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Liu Bohong – Women of China – Monday, 04 August 2014

He Zehui in 1946

He Zehui in Paris, France, in 1946. Image: nths.cn

He Zehui (March 5, 1914 to June 20, 2011), was a distinguished female physicist in modern China. She accomplished great things in physics, and she became a stellar example for all Chinese women.

He Zehui was born in Suzhou, in East China’s Jiangsu Province, on March 5, 1914. At the age of 22, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tsinghua University. She was the top student in her class. Between 1936 and 1940, she studied at the Technical University of Berlin (Germany), where she majored in ballistics. She received a doctorate from that university. After she graduated, she joined the Institute for Nuclear Physics, in Heidelberg, Germany, as a researcher. During that time, she made a great discovery: Elastic collision, during which positive and negative electrons exchanged energy.

As a female scientist, He’s achievements can be attributed, at least in part, to her lifelong struggle against and rising above biases against women. She always demanded equal rights — for herself and other women . . .

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