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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Chien-Shiung Wu Quotes

Thumbnail of Chien-Shiung Wu (source)
Chien-Shiung Wu
(29 May 1912 - 16 Feb 1997)

Chinese-American physicist who provided the first experimental proof (1956) that parity is not conserved in weak subatomic interactions of nuclear beta decay.


Science Quotes by Chien-Shiung Wu (5 quotes)

Beta decay was … like a dear old friend. There would always be a special place in my heart reserved especially for it.
— Chien-Shiung Wu
In paper presented to the International Conference on the History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries, Erice, Sicily (27 Jul-4 Aug 1994), 'Parity Violation' collected in Harvey B. Newman, Thomas Ypsilantis History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics (1996), 390-391.
Science quotes on:  |  Radioactivity (26)

It is perhaps difficult for a modern student of Physics to realize the basic taboo of the past period (before 1956) … it was unthinkable that anyone would question the validity of symmetries under “space inversion,” “charge conjugation” and “time reversal.” It would have been almost sacrilegious to do experiments to test such unholy thoughts.
— Chien-Shiung Wu
In paper presented to the International Conference on the History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries, Erice, Sicily (27 Jul-4 Aug 1994), 'Parity Violation' collected in Harvey B. Newman, Thomas Ypsilantis History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics (1996), 381.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Question (315)  |  Symmetry (26)  |  Taboo (4)  |  Test (96)  |  Thought (374)

There is only one thing worse than coming home from the lab to a sink full of dirty dishes, and that is not going to the lab at all!
— Chien-Shiung Wu
Quoted in Giorgio Giacomelli, Maurizio Spurio and Jamal Eddine Derkaoui, Cosmic Radiations: From Astronomy to Particle Physics (2001), 344. by - Science - 2001
Science quotes on:  |  Laboratory (120)

These were moments of exhilaration and ecstasy! A glimpse of this wonder can be the reward of a lifetime. Could it be that excitement and ennobling feelings like these have kept us scientists marching forward forever?
— Chien-Shiung Wu
Referring to her landmark parity conservation experiment. As quoted in Benjamin F. Shearer, Barbara Smith Shearer, Notable Women in the Physical Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary (1997), 428.
Science quotes on:  |  Ecstasy (5)  |  Ennoble (5)  |  Excitement (33)  |  Exhilaration (5)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Forever (42)  |  Forward (21)  |  Glimpse (9)  |  Lifetime (19)  |  March (15)  |  Parity (2)  |  Reward (38)  |  Wonder (134)

… it is shameful that there are so few women in science… In China there are many, many women in physics. There is a misconception in America that women scientists are all dowdy spinsters. This is the fault of men. In Chinese society, a woman is valued for what she is, and men encourage her to accomplishments yet she remains eternally feminine.
— Chien-Shiung Wu
Quoted in 'Queen of Physics', Newsweek (20 May 1963) no. 61, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  China (17)  |  Encourage (16)  |  Feminine (3)  |  Misconception (5)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Shameful (2)  |  Value (180)  |  Women Scientists (13)



Quotes by others about Chien-Shiung Wu (1)

Pauli … asked me to tell him what was happening in America. I told him that Mrs. Wu is trying to measure whether parity is conserved. He answered me: “Mrs. Wu is wasting her time. I would bet you a large sum that parity is conserved.” When this letter came I already knew that parity is violated. I could have sent a telegram to Pauli that the bet was accepted. But I wrote him a letter. He said: “I could never let it out that this is possible. I am glad that we did not actually do the bet because I can risk to lose my reputation, but I cannot risk losing my capital.”
In Discussion after paper presented by Chien-Shiung Wu to the International Conference on the History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries, Erice, Sicily (27 Jul-4 Aug 1994), 'Parity Violation' collected in Harvey B. Newman, Thomas Ypsilantis (eds.), History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics (1996), 381.
Science quotes on:  |  Bet (7)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Lose (53)  |  Measure (70)  |  Money (125)  |  Parity (2)  |  Wolfgang Pauli (15)  |  Reputation (17)  |  Time (439)  |  Waste (57)


See also:
  • 29 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Wu's birth.
  • Madame Wu Chien-Shiung: The First Lady of Physics Research, by Tsai-Chien Chiang and Tang-Fong Wong (trans.). . - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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