Samuel Ting, Nobel Laureate of Physics - An Asian/American Journey

by Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative

Lecture Asian American Science

Wed, Feb 22, 2023

2:30 PM – 3:50 PM PST (GMT-8)

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Humanities Gateway 1030

4100 Humanities Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697, United States

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Crossing the Pacific Ocean as an infant, fleeing wars during childhood, re-crossing the Pacific at age 18 to pursue his dream with only $100 in his pocket, and winning the Nobel Prize at age 40 — this is the extraordinary Asian/American journey of Samuel C. C. Ting, the 1976 Nobel Prize winner in Physics.

Samuel C. C. Ting won the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the charm quark. Known as the "November Revolution" in textbooks, the discovery opened the floodgates for the many discoveries that followed. Currently, Ting leads the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a $2 billion experiment that was transported to the International Space Station on the last space shuttle flight in 2011. AMS is the most sophisticated scientific instrument ever launched into space and is transforming our understanding of cosmic particles in the universe.

Ting was born in Michigan in 1936, but moved to Shanghai when he was two months old. He spent much of his childhood on the run, first because of the Sino-Japanese War, and then because of the Chinese Civil War. He moved to Taiwan in 1949 and received formal education until age 18, when he decided to seek a better education elsewhere. He moved to the United States with $100 in his pocket and little proficiency in English. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA two years later, with a PhD three years after that, and he won the Nobel Prize at age 40. He is the Thomas Dudley Cabot Institute Professor of Physics at MIT and has received 14 honorary degrees and is a member or foreign member of 10 national science academies. Professor Ting is featured in the Disney+ docuseries Among the Stars, NASA's documentary AMS: The Fight for Flight, and Bill Moyer's Becoming American - Personal Journeys.

Professor Ting will share lessons from his life on three continents and his many decades at the leading edge of science. The event will be moderated by Professor Daphne Lei, Director of Illuminations. There will be a Q & A session following his talk. Light refreshments will be served.

School of Physical Sciences
School of Humanities


Humanities Gateway 1030

4100 Humanities Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697, United States

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