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Lee Yang

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986)

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Biography Lee Yang
Lee, Yang (Lee, Yuan) (p. 1936) (USA). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986 (jointly with D. Hershbahom and D. Polanyi).
Born November 29, 1936 in Tsinshue, Taiwan, in the family painting teacher Li Jie Wang and elementary school teacher Pei Tsai. The ancestors of his parents migrated to Taiwan from mainland China to 16 in. After the war, Lee graduated in 1955 from high school, where not only a great student, but also played in the brass band. As one of the best graduate school, was enrolled in the Taiwan State University without entrance exam.

Lee recalled that the choice of future occupation identified acquaintance with the biography of Marie Curie: 'Wonderful life of this amazing man, her devotion to science, her selflessness and her idealism finally led me to the decision to become a scientist'.

Lack of funds and equipment in the university offset the prevailing atmosphere in him freedom and creativity. Professors have been committed, and students were united the spirit of fraternity. In 1959, Lee became a bachelor of science. This degree was awarded for his work on the separation of cations of strontium and barium by electrophoresis on paper.

After Taiwan University, Lee was in graduate school and in 1961 received a master's degree for the study of natural radioisotopes in hokutalite - mineral, found in sedimentary rocks of Hot Springs. While working as an assistant researcher at Charles X. Wang, he applied the method of X-ray crystallography to determine the molecular structure tritsiklopentadienilsamariya.

In 1962, Lee entered the University of California at Berkeley to continue his postgraduate course. It was believed that he was working with Dudley R. Hershbaha, but preferred direction of Bruce Lee Meyhana.

Wu Li, who studied hemiionizatsionnye processes involving electronically excited molecules, there was particular interest in ion-molecule reactions and the dynamics of molecular scattering.

In 1965 he received his doctorate and stayed to work in the laboratory Meyhana as a fellow for another year and a half perfecting skills in design and construction of apparatus for measuring the scattering of atoms and molecules. As a result, he received a clear and complete map of the distribution of reaction products between the positively charged nitrogen ions and neutral molecules of hydrogen.

In 1967, Lee went to work at Harvard University in the laboratory of D. Hershbaha. Back in Berkeley, a small group of undergraduate and graduate students with Xershbahom constructed a device in which two molecular beam crossed, with one beam of potassium atoms contained, while the other consisted of carbon, hydrogen and iodine. Details of the reaction after the intersection of these flows have been studied using devices called surface ionization detector. Already in the first experiments Xershbahu managed to get the detailed dynamics of productive molecular collisions and register the change in energy accompanying the formation of reaction products.

Under Hershbaha Lee engaged in designing new, more sophisticated instruments for studying these effects. Lee has succeeded in overcoming many technical difficulties with the original creative innovations. This applies particularly to improve his method of pumping and application of the three stages of the pump to create a rotating UHV detector. This detector was a mass spectrometer, which uses magnetic and electric fields to trace the movement of various ions in different directions and, thus, separated and identified them. The new device, made for 10 months, is a universal device for the crossing of molecular beams. Several orders of magnitude more sensitive than his predecessors, he dramatically upgraded the study of reaction kinetics with the crossing of molecular beams and became absolutely necessary for chemical research.

In one of the reactions involving hydrogen and chlorine, a group Xershbaha and Lee defined the distribution of angular velocity and rebound velocity for the compounds, the intramolecular vibrations are found D. Polanyi using the method hemilyuministsentsii. The results of the two groups to study the kinetics of this reaction coincided in detail.

Led by the laboratory quickly became famous for his very extraordinary works in the field of physical chemistry and chemical physics. A study whether the study of reactions between oxygen and hydrocarbon molecules as large as benzene and toluene, laid the foundation for further work in the field of combustion chemistry. The creative imagination Lee told him the way to the connection of chemistry molecular beams with laser technology to solve many chemical problems, such as those related to the mechanism of triple dissociation of glyoxal.

In 1968, Lee became an assistant in the University of Chicago in 1971 - Associate Professor, and in 1973 - Professor. In 1974 he returned to the University of California for the post of professor of chemistry and head of research at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

In 1974, Lee became a U.S. citizen. He is known as a modest person and is deeply devoted to science. The spirit of creativity, prevails in his lab, there attracts many young talented scientists from around the world.

In 1986, together with D. Lee and D. Hershbahom Polanyi was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for his contribution to the development of studies of the dynamics of elementary chemical processes'. At the award ceremony celebrated the contribution of Lee in the application of the method of mating the molecular beam to a relatively large molecules.


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