Archive for May 19th, 2022

First Lady of Physics

Look who I missed in my May newsletter! Chien-Shiung Wu, born May 31, 1912.

I remember first hearing about her when I was researching the overthrow of parity* for an undergraduate term paper. Wu did the experiments; her co-workers Lee and Yang (male) received the Nobel Prize for the work.

Enough about that.

At first, it was hard for me to accept the “First Lady of Physics” title for Wu, when I might have given it to Marie Curie. But, I admit, Curie was more of a chemist, and after all, did win two Nobels, the first person to do so, and in two different fields.

For all its faults, the USPS came through for Wu and issued a Forever stamp with her image.

(There’s no stamp for Lee or Yang that I’m aware of.)

In the interests of spreading science literacy and the importance of STEM, I’ll be glad to send you a strip of Wu stamps upon request. Send your address (even if I’ve mailed you before — I don’t keep addresses lest I be hacked and your privacy destroyed!).

*demonstrating that nature is not symmetric at the atomic level.