Academician Xue Qikun, Vice-President of Tsinghua University: Chinese scientists should shoulder the responsibility of the world

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 Academician Xue Qikun, Vice-President of Tsinghua University: Chinese scientists should shoulder the responsibility of the world


Our reporter Li Yan

Recently, Tsinghua Universitys enrollment promotional film From One to the Infinite tells the story of learning to change destiny, which brings a new round of spreading of the inspirational experience of Xue Qikun, a academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, vice-president of Tsinghua University and physicist, from the learning dross of failing physics to the youngest academician at the age of 41; For more than 30 years, Xue Qikun worked 15 hours a day, working all the way to lead the team to discover the quantum anomalous Hall effect.

Xue Qikun said that there were many responsibilities in his mind, which were concrete and multi-dimensional. For these responsibilities and missions, he is willing to stay in the laboratory all day to do research; willing to do science popularization and lecture for children from university platform to primary school classroom; willing to take time to make academic reports around the world.

I hope that in the hearts of children, scientists are interesting, decent and lively, so that more young people will be willing to engage in scientific research work; I hope that Chinese scientists are open and have a sense of mission, and we have the will and ability to contribute to the development of world science and technology and human civilization. General Secretary Xi Jinping said that we should adhere to integrating into the global science and technology innovation network, foster the sense of human destiny community, participate in global science and technology innovation governance in depth, and initiate global innovation issues on our own initiative. Every front-line scientific research worker should be a practitioner. In the office of the Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Xue Qikun told Sci-tech Daily about his glory and dream as a scientist.

quantum anomalous Hall effect

u2014u2014 Chinas Exploration of Quantum World

At the beginning of 2019, the experimental team of Tsinghua University and Institute of Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences led by Xue Qikun, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, completed the experimental discovery of quantum anomalous Hall effect and was awarded the first prize of the 2018 National Natural Science Award. This award means that in the past few years, Xue Qikuns research team has achieved a series of internationally leading scientific achievements in quantum materials research, which has been highly recognized by the academic community.

Back to 2013, this is a key node of this research. On March 15, Science magazine published an article announcing that an experimental team composed of the Department of Physics of Tsinghua University and the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, led by Academician Xue Qikun, had discovered quantum anomalous Hall effect for the first time experimentally, which means that an important phenomenon in the field of quantum Hall effect physics has long been awaited by Chinese scientists. First observed.

Quantum anomalous Hall effect is a term that most people do not understand. However, it makes it possible for the miracle phenomena of the micro world to be transformed into the macro world. In the microcosmic world, electrons can run orderly and steadily on their respective runways without the need for strong magnetic fields. If these phenomena can be realized in the macrocosmic world, it will be possible to pass through the wall, move forever or exist in our myths and legends.

From theory to experiment

u2014u2014 Xue Qikuns team took the first step

We first learned about the theoretical progress of the quantum anomalous Hall effect in international academic conferences. At that time, scientific research intuition told me that it was a very important research direction. When we came back, we would consult with the team to carry out relevant experiments. Whenever Xue Qikun recalled these events, he would emphasize the understanding of the frontier with young people. The importance of science and the key significance of scientific research judgment.

Around 2008, Chinese physicists, Professor Zhang Shousheng of Stanford University and other theoretical physicists proposed a scheme to realize quantum anomalous Hall effect with magnetic topological insulators. The possibility of realizing quantum anomalous Hall effect with this material was theoretically proposed, but whether it can be found in experiments is still unknown. As a scientist who has been engaged in quantum physics for a long time, Xue Qikun realized that this is an area worthy of further exploration in China. Since then, he and his team have been experimenting with novel quantum effects in topological insulators.

Since 2009, the experimental research team led by Academician Xue Qikun has cooperated with researchers from Tsinghua University, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Stanford University to tackle the key problems of experimental realization of quantum anomalous Hall effect. They tested more than 1,000 samples and overcome many obstacles step by step. Finally, they found a special material called magnetic topological insulator film and observed the quantum anomalous Hall effect from the experiment.

The Glory and the Dream

u2014u2014 The Mission of Chinese Scientists

Xue Qikun said that from the perspective of scientific research, the discovery of quantum anomalous Hall effect is the beginning of the next scientific research, because the road of scientific exploration never stops. He told Sci-Tech Daily that the quantum anomalous Hall effect was previously achieved at close to minus 273 degrees Celsius, and that if it was to be truly applied, the temperature would have to rise, so now the team is experimenting in this direction.

Just at the end of last June, Xue Qikun and several other scientists went to several European countries. This journey is extremely busy. Everywhere, academic reports, exchanges and discussions are full. But Xue Qikun said he was happy, because it is a contribution of Chinese scientists to the development of world science.

This is both fun and mission for Xue Qikun. Xue Qikun said that he admires the scientists who serve the country through science and technology, and also agrees that the mission of scientists is to make the country stronger, but in addition, he hopes that Chinese scientists will contribute to the development of world science and human civilization with a more open, responsible and mission mentality.

Scientists, of course, demand pragmatism and patriotism, but beyond that, we should have more far-reaching responsibilities and broad minds. It is for this reason that Chinese scientists should redouble their efforts to produce more original scientific achievements and lead the development of science and technology in the world.