Chien-Shiung Wu

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Wu in 1958 at Columbia University

Chien-Shiung Wu (traditional Chinese: 吳健雄; pinyin: Wú Jiànxíong; May 29, 1912February 16, 1997) was a Chinese-born American physicist with an expertise in radioactivity. She worked on the Manhattan Project (to enrich the uranium fuel) and disproved the conservation of parity. Her nicknames included the “First Lady of Physics”, “Chinese Marie Curie,” and “Madame Wu.” She died after her second stroke on February 16, 1997.


  • … 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.
    • As quoted in "Queen of Physics", Newsweek (20 May 1963) no. 61, 20.