Chien-Shiung Wu was
born following the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty at Liuhe, a small
town near Shanghai, China. When Chien-Shiung grew up girls were
taught at home (if at all). Chien-Shiung's father encouraged his
daughter to take a class with a professor who recognized Chien-Shiung's
gift for learning and encouraged her to enter the National Central
University in Nanjing, where she received her degree in 1934.
Wu came to the United
States in 1936 to continue her studies. She received a PhD from
the University of California in 1940 and taught in several colleges
before settling at Columbia University in 1944, where she spent
37 years researching and teaching. Wu met her husband at Berkeley
and married in 1942. Wu and her husband lived in the same apartment
for 50 years and had one son, Vincent Yuan.
received a number of honors and was very dedicated to her scientific
research. She was a very respected physicist who disproved the law
of conservation of parity and showed that the laws of nature are
not always symmetrical with respect to right and left. Wu won many
scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science, the
Comstock Prize, and the first honorary doctorate awarded to a woman
at Princeton University.