Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese Nuclear Physicist

Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese Nuclear Physicist

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Chien-Shiung Wu assembling an electro-static generator at Smith College Physics Laboratory.

Chien-Shiung Wu assembling an electro-static generator at Smith College Physics Laboratory.

AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives

In this lesson, students will learn about the life of experimental nuclear physicist Chien-Shiung Wu. Born in China, she became a hugely influential subatomic physicist after immigrating to America in the 1930s. Rather than focusing on her scientific accomplishments (which are discussed in more detail in the AIP Teacher’s Guides “Fair or Unfair: Should These Women Have Won Nobel Prizes” and “Outcasts and Opportunities: The Effects of World War II on the Careers of Female Physicists”), this lesson has students read about Chien-Shiung Wu’s early life, education, and unlikely activism.