Conference on 60 Years of Yang-Mills Gauge Field Theories: CN Yang's Contributions to Physics (25 to 28 May 2015, Nanyang Executive Centre)


During the last six decades, Yang-Mills theory has increasingly become the cornerstone of theoretical physics. It is seemingly the only fully consistent relativistic quantum many-body theory in four spacetime dimensions. As such, it is the underlying theoretical framework for the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which has been shown to be the correct theory at the energies we now can measure.  It has been investigated also from many other perspectives, and many new and unexpected features have been uncovered from this theory. In recent decades, apart from high energy physics, the theory has been actively applied in other branches of physics, such as statistical physics, condensed matter physics, nonlinear systems, etc.  The conference will celebrate the successes of Yang-Mills Theories and discuss the monumental importance of Yang-Mills Theories in a broad spectrum of physical and mathematical fields.

Around 50 distinguished speakers will gather at the conference. Among the speakers are Nobel Prize winners Professors Chen Ning Yang and David Gross who will be appointed as the Lee Kong Chian Distinguished Professors in relation to their visits.


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Prof Chen-Ning Yang (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1957)

Prof CN Yang is a Chinese-born American physicist who works on statistical mechanics and particle physics. He and Prof 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 Prof 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 Nobel Laureate Prof 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.

Prof 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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Prof David Gross (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2004)

Prof David Gross is an American particle physicist and string theorist. He received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966, and then spent three years as a Fellow at Harvard University. In 1973, he was promoted to Professor at Princeton University and named as the Lugene Higgins Professor of Physics in 1986. He assumed the title Director and holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1997. Prof Gross was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987, the Dirac Medal in 1988 and the Harvey Prize in 2000. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Montpellier, France.

In 1973, Prof Gross, working with Prof Frank Wilczek at Princeton University, discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the lesser the strong interaction (or color charge) between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. In 2004, Prof Gross was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of asymptotic freedom, along with Profs Frank Wilczek and David Politzer.



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