On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Mr. Yang Zhenning, theoretical physicist, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, the OUC is looking back on when he was a lecturer at China Central Radio and Television University (CCRTVU), the predecessor of the Open University of China (OUC), in the 1990s. We extend him our best wishes on this special day!

On the morning of 11 January 1995, Professor Yang visited the CCRTVU from New York to deliver a speech titled Symmetry and Modern Physics in the Audio-visual Education Building of the State Education Commission (the predecessor of the Ministry of Education). Starting from ancient observations of snowflakes, Professor Yang expounded on the relationship between symmetry and conservation, a central concept in 20th century physics, in language easy for lay people to understand, citing cultural achievements such as the palindrome verses of Su Shi, Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin duets, and ancient Islamic architecture. Two days later, he delivered another speech, titled “Review and Prospects of Modern Science since its Introduction to China”, which was later included in the CCRTVU College Physics textbook, with video of it used as an audio-visual textbook for students all over the country.

 

 

Professor Yang was one of the CCRTVU lecturers for the course "College Physics (Frontier Topics in Contemporary Physics)", which presented students with the major achievements and areas of research in contemporary physics. It included 14 sections: Atomic Energy and its Peaceful Use, Semiconductors, Laser Technology, Acoustics, Space Environmental Science, Chaotic Phenomena, Self-organisation of Nonlinear and Non-equilibrium Systems, Astronomical Worlds in Modern Science, Physics and Biology, Laser Cooling and Atomic Trapping/ Roaming in Science, Experimental Physics in the 20th Century, Symmetry and Modern Physics, and Review and Prospects of Modern Science since its Introduction to China.

 

By Jin Hongyu, OUC