and Anderson localization. With this apparatus, I accidentally discovered a counter-intuitive pulse-propagation effect. I was also planning to enter surface science by constructing a novel electron spectrometer based on threshold ionization of atoms that could potentially increase the energy resolution by more than an order of magnitude. While designing the electron spectrometer, I began talking informally with Art Ashkin, a colleague at Holmdel. Art had a dream to trap atoms with light, but the management stopped the work four years ago. An important experiment had demonstrated the dipole force, but the experimenters had reached an impasse. Over the next few months, I began to realize the way to hold onto atoms with light was to first get them very cold. Laser cooling was going to make possible all of Art Ashkin's dreams plus a lot more. I promptly dropped most of my other experiments and with Leo Holberg, my new post-doc, and my technician, Alex Cable, began our laser cooling experiment. This brings me to the beginning of our work in laser cooling and trapping of atoms and the subject of my Nobel Lecture.
  • Stanford and the future Life at Bell Labs, like Mary Poppins, was "practically perfect in every way". However, in 1987, I decided to leave my cozy ivory tower. Ted Hänsch had left Stanford to become co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and I was recruited to replace him. Within a few months, I also received offers from Berkeley and Harvard, and I thought the offers were as good as they were ever going to be. My management at Bell Labs was successful in keeping me at Bell Labs for 9 years, but I wanted to be like my mentor, Gene Commins, and the urge to spawn scientific progeny was growing stronger. Ted Geballe, a distinguished colleague of mine at Stanford who also went from Berkeley to Bell to Stanford years earlier, described our motives: "The best part of working at a university is the students. They come in fresh, enthusiastic, open to ideas, unscarred by the battles of life. They don't realize it, but they're the recipients of the best our society can offer. If a mind is ever free to be creative, that's the time. They come in believing textbooks are authoritative but eventually they figure out that textbooks and professors don't know everything, and then they start to think on their own. Then, I begin learning from them." My students at Stanford have been extraordinary, and I have learned much from them. Much of my most important work such as fleshing out the details of polarization gradient cooling, the demonstration of the atomic fountain clock, and the development of atom interferometers and a new method of laser cooling based on Raman pulses was done at Stanford with my students as collaborators. While still continuing in laser cooling and trapping of atoms, I have recently ventured into polymer physics and biology. In 1986, Ashkin showed that the first optical atom trap demonstrated at Bell Labs also worked on tiny glass spheres embedded in water. A year after I came to Stanford, I set about to manipulate individual DNA molecules with the so-called "optical tweezers" by attaching micron-sized polystyrene spheres to the ends of the molecule. My idea was to use two optical tweezers introduced into an optical microscope to grab the plastic handles glued to the ends of the molecule. Steve Kron, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the medical school, introduced me to molecular biology in the evenings. By 1990, we could see an image of a single, fluorescently labeled DNA molecule in real time as we stretched it out in water. My students improved upon our first attempts after they discovered our initial protocol demanded luck as a major ingredient. Using our new ability to simultaneously visualize and manipulate individual molecules of DNA, my group began to answer polymer dynamics questions that have persisted for decades. Even
  • more thrilling, we discovered something new in the last year: identical molecules in the same initial state will choose several distinct pathways to a new equilibrium state. This "molecular individualism" was never anticipated in previous polymer dynamics theories or simulations. I have been at Stanford for ten and a half years. The constant demands of my department and university and the ever increasing work needed to obtain funding have stolen much of my precious thinking time, and I sometimes yearn for the halcyon days of Bell Labs. Then, I think of the work my students and post-docs have done with me at Stanford and how we have grown together during this time. From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1997, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1998 This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1997 • Printer Friendly • Comments & Questions • Tell a Friend The 1997 Prize in: • Prev. year • Next year The Nobel Prize in Physics 1997 • Press Release • Presentation Speech • Illustrated Presentation Steven Chu
  • • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Interview • Nobel Diploma • Photo Gallery • Nobel Symposia • Other Resources Claude Cohen-Tannoudji • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Nobel Diploma • Photo Gallery • Banquet Speech • Other Resources William D. Phillips • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Nobel Diploma • Photo Gallery • Other Resources All Physics Nobel Laureates Explore the Physics games! # 3. Samuel C.C. Ting The Nobel Prize in Physics 1976 Autobiography
  • I was born on 27 January 1936 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the first of three children of Kuan Hai Ting, a professor of engineering, and Tsun-Ying Wang, a professor of psychology. My parents had hoped that I would be born in China, but as I was born prematurely while they were visiting the United States, by accident of birth I became an American citizen. Two months after my birth we returned to China. Owing to wartime conditions I did not have a traditional education until I was twelve. Nevertheless, my parents were always associated with universities, and I thus had the opportunity of meeting the many accomplished scholars who often visited us. Perhaps because of this early infiuence I have always had the desire to be associated with university life. Since both my parents were working, I was brought up by my maternal grandmother. My maternal grandfather lost his life during the first Chinese Revolution. After that, at the age of thirty-three, my grandmother decided to go to school, became a teacher, and brought my mother up alone. When I was young I often heard stories from my mother and grandmother recalling the difficult lives they had during that turbulent period and the efforts they made to provide my mother with a good education. Both of them were daring, original, and determined people, and they have left an indelible impression on me. When I was twenty years old I decided to return to the United States for a better education. My parents' friend, G.G. Brown, Dean of the School of Engineering, University of Michigan, told my parents I would be welcome to stay with him and his family. At that time I knew very little English and had no idea of the cost of living in the United States. In China, I had read that many American students go through college on their own resources. I informed my parents that I would do likewise. I arrived at the Detroit airport on 6 September 1956 with $100, which at the time seemed more than adequate. I was somewhat frightened, did not know anyone, and communication was difficult. Since I depended on scholarships for my education, I had to work very hard to keep them. Somehow, I managed to obtain degrees in both mathematics and physics from the University of Michigan in three years, and completed my Ph.D. degree in physics under Drs. L.W. Jones and M.L. Perl in 1962. I went to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as a Ford Foundation Fellow. There I had the good fortune to work with Giuseppe Cocconi at the Proton Synchrotron, and I learned a lot of physics from him. He always had a simple way of viewing a complicated problem, did experiments with great care, and impressed me deeply. In the spring of 1965 I returned to the United States to teach at Columbia University. In those years the Columbia Physics Department was a very stimulating place, and I had the opportunity of watching people such as L. Lederman, T.D. Lee, I.I. Rabi, M. Schwarts, J. Steinberger, C.S. Wu, and others. They all had their own individual style and extremely good taste in physics. I benefitted greatly from my short stay at Columbia.
  • In my second year at Columbia there was an experiment done at the Cambridge Electron Accelerator on electron-positron pair production by photon collision with a nuclear target. It seemed to show a violation of quantum electrodynamics. I studied this experiment in detail and decided to duplicate it. I contacted G. Weber and W. Jentschke of the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) about the possibility of doing a pair production experiment at Hamburg. They were very enthusiastic and encouraged me to begin right away. In March 1966 I took leave from Columbia University to perform this experiment in Hamburg. Since that time I have devoted all my efforts to the physics of electron or muon pairs, investigating quantum electrodynamics, production and decay of photon-like particles, and searching for new particles which decay to electron or muon pairs. These types of experiments are characterized by the need for a high-intensity incident flux, for high rejection against a large number of unwanted background events, and at the same time the need for a detector with good mass resolution. In order to search for new particles at a higher mass, I brought my group back to the United States in 1971 and started an experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In the fall of 1974 we found evidence of a new, totally unpredicted, heavy particle - the J particle. Since then a whole family of new particles has been found. In 1969 I joined the Physics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1977, I was appointed as the first Thomas Dudley Cabot Institute Professor of Physics at MIT. In recent years it has been my privilege to be associated with M. Deutsch, A.G. Hill, H. Feshbach, W. Jentschke, H. Schopper and G. Weber. All have strongly supported me. In addition, I have enjoyed working with many very outstanding young physicists such as U. Becker, J. Burger, M. Chen, R. Marshall and A.J.S. Smith. I married Dr. Susan Marks in 1985. We have one son, Christopher, born in 1986 and I have two daughters, Jeanne and Amy, from an earlier marriage. I have been awarded the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award from the US government in 1976 and the DeGasperi Award in Science from the Italian government in 1988. I have also received the Eringen Medal awarded by the Society of Engineering Science in 1977, the Golden Leopard Award for Excellence from the town of Taormina, Italy in 1988 and the Gold Medal for Science and Peace from the city of Brescia, Italy in 1988. I am a member of the National Academy of Sciences (US) and the American Physical Society, the Italian Physical Society and the European Physical Society. I have also been elected as a foreign member in Academia Sinica, the Pakistan Academy of Science and the Academy of Science of the USSR (now Russian Academy of Science). I also hold Doctor Honoris Causa degrees from the University of Michigan, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Columbia University, the University of Bologna, Moscow State University and the University of Science and Technology in China and am an honorary professor at Jiatong University in Shanghai, China. From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980, Editor Stig Lundqvist, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992 This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1976 • Printer Friendly • Comments & Questions • Tell a Friend
  • The 1976 Prize in: • Prev. year • Next year The Nobel Prize in Physics 1976 • Press Release • Presentation Speech Burton Richter • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Other Resources Samuel C.C. Ting • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Banquet Speech • Other Resources All Physics Nobel Laureates Explore the Physics games! http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1957/yang-bio.html # 2. Chen Ning Yang
  • The Nobel Prize in Physics 1957 Biography Chen Ning Yang was born on September 22, 1922, in Hofei, Anwhei, China, the first of five children of Ke Chuan Yang and Meng Hwa Loh Yang. He is also known as Frank or Franklin. Yang was brought up in the peaceful and academically inclined atmosphere of the campus of Tsinghua University, just outside of Peiping, China, where his father was a Professor of Mathematics. He received his college education at the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, China, and completed his B.Sc. degree there in 1942. His M.Sc. degree was received in 1944 from Tsinghua University, which had moved to Kunming during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). He went to the U.S.A. at the end of the war on a Tsinghua University Fellowship, and entered the University of Chicago in January 1946. At Chicago he came under the strong influence of Professor E. Fermi. After receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1948, Yang served for a year at the University of Chicago as an Instructor. He has been associated with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A., since 1949, where he became a Professor in 1955. Yang has worked on various subjects in physics, but has his chief interest in two fields: statistical mechanics and symmetry principles. His B.Sc. thesis: "Group Theory and Molecular Spectra", written under the guidance of Professor Ta-You Wu, his M.Sc. thesis: "Contributions to the Statistical Theory of Order-Disorder Transformations", written under the guidance of Professor J.S. Wang, and his Ph.D. thesis: "On the Angular Distribution in Nuclear Reactions and Coincidence Measurements", written under the guidance of Professor E. Teller, were instrumental in introducing him to these fields. Dr. Yang is a prolific author, his numerous articles appearing in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, The Physical Review, Reviews of Modern Physics, and the Chinese Journal of Physics. Professor Yang has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Academia Sinica, and honoured with the Albert Einstein Commemorative Award (1957). The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce named him one of the outstanding young men of 1957. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate of the Princeton University, N.J. (1958). In 1950 Yang married Chih Li Tu and is now the father of three children: Franklin, born 1951; Gilbert, born 1958; and Eulee, born 1961.
  • Dr. Yang is a quiet, modest, and affable physicist; he met his wife Chih Li Tu while teaching mathematics at her high school in China. He is a hard worker allowing himself very little leisure time. This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1942-1962, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1964 Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1957 • Printer Friendly • Comments & Questions • Tell a Friend The 1957 Prize in: • Prev. year • Next year The Nobel Prize in Physics 1957 • Presentation Speech Chen Ning Yang • Biography • Nobel Lecture • Banquet Speech • Other Resources Tsung-Dao Lee • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Interview • Photo Gallery • Banquet Speech
  • • Other Resources All Physics Nobel Laureates Explore the Physics games! http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1957/lee-autobio.html # 1. Tsung-Dao Lee The Nobel Prize in Physics 1957 Autobiography* Tsung-Dao (T.D.) Lee was born in Shanghai, China, on November 24, 1926, the third of six children of Tsing-Kong Lee and Ming-Chang Chang. He received most of his high school education in Shanghai. During 1943-1944, he attended the National Chekiang University in Kweichow Province. In 1945, he attended the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming, Yunnan Province. Lee's early aptitude for physics was recognized and encouraged by Professor Ta-You Wu. After completing only his sophomore year at Southwest Associated University, Lee received a Chinese government
  • fellowship for graduate study in the United States. From 1946-50, Lee studied at the University of Chicago where Enrico Fermi selected Lee to be his doctoral student. In 1950, Lee received his Ph.D. degree on his thesis Hydrogen Content of White Dwarf Stars. During the years 1950-53, Lee worked as a research associate and lecturer at Yerkes Astronomical Observatory, Wisconsin; at the University of California at Berkeley, and at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J. Lee was then fast becoming a widely known scientist, especially for his work in elementary particles, statistical mechanics, field theory, astrophysics, condensed matter physics and turbulence, having solved several problems of long standing and great complexity. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer praised him as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists then known, whose work was characterized by "a remarkable freshness, versatility, and style". In 1953, Lee joined Columbia University as an Assistant Professor. His first work was on the renormalizable field theory model, better known as the Lee Model. He was successively promoted to Associate Professor in 1955 and Professor in 1956. At age 29, Lee was then the youngest-ever full professor in Columbia University's faculty history. In 1957, when awarded the Nobel Prize at barely 31 years of age, Lee became the second youngest scientist ever to receive this distinction. (The youngest was Sir Lawrence Bragg, who shared the Physics Prize with his father in 1915, at the age of twenty-five). Lee has published over 300 scientific papers and several books. Among Lee's many prizes and awards are the Albert Einstein Award in Science, Galileo Galilei Medal, G. Bude Medal, Science for Peace Prize, China National-International Cooperation Award, New York City Science Award, New York Academy of Science Award, Order of Merit Grande Ufficiale from Italy; and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star from Japan. He received honorary doctorates, professorships, lectureships and trusteeships from over thirty universities worldwide. Lee is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, Academia Sinica, Academia Nazionale del Lincei, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Third World Academy of Sciences, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Lee married Jeannette Hui-Chun Chin in 1950. They have two sons, James and Stephen. * This autobiography was provided by the Laureate in December 2007. Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2007 • Printer Friendly • Comments & Questions • Tell a Friend The 1957 Prize in:
  • • Prev. year • Next year The Nobel Prize in Physics 1957 • Presentation Speech Chen Ning Yang • Biography • Nobel Lecture • Banquet Speech • Other Resources Tsung-Dao Lee • Autobiography • Nobel Lecture • Interview • Photo Gallery • Banquet Speech • Other Resources All Physics Nobel Laureates Explore the Physics games!