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My Summary Comment for the September 24, 2022 Event to Honor Chien-Shiung Wu by Da Hsuan Feng on September 25, 2022 

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To commemorate Madame Chien Shiung Wu’s (吳健雄) 110 Birthday, Nanjing University Alumni Association United States (USAAUS) hosted the first C.S. Wu Global Online Symposium, on September 24th, 2022. During WWII, Madame Wu as a physicist at Columbia University participated in the Manhattan Project, where she according to various sources played an important role.

Our dear friend Professor Da Hsuan Feng was the Coordinator of the Organization Committee and the following are his comment of this special occasion!

Well, for the past almost three hours, almost IN ONE BREATH, I listened to the absolutely fantastic and mesmerizing presentations about Madame Chien-Shiung Wu. At this moment, I am both physically, and more importantly, intellectually exhausted! Cheng-Ning asked me to say a few words to give my summary. I don’t even know how to begin. Right at this moment, I have the feeling of being a little boy, standing at the edge of a vast ocean, trying to portray what the ocean is like beyond the horizon!

Well, inadequate I may be, let me try my best to summarize how I felt about the overall impressions that I have gathered.

First, there is no doubt that nearly all who knew Madame Wu as a scientist mentioned her incredible feat of performing a technically and intellectually arduous experiment to show that one aspect of nature, namely parity conservation, which even for the most distinguished scientists who thought that it was beyond reproach, was simply wrong!!! As a scientist myself, I know instinctively how much intellectual tenacity it would take to make that decision to do that experiment. As one of our speakers, Lars Brink from Chalmers Institute of Technology said on his last slide, he agreed “emphatically” with C. N. Yang that Wu should have been the third Laureate in 1957! 

Of course, the fact that her 1957 experiment was so spectacular, it also has the “unfortunate” outcome of literally blinding her many many other scientific achievements! I hope that people who will listen to our recording for this event, such “omissions” can be corrected.

I am so happy, for example, to hear that she was a pioneer in a paper published with her student I. Shaknov in 1950 in what is today the hottest physics research area, namely “quantum entanglement”. Indeed, this area of physics research is the fundamental of issues like quantum information and quantum computing! This is what Lars called “Nobel Prize Height” work! Madame Wu was just 70 years ahead of her time!

Second, in all the talks we heard today, it was clear that Madame Wu was a true inspiration for young women worldwide, to achieve whatever they could achieve with their abilities. Listening to all the talks today, I am compelled to say emphatically that this is only partially true. No doubt she is an eternal inspiration for young women, but I think it is equally true that she is also a profound inspiration for men of all ages as well (just like she inspired Sylvester Gates, one of the great theoretical physicists and a speaker today)! Her inspiration is simply universal! 

I want to state clearly that she is an inspiration for humanity! 

Third, and that may be most important in today’s world, is that she will forever be a strong bridge between the two most powerful nations in the world today, the United States and China. The fact that it was truly remarkable that during WWII, as the only Chinese working in the Manhattan project, she already was an important component to help both countries to defeat the most dangerous militarism humanity had to be faced with. Building on this fact, I hope this 4 feet 11 inches petite Asian American lady (which Professor Kim the 2024 president of APS whimsically reminded us of her physical stature) could be a powerful spiritual bridge between the East and West civilizations. Her eternal presence in the hearts of all people from both civilizations could be a reason why we need to view each other as members of the GLOBAL VILLAGE. 

Thank you all for coming today to this not just a great event, but a historical one! 


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