Conference on 90 Years of Quantum Mechanics

(23 to 26 January 2017, Nanyang Executive Centre)


The years 1925-27 was unique in the history of physics. In the span of only a few years, a lot of the modern quantum mechanics was born and quickly matured. From the paper by Werner Heisenberg in the summer of 1925, to the long series of papers by Erwin Schrödinger in 1926, and the remarkable paper also in that same year by Max Born where the statistical nature of quantum mechanics was established, the quantum revolution's first stage was completed in 1927 with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. All these developments were summed up in the perhaps, most famous physics conference ever, the fifth Solvay conference "Electrons and Photons" in Brussels in 1927. Seventeen of the twenty-nine participants were and were to be Nobel laureates in the years to come.


In this conference, we will celebrate the magnificent journey of quantum physics that has developed in leaps and bounds since 90 years ago. The talks will not only be addressing the recent developments in their respective subfields, but also the unity among the various fields and their common roots.  The conference will:


  • address the devotion and effort to the progress of quantum mechanics since then.
  • exhibit how universal quantum mechanics has penetrated all of basic physics.
  • highlight the evidence in which quantum mechanics is at the heart of most modern science applications and technology.
  • serve as a platform for students, researchers and other participants to keep abreast of the current scientific trends in the rapidly growing fields of physics and technology.


We are honoured to have 6 Nobel Laureates speaking in this special conference on 90 Years of Quantum Mechanics.  They will be appointed as Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Professors.

Professor David Gross
Nobel Laureate in Physics 2004

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Professor David Gross is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist. He is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was recently elected as the Vice-President of the American Physical Society in 2016.


His many honours and awards include the Dirac Medal in 1988, the Harvey Prize in 2000, J J Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Prize, and France's highest scientific honour, the Grande Médaille D'Or. At the Kavli Institute, he holds the Frederick W Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics. Along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction," — the nuclear force that binds together quarks and holds together the nucleus of the atom. They solved the last great remaining problem of what has since come to be called "the Standard Model" of the quantum mechanical picture of reality.

Professor Anthony Leggett
Nobel Laureate in Physics 2003

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Professor Anthony Leggett is a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As one of the most prominent physicists of the 21st century, Sir Anthony Leggett specialises in the low-temperature physics. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours "for services to physics." Together with Vitaly Ginzburg and Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov, he was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids.


Professor Leggett is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and American Institute of Physics, and Life Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics, United Kingdom. Together with Bertrand Halperin, he has also won the 2002/2003 Wolf Foundation Prize for research on condensed forms of matter. He was also honoured with the Eugene Feenberg Memorial Medal in 1999. He has been elected as a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy since 2011.

Professor Rudy Marcus
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1992

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Professor Rudy Marcus is a Canadian-American chemist who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the theory of electron-transfer reactions in chemical systems. Currently, he is a professor at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, United States, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.


Prof Marcus had received several prestigious awards before winning the Nobel Prize. These include: National Medal of Science, Irving Langmuir Award of the American Chemical Society, Willard Gibbs Award, Theodore William Richards Award, and Pauling Medals.


In the 1950s, he studied electron-transfer reactions and investigated the role of surrounding solvent molecules in determining the rate of redox reactions. He proposed the Marcus theory to describe the important processes in chemistry and biology, which include photosynthesis, corrosion, and few types of chemiluminescence. He also developed the Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus theory by combining RRK theory with transition state theory.

Professor Gerard ’t Hooft
Nobel Laureate in Physics 1999

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Professor Gerard 't Hooft is a Dutch theoretical physicist and professor at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics with Martinus Veltman "for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions". His work concentrates on gauge theory, black holes, quantum gravity and fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics. His contributions to physics include a proof that gauge theories are renormalisable, dimensional regularization, and the holographic principle.


Prof 't Hooft is also the recipient of the 1981 Wolf Prize, the 1986 Lorentz Medal and the 1995 Franklin Medal. He was knighted commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and officer in the French Legion of Honor. The asteroid 9491 Thooft has been named after him.


He is a member and an academy professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a foreign member of the French Académie des Sciences, the American National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Britain and Ireland based Institute of Physics.

Professor Arieh Warshel
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2013

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Professor Arieh Warshel is an Israeli-American biochemist and biophysicist. He is a pioneer in computational studies on functional properties of biological molecules. He is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and holds the Dana and David Dornsife Chair in Chemistry at the University of Southern California. He received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus for "the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".


He is an elected member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Biophysical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and an Honorary doctorate of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University.

Professor Chen-Ning Yang
Nobel Laureate in Physics 1957

Prof. Chen-Ning Yang.jpg

Professor CN Yang is a Chinese-born American physicist who works on statistical mechanics and particle physics. He and Lee Tsung-dao were awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on parity non-conservation of weak interaction. He is well known for the collaboration with Robert Mills in developing the Yang–Mills theory that forms the basis of our current understanding of particle physics, the Standard Model.


In 1949, he began a period of fruitful collaboration with Tsung-Dao Lee at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. In 1966, he moved to the State University of New York at Stony Brook and became the Albert Einstein Professor of Physics and the first Director of a newly founded Institute for Theoretical Physics which is now known as C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics.


Professor Yang visited the Chinese mainland in 1971 for the first time after the thaw in China–US relations, and has subsequently made great efforts to help the Chinese physics community to rebuild the research atmosphere which was destroyed by the radical political movements during the Cultural Revolution. After retiring from Stony Brook, he returned as Honorary Director of Tsinghua University, Beijing, where he is the Huang Jibei – Lu Kaiqun professor at the Center for Advanced Study (CASTU). He also sits on the Board of Adjudicators for the Shaw Prize and is a Distinguished Professor-at-Large at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.








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