Tsung-Dao Lee, Weak Interactions, and Nonconservation of Parity

Resources with Additional Information

Tsung-Dao Lee
Courtesy of Brookhaven
National Laboratory

T. D. Lee "has devoted his long career to the study of the theoretical aspects of particle and nuclear physics. In 1957, Lee and Chen Ning Yang won the Nobel Prize in physics for disproving a tenet of physics known as the conservation of parity. Their finding was based on research carried out at Brookhaven’s particle accelerator, the Cosmotron, while they were visiting scientists at the Laboratory in 1956.

In 1997, forty years after receiving the Nobel Prize, Lee returned to Brookhaven Lab as Director of the RIKEN BNL Research Center.  Japan’s Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) and Brookhaven formed the collaboration to work on basic questions in physics. In addition to developing physics theory, the collaboration studies data produced by Brookhaven’s newest accelerator, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, to understand the properties of quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that scientists theorize existed near the beginning of the Universe.

Born in Shanghai, China, Lee attended universities in China before coming to the U.S. in 1946, where he became a student of Enrico Fermi and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1950. After working as a research associate at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, Lee joined the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1951. Then, in 1953, he joined Columbia University, where he is currently University Professor.

After serving a six-year term as Director of the RIKEN BNL Research Center, Lee stepped down as of October 1, [2003] becoming Director Emeritus.”

Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Tsung-Dao Lee, weak interactions, and nonconservation of parity is available in electronic documents and on the Web.


Conservation Laws in Weak Interactions, DOE Technical Report, 1957

Weak Interactions, DOE Technical Report, 1957

Elementary Particles and Weak Interactions, DOE Technical Report, 1957

History of Weak Interactions, DOE Technical Report, 1970

High Energy Electromagnetic and Weak Interaction Processes, DOE Technical Report, 1972


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