[2014] Selina Shi (Science 7th Gr 2013 2014, Global Lit 8 2014-15, 2014-15 Science 8th Gr): Chien Sh

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Discipline:
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Subject:
Scientific Biographies
Grade:
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[2014] Selina Shi (Science 7th Gr 2013 2014, Global Lit 8 2014-15, 2014-15 Science 8th Gr): Chien Sh

Chien Shiung Wu1912-1997

Chien Shiung Wu was born in Shanghai China on May 29th, 1912. Her father believed greatly in her education even though she was a girl living in a period where girls didn't normally have an education. She went to high school in Soochow to study English and science. She decided to become a physicist in high school.

1912-1997

After high school she graduated with a B.S. from the Nanjing Central University in Nanjing China in 1936. She then came to the United States to attend college at the University of California, Berkeley which is in California. She received her Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1940. During her time in Berkeley, she was very fortunate to be learning under Dr. Ernest Lawrence, a nuclear scientist. Ms. Wu was his research assistant. At Berkeley Ms. Wu also met her husband Luke Liou. After graduating from Berkeley, Mrs. Wu accepted a teaching position at Smith College. Less than a year after she accepted a teaching position at Princeton University. After a few months she accepted a position at Columbia University where she conducted her most famous experiment.

At Columbia, Mrs. Wu was a research associate. Two of Mrs. Wu's colleagues, Lee and Yang had proposed that the Principle of Parity was flawed because in 1952 a new particle called K-meson was discovered but did not behave like it should according to the Principle of Parity. Mrs. Wu, Lee, and Yang decided to conduct an experiment to disprove this law. Mrs. Wu decided to use a particle called Cobalt 60. Mrs. Wu had to cool the lab to near absolute zero. Mrs. Wu counted the number of electrons that were emmited in from each particle. Mrs. Wu, Lee, and Yang had successfully disproved the Principle of Parity. Lee and Yang later won a Nobel Prize for their work in 1957.

Mrs. Wu also helped with the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb. She also the first woman to be granted an honorary doctorate in science from Princeton in 1958. She was also the first woman to receive the Comstock Award from the National Academy of Sciences in 1964. She received the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women in 1960. She was also the first woman to serve as President of the American Physical Society. She died on February 16th, 1997 in New York.

The Principle of Parity

"Men have always dominated the fields of science and technology. Look what an enviromental mess we are in" - Chien Shiung Wu

Early Life

Education

Disproving the Principle of Parity

Accomplishments


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