He Zehui




Prof.He Zehui(Ho Zah-wei),female,an experimental physicist,was born on 5th of March,1914,in Suzhou,Jiangsu Province.She graduated from the Physics Department of Tsinghua University in 1936,received a Doctor degree from the Technische Hochschule in Berlin in 1940.From 1940 to 1943,she worked in Siemens Werner Werk,being engaged in the research of magnetics in the weak current Laboratory.In 1943,she joined the Institute of Nuclear Physics of K.W.I. in Heidelberg,working under the supervision of Prof.W.Bothe.In studying the positron spectrum of Mn-52,she observed for the first time the elastic scattering of electrons with positrons in a magnetic cloud chamber.In spring 1946,she went to Paris and worked in the Laboratoire de Chimie Nucleaire of Collége de France and Laboratoire Curie.Her collaboration with Qian Sanqiang (Tsien San-Tsiang) and two graduate students resulted in the discovery of the ternary and quaternary fissions of heavy nuclei.After returning to China in 1948,she served successively as research professor of physics at the Institute of Atomic Physics,Institute of Modern Physics,head of the department of Neutron Physics of the Institute of Atomic Energy,and deputy director of the Institute of Atomic Energy and the Institute of High Energy Physics.
As one of the pioneers in nuclear science and technology in China,Prof.He made substantial contributions to neutron physics and physics of nuclear fission,as well as training qualified scientists in these fields.During 1950s,she initiated in China the research and development of nuclear emulsions,which has come to the advanced world level in quality of that time,and she was awarded by Academia Sinica the first Award of the National Prize of Natural Sciences.She then directed the experimental research of neutron and fission physics at the first nuclear reactor and cyclotron in China and made outstanding achievements in supporting the national program of nuclear weapon development.In 1970s and afterwards,she made much efforts to promote the research and lay the foundation of the cosmic rays physics and high energy astrophysics.Prof.He was elected as the member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1980.