Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, The First Lady of Physics

Born in 1912, Dr. Wu emigrated to the USA from Shanghai, China for higher education. When she was a child, her father started the school where she attended because he believed girls should have an education. She later attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a PhD in physics. Her work in particle physics contributed to the the Manhattan Project, a research and development effort that produced the first nuclear weapons. She was the first woman to work in Princeton’s physics department and later worked as a professor at Columbia. Although her employer raised her pay to equal that of the men around her, she often fought against sexist attitudes that prevented her from receiving well-deserved accolades, but not all of them. She was the first woman awarded an honorary doctorate from Princeton, the first woman to serve as president of the American Physical Society, and the first person to receive the Wolf Prize in Physics. The asteroid, “2752 Wu Chien-Shiung” is named after her.

Further reading: https://www.nps.gov/people/dr-chien-shiung-wu-the-first-lady-of-physics.htm