Explores the State-of-the-art Particle Physics and Finds Solutions to the Universe

/ Samuel Chao Chung Ting / A Nobel laureate in Physics

Awarded the Nobel prize for Physics in 1976, Dr. Samuel Chao Chung Ting, a globally recognized physicist, has been the first laureate who gave his prize acceptance speech in Chinese. With the help of this prominent scientist who explores the unknown universe all his life, Taiwan is now a participant of a significant space science program.

Showed Talent in Physics and Mathematics since Very Young; Finished a PhD in Three Years

Born in Michigan while his parents were visiting the University of Michigan, Dr. Samuel C. C. Ting grew up in Taiwan, where he received his primary education in Taichung and Taipei. After he graduated from Taipei Municipal Chien Kuo Senior High School, he was admitted to Taiwan Provincial College of Engineering, where he took a mechanical engineering major between 1955 and 1956. Dr. Ting remembers how professors like Dr. Xian-Rong Wang, Li Lang, and Shao-Tie Chao taught him the knowledge of physics and math, kindly encouraged him, and were very friendly toward him. Majored in mechanics, he was fascinated by history and felt indebted to Prof. Zhi-Mian Shi at the Dept. of Chinese Literature for providing him with a historical perspective.

In 1956, Dr. Ting transferred to the University of Michigan. Since he found technical drawings too difficult for him, he decided to choose physics and math as double majors. As a gifted student, he completed double majors within three years. Then he was enrolled in a master’s program on a scholarship. He was waived the exam so he could concentrate on writing his thesis. Only three years later, he got a PhD in physics in 1962.

The Scientific World Was Stunned by Discovery of the Longest-lived J/psi Particle

Dr. Samuel C. C. Ting has been dedicated to unveiling the mystery of new particles. On November 11th, 1974, the team led by Dr. Ting announced their discovery of the J particle, which was acclaimed by the New York Times headline as “November Revolution.” On the same day, the team led by Burton Richter also declared their discovery of the same particle, which was named as “Ψ.” Hence this particle was officially named as the “J/Ψ particle”—the only particle that has a two-alphabet name. Dr. Samuel C. C. Ting was jointly awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize for Physics with Burton Richter.

Dr. Samuel C. C. Ting once spoke of the award, stressing that “experiments and theories play equally important roles in physics. A theory is meaningless without experimental evidence. A new theory emerges after an old theory is overturned by new evidence. In short, theories can be overturned by evidence, but not vice versa.”

The most important aspect of the J particle lies in its long lifetime. As Dr. Ting put it, “its lifetime is 10,000 times longer than the other particles. It was as if you have discovered a village, where the villagers averagely live to be one million years old, much longer than the rest of the world.” This discovery has immensely improved our understanding of physics and led particle physics toward a new direction, in which humans form a very different conception of how the universe was formed.

Explores the Universe and Initiates the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Program

Dr. Samuel Chao Chung Ting has led a particle physics experiment module that is mounted on the International Space Station during the period 1995-2028. This particle physics detector helps to detect high energy particles and identify the sources and characteristics of different cosmic rays, including dark matter and antimatter. This collaborative program is co-conducted by 16 countries. Under the introduction of Dr. Ting, a number of research institutions, such as NCKU, the Academia Sinica, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology and the National Space Organization, have participated in this state-of-the-art program. This helps Taiwan keep pace with the world’s technological progress.

Dr. Samuel C. C. Ting is a role model for young aspiring physicists. He stressed the importance of combination of “passion” and “talent.” For those pursuing a career in physics, he encouraged them to keep an ardent interest in exploring every detail of physics concepts. “All you care about is physics. Anything else does not matter at all!” A physicist just never gets tired of thinking and doing research. (Photo Credit: Dr. Samuel C. C. Ting)

NCKUer |
Class |
Achievements |

Samuel C. C. Ting

Department of Mechanical Engineering Class 1959 (admitted to the college in 1955, studied for one year.)

・Got a PhD in Physics at the University of Michigan in 1962.

・Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics and the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1976.

・Serves as Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1977-present).

・Leads the LEP working group of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (1983-present).

・Serves as the principal investigator for the AMS Program collaborated by DoE and NASA (1995-present).

・Serves as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and Academia Sinica (of Taiwan).

Samuel Chao Chung Ting / Department of Mechanical Engineering Class 1959 (admitted to the college in 1955, studied for one year.)

・Got a PhD in Physics at the University of Michigan in 1962.

・Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics and the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1976.

・Serves as Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1977-present).

・Leads the LEP working group of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (1983-present).

・Serves as the principal investigator for the AMS Program collaborated by DoE and NASA (1995-present).

・Serves as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and Academia Sinica (of Taiwan).

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成大建築系47級

漢寶德

國立自然科學博物館創館館長
Master Program of Mechanical Engineering 1962

Han-Min Xia

Former President of NCKU
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