Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chien-Shiung Wu, Courageous Hero of Physics

Mme Wu
Check out this Ada Lovelace Day post on the Scientific American Guest Blog by Maia Weinstock.

It's an engaging biography of the 'First Lady of Physics', sometimes called the 'Chinese Marie Curie', the incomparable experimentalist Chien-Shiung Wu. It features my linocut 'Madame Wu and the Violation of Parity'! I'm a fan of Wu's and have read other biographies, but I learned some new details, particularly about her early life and career, and about the theoretical debates prior to her experiment. I hadn't realized that Feynmann first floated the idea that perhaps parity was not conserved, before the theorists Lee and Yang delved in, and then sought Wu's advice in the hopes she could design and execute an experiment corroborating their theory. 

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