Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-US physicist

Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-US physicist

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Credit: SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997), Chinese-US physicist, at work in her laboratory. Born in China, Wu moved to the USA in 1936, becoming a physics professor at Columbia University, New York, in 1957. In 1956, Wu and Tsung-Dao Lee experimentally confirmed a theory that parity is violated during weak radioactive decay, overturning many basic assumptions of particle physics. The 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Lee and Yang for this work, while Wu was overlooked but received the 1978 Wolf Prize in Physics for her work. Wu experimentally confirmed other particle theories, as well as studying muonic atom X-ray spectra. Photographed at Columbia University.

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