Tsung-Dao Lee

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Tsung-Dao Lee
This is a Chinese name; the family name is 李 (Li)

Tsung-Dao Lee (T. D. Lee, 李政道 Pinyin: Lǐ Zhèngdào) (born November 24, 1926) is a Chinese American physicist, well known for creating the Lee Model, the field of relativistic heavy ion physics, and that of nontopological solitons and soliton stars in quantum field theory, as well as the solution for the theta-tau puzzle in particle physics. In 1957, Lee, at age 31, with C. N. Yang received the Nobel Prize in Physics for work on the violation of parity law in weak interaction, which Chien-Shiung Wu experimentally verified. Lee and Yang were the first Chinese Nobel Prize winners.

Lee's ancestral hometown is Suzhou, Jiangsu. He was born in Shanghai, China, and received his secondary education in Shanghai and Jiangxi. The first part of his university education began at Zhejiang University, but was interrupted by the war, so he continued at the National Southwest Associated University (西南聯合大學) in Kunming the next year. Lee went to the University of Chicago in 1946 and completed his PhD with Enrico Fermi. He then worked with collaborators on phase transitions in statistical mechanics and polarons in condensed matter physics. In 1953, he became an assistant professor at Columbia University, and worked mainly in particle physics and field theory. Three years later, at age 29, Lee became the university's youngest full professor. Over the years, Lee has pioneered and developed research ranging from symmetry violations in weak interactions to fields of high energy neutrino physics and RHIC physics. He remains an active member of the Columbia faculty and has held its highest academic rank, University Professor, since 1984. Currently, his interests have turned to the bosonic nature of high Tc superconductivity, the neutrino mapping matrix and new ways to solve Schrödinger equation.

Soon after the establishment of relations with the PRC, Lee and his wife, Hui-Chun Jeannette Chin (秦惠莙 Qín Huìjùn), were able to go to China, where Lee gave a series of lectures and seminars, and organized the CUSPEA (China-U.S. Physics Examination and Application).

In 1998, Lee established the Chun-Tsung Endowment Fund (秦惠莙--李政道中国大学生见习基金) in Beijing in memory of his wife, Hui-Chun Chin, who died 3 years earlier. The Chun-Tsung scholarships are awarded to undergraduates, usually in their 2nd or 3rd year, at five universities in China. Students selected for such scholarships are named "Chun-Tsung Scholars" (莙政学者). Chin and Lee were married in 1950 and have two sons: James and Stephen.

Lee reads whodunit novels when he does not work on physics.

His English given name differs dramatically from the then-existing Chinese Romanizations, such as Wade-Giles and Gwoyeu Romatzyh. Tsung Dao Lee is also known as T.D. Lee.

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Tsung-Dao Lee

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