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Tsung-Dao Lee

Tsung-Dao Lee

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Tsung-Dao Lee (born November 24, 1926) is a Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 born-American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

, well known for his work on parity violation, the Lee Model, particle physics, relativistic heavy ion (RHIC) physics, nontopological solitons and soliton stars.

In 1957, Lee, at the age of 30 (with C. N. Yang) won the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

for their work on the violation of parity law in weak interaction, which Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese-American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project...

 experimentally verified.

Lee is the youngest Nobel laureate after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and the third youngest in history after W. L. Bragg
William Lawrence Bragg
Sir William Lawrence Bragg CH OBE MC FRS was an Australian-born British physicist and X-ray crystallographer, discoverer of the Bragg law of X-ray diffraction, which is basic for the determination of crystal structure. He was joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915. He was knighted...

 (who won the prize at 25 with his father W. H. Bragg
William Henry Bragg
Sir William Henry Bragg OM, KBE, PRS was a British physicist, chemist, mathematician and active sportsman who uniquely shared a Nobel Prize with his son William Lawrence Bragg - the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics...

 in 1915) and Werner Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics and is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory...

 (who won in 1932 also at 30). Lee and Yang were the first Chinese laureates. Since naturalized as American citizen
United States nationality law
Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, citizenship of...

 in 1962, Lee thus is also the youngest American who has ever won a Nobel Prize.

Family


Tsung Dao (T. D.) Lee's ancestral hometown is Suzhou
Suzhou
Suzhou , previously transliterated as Su-chou, Suchow, and Soochow, is a major city located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, located adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part...

, Jiangsu Province. T.D. was born in Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

.

Lee's father Chun-kang Lee , one of the first graduates of the University of Nanking
University of Nanking
The University of Nanking was a private university in Nanjing, China. The University of Nanking was founded in 1888 and sponsored by American churches...

, was a chemical industrialist
Chemical industry
The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products.-Products:...

 and merchant
Merchant
A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

 who was involved in China's early development of modern synthesized fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

. Lee's grandfather Chong-tan Lee was the first Chinese Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 in Suzhou whose residence was the famous St.John's Church in Suzhou (蘇州聖約翰堂).

Lee has four brothers and one sister. Educator Robert C.T. Lee is one of T. D.'s brothers. Lee's mother Chang and brother Robert C. T. moved to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, but were jailed in 1950s during the White Terror
White Terror
White Terror is the violence carried out by reactionary groups as part of a counter-revolution. In particular, during the 20th century, in several countries the term White Terror was applied to acts of violence against real or suspected socialists and communists.-Historical origin: the French...

 period of Taiwan. Chang died in Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

 and her ashes were brought back and buried in Suzhou
Suzhou
Suzhou , previously transliterated as Su-chou, Suchow, and Soochow, is a major city located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, located adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part...

.

Early life


Lee received his secondary
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

 education in Shanghai and Jiangxi
Jiangxi
' is a southern province in the People's Republic of China. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to...

. Due to the Second Sino-Japanese war
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

, Lee's high school education was interrupted, thus he did not obtain his secondary diploma. Nevertheless, in 1943, Lee directly applied and was admitted by the National Chekiang University (now Zhejiang University
Zhejiang University
Zhejiang University , sometimes referred to as Zheda, is a national university in China. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China's oldest institutions of higher education...

). Initially, Lee registered as a student in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Very quickly, Lee's talent was discovered and his interest in physics grew rapidly. Several physics professors, including Shu Xingbei and Kan-Chang Wang
Kan-Chang Wang
Wang Ganchang was a nuclear physicist from China. He was one of the initiators of research in China in nuclear physics, cosmic rays and particle physics. Wang figured among the top leaders, pioneers and scientists of the Chinese nuclear deterrent program...

, largely guided Lee, and he soon transferred into the Department of Physics of Zhejiang University, where he studied in 1943–1944.

However, again disrupted by a further Japanese invasion, Lee continued at the National Southwestern Associated University
National Southwestern Associated University
When the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out between China and Japan in 1937, Peking University, Tsinghua University and Nankai University, merged to form Changsha Temporary University in Changsha, and later National Southwestern Associated University in Kunming...

 (國立西南聯合大學) in Kunming
Kunming
' is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. It was known as Yunnan-Fou until the 1920s. A prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of Yunnan, and is the seat of the provincial government...

 the next year in 1945, where he studied with Professor Ta-You Wu
Ta-You Wu
Wu Ta-You was a Chinese-born atomic and nuclear theoretical physicist who worked in the United States, Canada, mainland China, and Taiwan. He has been called the "Father of Chinese Physics."...

.

Life and research in USA


Professor Wu nominated Lee for a Chinese government fellowship for graduate study in USA. In 1946, Lee went to the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 and was selected by Professor Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...

 to become his PhD student. Lee completed his PhD thesis under Fermi in 1950. Lee served as research associate and lecturer in physics at the University of California at Berkeley from 1950 to 1951.

In 1953, Lee joined Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, where he remains today. His first work at Columbia was on a solvable model of quantum field theory better known as the Lee Model. Soon, his focus turned to particle physics and the developing puzzle of K meson decays. Lee realized in early 1956 that the key to the puzzle was parity non-conservation. At Lee's suggestion, the first experimental test was on hyperion decay by the Steinberger group. At that time, the experimental result gave only an indication of a 2 standard deviation effect of possible parity violation. Encouraged by this feasibility study, Lee made a systematic study of possible P,T,C and CP violation
CP violation
In particle physics, CP violation is a violation of the postulated CP-symmetry: the combination of C-symmetry and P-symmetry . CP-symmetry states that the laws of physics should be the same if a particle were interchanged with its antiparticle , and left and right were swapped...

s in weak interaction
Weak interaction
Weak interaction , is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, alongside the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism, and gravity. It is responsible for the radioactive decay of subatomic particles and initiates the process known as hydrogen fusion in stars...

s with collaborators, including C. N. Yang. After the definitive experimental confirmation by C.S . Wu and her collaborators of parity non-conservation, Lee and Yang were awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Physics.

In the early 1960s, Lee and collaborators initiated the important field of high energy neutrino physics. In 1964, Lee, with M. Nauenberg, analyzed the divergences connected with particles of zero rest mass, and described a general method known as the KLN theorem for dealing with these divergences, which still plays an important role in contemporary work in QCD, with its massless, self-interacting gluons. In 1974–75, Lee published several papers on "A New Form of Matter in High Density", which led to the modern field of RHIC physics, now dominating the entire high energy nuclear physics field.

Besides particle physics, Lee has been active in statistical mechanics, astrophysics, hydrodynamics, many body system, solid state, lattice QCD. In 1983, Lee wrote a paper entitled, "Can Time Be a Discrete Dynamical Variable?"; which led to a series of publications by Lee and collaborators on the formulation of fundamental physics in terms of difference equations, but with exact invariance under continuous groups of translational and rotational transformations. Beginning in 1975, Lee and collaborators established the field of non-topological solitons, which led to his work on soliton stars and black holes throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

From 1997 to 2003 Lee was director of the RIKEN-BNL Research Center (now director emeritus), which together with other researchers from Columbia, completed a 1 teraflops supercomputer QCDSP for lattice QCD in 1998 and a 10 teraflops QCDOC machine in 2001. Most recently, Lee and R. Friedberg have developed a new method to solve the Schrödinger Equation, leading to convergent iterative solutions for the long-standing quantum degenerate double-wall potential and other instanton problems. They have also done work on the neutrino mapping matrix.

Educational activities


Soon after the re-establishment of China-American relations with the PRC
Sino-American relations
For the article on U.S.-Taiwan relations, see Republic of China – United States relations.Sino-American or People's Republic of China–United States relations refers to international relations between the United States of America and the government of People's Republic of China...

, Lee and his wife, Hui-Chun Jeannette Chin , were able to go to China, where Lee gave a series of lectures and seminars, and organized the CUSPEA
CUSPEA
CUSPEA was an examination and admission system used by the physics departments of some American and Canadian universities for graduate school admission from People's Republic of China between 1979 and 1989....

 (China-U.S. Physics Examination and Application).

In 1998, Lee established the Chun-Tsung Endowment (秦惠䇹—李政道中国大学生见习基金) in memory of his wife, Hui-Chun Chin, who died 3 years earlier. The Chun-Tsung scholarships, supervised by the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (New York), are awarded to undergraduates, usually in their 2nd or 3rd year, at five universities, which are Fudan University, Lanzhou university, Suzhou University, Peking University and Taiwan National Tsing Hua University. Students selected for such scholarships are named "Chun-Tsung Scholars" (䇹政学者).

Personal life


Chin and Lee were married in 1950 and have two sons: James and Stephen
Stephen Lee (chemist)
Stephen Lee is a MacArthur Award winning chemist and son of Tsung-Dao Lee, the winner of the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is currently a professor at Cornell University.-Education:Lee attended Yale University, and graduated with a BA in 1978...

. Lee reads whodunit
Whodunit
A whodunit or whodunnit is a complex, plot-driven variety of the detective story in which the puzzle is the main feature of interest. The reader or viewer is provided with clues from which the identity of the perpetrator of the crime may be deduced before the solution is revealed in the final...

 novels when not working on physics. His English given name differs dramatically from the Chinese Romanization systems in use at the time of his childhood, Wade-Giles
Wade-Giles
Wade–Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century , and was given completed form with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English dictionary of 1892.Wade–Giles was the most...

 and Gwoyeu Romatzyh
Gwoyeu Romatzyh
Gwoyeu Romatzyh , abbreviated GR, is a system for writing Mandarin Chinese in the Latin alphabet. The system was conceived by Y.R. Chao and developed by a group of linguists including Chao and Lin Yutang from 1925 to 1926. Chao himself later published influential works in linguistics using GR...

. Tsung-Dao Lee's publications are all under the name of T.D. Lee.

Honours and awards


Awards:
  • Nobel Prize in Physics
    Nobel Prize in Physics
    The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

     (1957)
  • Albert Einstein Award
    Albert Einstein Award
    The Albert Einstein Award was an award in theoretical physics that was established to recognize high achievement in the natural sciences. It was endowed by the Lewis and Rosa Strauss Memorial Fund in honor of Albert Einstein's 70th birthday...

     (1957)
  • G. Bude Medal, Collège de France (1969, 1977)
  • Galileo Galilei Medal (1979)
  • Order of Merit, Grande Ufficiale, Italy
    Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
    The Order of Merit of the Italian Republic was founded as the senior order of knighthood by the second President of the Italian Republic, Luigi Einaudi in 1951...

     (1986)
  • Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture and Medal
    Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture
    The Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture at Stockholm University, dedicated to the memory of the Swedish physicist Oskar Klein , is held annually since 1988 by a prominent physicist, who also receives the Oskar Klein Medal...

     (1993)
  • Science for Peace Prize (1994)
  • China National-International Cooperation Award (1995)
  • Matteucci Medal
    Matteucci Medal
    The Matteucci Medal was established to award physicists for their fundamental contributions. Under an Italian Royal Decree dated July 10, 1870, the Italian Society of Sciences was authorized to receive a donation from Carlo Matteucci for the establishment of the Prize.Matteucci Medalists* 1868...

     (1995)
  • Naming of Small Planet 3443 as the 3443 Leetsungdao
    3443 Leetsungdao
    3443 Leetsungdao is a Mars-crossing asteroid discovered on 26 September 1979 at the Purple Mountain Observatory.- External links :*...

     (1997)
  • New York City Science Award (1997)
  • Pope Joannes Paulus Medal (1999)
  • Ministero dell'Interno Medal of the Government of Italy (1999)
  • New York Academy of Science Award (2000)
  • The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star
    Order of the Rising Sun
    The is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government, created on April 10, 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun...

    , Japan (2007)


Memberships:
  • National Academy of Sciences
    United States National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

  • American Philosophical Society
    American Philosophical Society
    The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743, and located in Philadelphia, Pa., is an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications,...

  • Academia Sinica
    Academia Sinica
    The Academia Sinica , headquartered in the Nangang District of Taipei, is the national academy of Taiwan. It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, and to humanities and social sciences.Academia Sinica has...

  • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Chinese Academy of Sciences
    The Chinese Academy of Sciences , formerly known as Academia Sinica, is the national academy for the natural sciences of the People's Republic of China. It is an institution of the State Council of China. It is headquartered in Beijing, with institutes all over the People's Republic of China...

  • Third World Academy of Sciences
    Third World Academy of Sciences
    TWAS, until 2004 named Third World Academy of Sciences and now TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, is a merit-based science academy uniting 1,000 scientists in some 70 countries. Its principal aim is to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in...

  • Pontifical Academy of Sciences
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences
    The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is a scientific academy of the Vatican, founded in 1936 by Pope Pius XI. It is placed under the protection of the reigning Supreme Pontiff. Its aim is to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and the study of related...


External links