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2010, Nobel Prize Winners, and PKU School of Physics

Peking University, Dec. 17, 2010: The past year 2010 sees world-level communications at PKU School of Physics, five of which were academic visits by Nobel Prize laureates:


  Prof. Anthony. J. Leggett from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champion (UIUC), US

  Prof. Robert. W. Wilson from Bell Telephone Laboratories , Inc., US

  Prof. James. W. Cronin from the University of Chicago, US

  Prof. Daniel Tsui Chee from Princeton University, US

  Prof. Johannes. Georg. Bednorz from IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Switzerland


The successive visits of the five masters attracted particular attention and strong repercussions from inside and outside PKU, creating an academic atmosphere for the coming centennial celebration of the physics faculty at PKU in 2013.



The Centennial Lectures with the spark of brilliance


On the afternoon of Mar. 4, Dean Wang Enge presided the opening ceremony of “the Centennial Physics Lectures at Peking University”, with the first lecture entitled “Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?” delivered by Prof. Anthony. J. Leggett, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003. Before attending the ceremony, Prof. Zhou Qifeng, president of PKU, had a meeting with Prof. Leggett, and presented souvenirs to him.


Prof. Anthony. J. Leggett, giving an academic report


There were also some 400 teachers and students from PKU, Tsinghua University, Renmin University, Beijing Normal University and several relative institutes of Chinese Academy of Science present at the lecture. Deeply attached to the personality and love for physics of this renowned scientist, many students stayed afterwards and gathered round Prof. Leggett, uttering a lot of questions to him. According to the audience, such a high-level series of masters’ lectures was undoubtedly of much benefit, and was keenly expected to continue in the future.


During his visit to PKU School of Physics, Prof. Leggett was shown around in its laboratories, where he communicated thoroughly in academics with some staff members. He also had a detailed discussion with Prof. Wang Enge, partly on the bilateral cooperation such as staff and student exchanges between the School and UIUC Department of Physics.



Dialogue between students and the Nobel laureates 


Later, at the invitation of Prof. Wang Enge, Prof. Daniel Tsui Chee from Department of Physics, Princeton University, visited the School and its International Center for Quantum Materials (ICQM) in mid-October. On the morning of Oct. 14, he held a heated, pleasant discussion with some representatives of excellent undergraduates in the School, as well as ICQM teachers and students.


Prof. Daniel Tsui Chee, discussing with PKU teachers and students


During the discussion, Prof. Tsui lent an attentive ear to the students’ various kinds of questions, and gave his answers one by one accurately, patiently and meticulously, in accordance with his own study and research experiences. In his mind, it’s helpful to dabble in some other fields on the premise of a full mastery of the professional knowledge. As he emphasized, a scientific researcher would never make any breakthrough without a previous process of academic accumulations - wide and deep enough.


Additionally, Prof. Tsui used a farmer as a metaphor, for a farmer could hardly look forward to the harvest before he began to plow, which was just the same for a researcher. With sincere words and earnest wishes, he pointed out that the young, especially undergraduates, should lay a solid academic foundation and seek paths to new achievements on the basis of the forerunners’ work.  


At the end of the discussion, Prof. Tsui expressed his wish that PKU young students would surpass their predecessors in their further scientific careers.


The students were greatly satisfied with such a direct dialogue with Tsui. In their opinion, it was not only positive and everlasting in guiding their research life in the future, but also provided a significant force of example for the perfection and improvement of their views of life and value.



Extended Reading: 

Website of PKU School of Physics (English Version)

The Centennial Physics Lectures at Peking University 

Website of the Nobel Foundation



Translated by: Jin Ludi

Edited by: Jacques


Source: PKU News (Chinese)