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Yang Chen-Ning or Chen-Ning Yang (; born 1 October, 1922), also known as C. N. Yang or by the English name Frank Yang, is a Chinese theoretical physicist who made significant contributions to
statistical mechanics In physics, statistical mechanics is a mathematical framework that applies Statistics, statistical methods and probability theory to large assemblies of microscopic entities. It does not assume or postulate any natural laws, but explains the ma ...
, integrable systems,
gauge theory In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Sp ...
, and both
particle physics Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that ...
and
condensed matter physics Condensed matter physics is the field of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (p ...
. He and Tsung-Dao Lee received the 1957
Nobel Prize in Physics ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , alt = A golden medallion with an embossed image of a bearded man facing left in profile. To the left of the man is the text "ALFR•" then "NOBEL", and on the right, the text (smaller) "NAT•" then "M ...
for their work on parity nonconservation of
weak interaction In nuclear physics and particle physics Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýs ...
. The two proposed that one of the basic quantum-mechanics laws, the conservation of parity, is violated in the so-called weak nuclear reactions, those nuclear processes that result in the emission of
beta Beta (, ; uppercase , lowercase , or cursive Cursive (also known as script, among other names) is any style of penmanship in which some characters are written joined together in a flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing f ...
or
alpha particle Alpha particles, also called alpha rays or alpha radiation, consist of two proton A proton is a subatomic particle, symbol or , with a positive electric charge of +1''e'' elementary charge and a mass slightly less than that of a neutron. Proton ...
s. Yang is also well known for his collaboration with Robert Mills in developing non-Abelian gauge theory, widely known as the Yang–Mills theory.


Biography

Yang was born in
Hefei Hefei (, ) is the capital and largest city of Anhui Anhui (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized as Anhwei) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, part of the East China region. Its provincia ...
,
Anhui Anhui (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized as Anhwei) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, part of the East China region. Its provincial capital and largest city is Hefei. The province is lo ...
, China; his father, Ko Chuan Yang (; 1896–1973), was a mathematician, and his mother, Meng Hwa Loh Yang (), was a housewife. Yang attended elementary school and high school in
Beijing Beijing ( ), Chinese postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the Capital city, capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the world's List of national capitals by population, most populous national capital city, ...
, and in the autumn of 1937 his family moved to
Hefei Hefei (, ) is the capital and largest city of Anhui Anhui (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized as Anhwei) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, part of the East China region. Its provincia ...
after the Japanese invaded China. In 1938 they moved to
Kunming Kunming is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 m ...
,
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Kunm ...
, where National Southwestern Associated University (Lianda), was located. In the same year, as a second year student, Yang passed the entrance examination and studied at Lianda. He received his bachelor's degree in 1942, with his thesis on the application of group theory to molecular spectra, under the supervision of Wu Ta-You, Ta-You Wu. He continued to study graduate courses there for two years under the supervision of Wang Zhuxi, working on statistical mechanics. In 1944 he received his master's degree from Tsinghua University, which had moved to Kunming during the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). Yang was then awarded a scholarship from the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program, set up by the United States government using part of the money China had been forced to pay following the Boxer Rebellion. His departure for the United States was delayed for one year, during which time he taught in a middle school as a teacher and studied field theory. From 1946, Yang studied with Edward Teller (1908–2003) at the University of Chicago, where he received his doctorate in 1948. He remained at the University of Chicago for a year as an assistant to Enrico Fermi. In 1949 he was invited to do his research at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he began a period of fruitful collaboration with Tsung-Dao Lee. He was made a permanent member of the Institute in 1952, and full professor in 1955. In 1963, Princeton University Press published his textbook, ''Elementary Particles''. In 1965 he moved to Stony Brook University, where he was named the Albert Einstein Professor of Physics and the first director of the newly founded Institute for Theoretical Physics. Today this institute is known as the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics. He retired from Stony Brook University in 1999, assuming the title Emeritus Professor. In 2010, Stony Brook University honored Yang's contributions to the university by naming its newest dormitory building C. N. Yang Hall. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Academia Sinica, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees by Princeton University (1958), Moscow State University (1992), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1997). Yang visited the Chinese mainland in 1971 for the first time after the thaw in China–US relations, and has subsequently made great efforts to help the Chinese physics community rebuild the research atmosphere which was destroyed by the radical political movements during the Cultural Revolution. After retiring from State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook he returned as an honorary director of Tsinghua University, Beijing, where he is the Huang Jibei-Lu Kaiqun Professor at the Center for Advanced Study, Tsinghua University, Center for Advanced Study (CASTU). He also is one of the two Shaw Prize Founding Members and is a Distinguished Professor-at-Large at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Personal life

Yang married Chih-li Tu (), a teacher, in 1950 and has two sons and a daughter with her: Franklin Jr., Gilbert and Eulee. His father-in-law was a Kuomintang General Du Yuming. Some scholars suspect that Du was promoted to a high-ranking position in Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in order to convince Yang to return to China after seeking refuge in the US. Tu died in October 2003, but in December 2004 the then 82-year-old Yang made controversy by marrying the then 28-year-old Weng Fan (). Yang became a U.S. citizen in 1964. He now resides in China, and he was granted permanent residency in mainland China in 2004. He renounced his U.S. citizenship as of 30 September 2015, and became a citizen of the People's Republic of China. On Yang's religious views, he is an agnostic.


Academic achievements

Yang has worked on
statistical mechanics In physics, statistical mechanics is a mathematical framework that applies Statistics, statistical methods and probability theory to large assemblies of microscopic entities. It does not assume or postulate any natural laws, but explains the ma ...
, condensed matter theory,
particle physics Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that ...
and
gauge theory In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Sp ...
/quantum field theory. At the University of Chicago, Yang first spent twenty months working in an accelerator lab, but he later found he was not as good as an experimentalist and switched back to theory. His doctoral thesis was about angular distribution in nuclear reaction, nuclear reactions. Later he worked on particle phenomenology; a well-known work was the Fermi–Yang model treating pion, pion meson as a bound nucleon–antinucleon pair. In 1956, he and Tsung Dao (T.D.) Lee proposed that in the
weak interaction In nuclear physics and particle physics Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýs ...
the parity symmetry was not conserved, Chien-Shiung Wu, Chien-shiung Wu's team at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington experimentally verified the theory. Yang and Lee received the 1957
Nobel Prize in Physics ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , alt = A golden medallion with an embossed image of a bearded man facing left in profile. To the left of the man is the text "ALFR•" then "NOBEL", and on the right, the text (smaller) "NAT•" then "M ...
for their parity violation theory, but unfortunately stereotypes prevented Wu from being awarded, despite the revolutionary change it would bring to
particle physics Particle physics (also known as high energy physics) is a branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that ...
. Yang has also worked on neutrino theory with Tsung Dao (T.D.) Lee, 1957, 1959, CT nonconservation (with Tsung Dao (T.D.) Lee and R. Oheme, 1957), electromagnetic interaction of vector mesons (with Tsung Dao (T.D.) Lee, 1962), CP nonconservation (with Wu Tai-Tsun, 1964). Yang is also well known for his collaboration with Robert Mills in developing Non-abelian group, non-Abelian
gauge theory In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Sp ...
, widely known as the Yang–Mills theory. Subsequently, in the last three decades, many other prominent scientists have developed key breakthroughs to what is now known as gauge theory. In the 1970s Yang worked on the topological properties of gauge theory, collaborating with Wu Tai-Tsun to elucidate the Wu–Yang monopole. Unlike the Dirac monopole, it has no singular Dirac string. The theory set the template for the Standard Model and modern physics in general, as well as the work towards a Grand Unified Theory; it was called by The Scientist (magazine), The Scientist, "the foundation for current understanding of how subatomic particles interact, a contribution which has restructured modern physics and mathematics." The idea was generally conceived by Yang, and the novice scientist Mills assisted him in this endeavor as Mills said,
"During the academic year 1953-1954, Yang was a visitor to Brookhaven National Laboratory...I was at Brookhaven also...and was assigned to the same office as Yang. Yang, who has demonstrated on a number of occasions his generosity to physicists beginning their careers, told me about his idea of generalizing gauge invariance and we discussed it at some length...I was able to contribute something to the discussions, especially with regard to the quantization procedures, and to a small degree in working out the formalism; however, the key ideas were Yang's."
Yang has had a great interest in statistical mechanics since his undergraduate time. In the 1950s and 1960s, he collaborated with Tsung Dao (T.D.) Lee and Kerson Huang, etc. and studied
statistical mechanics In physics, statistical mechanics is a mathematical framework that applies Statistics, statistical methods and probability theory to large assemblies of microscopic entities. It does not assume or postulate any natural laws, but explains the ma ...
and condensed matter theory. He studied the theory of phase transition and elucidated the Lee–Yang circle theorem, properties of quantum boson, boson liquid, two dimensional Ising model, flux quantization in superconductors (with N. Byers, 1961), and proposed the concept of Off-Diagonal Long-Range Order (ODLRO, 1962). In 1967, he found a consistent condition for a one dimensional factorized scattering many body system, the equation was later named the Yang–Baxter equation, it plays an important role in integrable models and has influenced several branches of physics and mathematics.


Awards

*
Nobel Prize in Physics ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , alt = A golden medallion with an embossed image of a bearded man facing left in profile. To the left of the man is the text "ALFR•" then "NOBEL", and on the right, the text (smaller) "NAT•" then "M ...
(1957) * Ten Outstanding Young Americans (1957) * Rumford Prize (1980) * National Medal of Science (1986) * Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture, Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture and Medal (1988) * Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences of the American Philosophical Society (1993) * The Franklin Institute Awards, Bower Award (1994) * Albert Einstein Medal (1995) * Lars Onsager Prize (1999) * King Faisal International Prize (2001)


Selected publications

; Collected works * ** * ; Yang–Mills theory * * * ; Parity violation * ; Lee–Yang theorem * ; Byers–Yang theorem *


See also

* Yang–Mills theory ** Wu–Yang monopole * Yang–Baxter equation ** Yangian * Parity violation ** Wu experiment * Lee–Yang theorem * Byers–Yang theorem * C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics * Center for Advanced Study, Tsinghua University * List of Chinese Nobel laureates * List of theoretical physicists


Bibliography

* ''Interpretation of Organic Spectra'', Wiley, 2011


Notes


References


Sources

* * Lee, T. D. and Yang, C. N.
Elementary Particles and Weak Interactions
, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Atomic Energy Commission), (1957). * Yang, C. N.
The Many Body Problem. Physics Monographs No. 6
" Rio de Janeiro. Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas, (1960). * * Yang, C. N.
Mathematical Deductions from Some Rules Concerning High-Energy Total Cross Sections
" Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Atomic Energy Commission), (1962). * Yang, C. N.
Symmetry Principles In Physics. Brookhaven Lecture Series Number 50
" Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Atomic Energy Commission), (13 October 1965). * * *


External links

*
Professor Chen Ning Yang
(homepage – Institute for Advanced Study, Tsinghua University)
Chen Ning Yang
(homepage – Stony Brook University)
C.N. Yang's Home Page
(homepage – The Chinese University of Hong Kong) * including the Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1957 ''The Law of Parity Conservation and Other Symmetry Laws of Physics''
The Shaw Prize, Structure
(homepage – Shaw Prize)
Symmetries and Reflections
(C.N. Yang retirement symposium at Stony Brook University)
The CN Yang Scholars Programme
a
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore * {{DEFAULTSORT:Yang, Chen-Ning 1922 births Living people 21st-century American physicists Albert Einstein Medal recipients American agnostics American emigrants to China American Nobel laureates American people of Chinese descent Boxer Indemnity Scholarship recipients Brookhaven National Laboratory Nobel laureates Chinese agnostics Chinese emigrants to the United States Han Chinese Nobel laureates Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows of the American Physical Society Foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences Foreign Members of the Royal Society Foreign Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Advanced Study faculty Members of Academia Sinica Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences Nankai University alumni National Medal of Science laureates National Southwestern Associated University alumni Naturalized citizens of the People's Republic of China Nobel laureates in Physics Nobel laureates of the People's Republic of China Nobel laureates of the Republic of China Particle physicists People from Hefei Former United States citizens People with acquired American citizenship Physicists from Anhui Stony Brook University faculty Theoretical physicists Tsinghua University alumni Tsinghua University faculty University of Chicago alumni