Established in 1928, the Department of Physics of Zhejiang University has been the cradle of many key contributions to the physical sciences. In the 1940s, Kan-Chang Wang, the department chair at the time, proposed using the recoil of K-captured Be nuclei which later led to provide the first indirect evidence for the existence of neutrinos. Tsung-Dao Lee, from the class of 1943, together with C.N. Yang proposed parity violation in the weak interaction in 1957. Later that year, Chien-Shiung Wu, a former teaching staff from the 1930s, led the experiment in the decay of polarized Co-60 nuclei which confirmed this theoretical proposal. Between the 1950s and 1980s, many physicists from the department directly took part in the Chinese nuclear program, most notably, including the two key leaders, Kan-Chang Wang and Kai-Jia Cheng. In total, twenty physics alumni have been elected as members of Chinese Academy of Sciences and several have been elected as APS and OSA fellows.


Presently, there are 126 teaching and administrative staff, of which 89 are full-time faculty members in the department. Four of them have been invited to write reviews in the Review of Modern Physics or the Physics Reports. Three current faculty members are members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and three are APS fellows. The research disciplines of the Department of Physics concentrate on high energy physics, theoretical physics, condensed matter physics, plasma physics, optics, applied physics, and biological physics. The department consists of the following institutes: Zhejiang Institute of Modern Physics, Institute of Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Optics, Institute for Fusion Theory and Simulation, Center for Correlated Matter and Institute of Applied Physics. The department is also home to the Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Quantum Technology and Devices, and part of the National Key Laboratory of Silicon Material as well as the National Key Laboratory of Optical Engineering.


High energy physics (HEP) and nuclear physics research at Zhejiang University can be traced back to 1930s. The current HEP group is one of the largest HEP theory groups in China and their research focuses on both the formal aspects (quantum field theory and S-matrix/quantum gravity) and phenomenological aspects (precision quantum chromodynamics, beyond-standard-model physics, collider phenomenology) of HEP. The group has several world-renowned physicists, including Ming-Xing Luo, known for his contribution in precision electroweak testing of the standard model as well as gauge coupling unification; Bo Feng, whose name is featured as the “F” in the BCFW recursion relations for the scattering amplitudes; and Ellis Y. Yuan, whose name is featured as the “Y” in the CHY formulation which interprets scattering amplitudes as geometric objects in topological space.


Condensed matter physics research at ZJU started in the 1980s with its focus surface physics and superconductivity. The surface physics group made the first few scanning tunneling microscope in China. Founded by Qi-Rui Zhang and currently led by Zhu-An Xu and Hui-Qiu Yuan, the superconductivity group has created world records in the critical temperatures of superconductors multiple times. The current research concentrates on unconventional superconductors such as iron-based and heavy fermion system superconductors. Frank Steglich is the director of the newly established Center for Correlated Matter. Within the last ten years, a new research direction for quantum computing was founded by Hao-Hua Wang which focuses on quantum computing and simulation based on superconducting Josephson junctions.


The Institute of Optics, led by Shi-Yao Zhu (Lamb Medal winner, known for finding lasing without inversion and spontaneous emission cancellation), conducts experimental and theoretical research in quantum optics, quantum information, cold atoms, precision measurement, coherent control of light, and cavity quantum electrodynamics.


The department also includes a plasma physics group. The group conducts plasma physics research in magnetic and inertial confinement fusion, space plasma physics, and high energy density physics. The group boasts a small assortment of world-class plasma physicists, including Liu Chen, a recipient of APS’s James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics and EPS’s Hannes Alfvén Prize. The current group leader is Guo-Yong Fu (APS fellow).

Add: No. 12 Teaching Building, Yuquan Campus, Zhejiang University, 38                   Zheda Rd, Hangzhou, 310027, P. R. China

Tel: +86-571-87953325

Fax: +86-571-87951895

Email: phybecky@zju.edu.cn

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