Xue Qikun becomes 1st Chinese scientist to win top international physics award


Physicist Xue Qikun has become the first Chinese scientist to receive the U.S.’ prestigious Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize since its inception 70 years ago.

The prestigious award: Xue and Harvard University’s Ashvin Vishwanath was jointly awarded a $20,000 cash prize on Tuesday for their groundbreaking work in the field of topological insulators.

Xue, who is a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, has been at the forefront of topological insulator research for over a decade and has previously received numerous accolades for his work. The Oliver E. Buckley award is considered as the highest international honor in the field of condensed matter physics.

Xue and Vishwanath were recognized for their “groundbreaking theoretical and experimental studies on the collective electronic properties of materials that reflect topological aspects of their band structure,” according to the American Physical Society.

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About topological insulators: The topological insulators exhibit unique quantum properties, with their interiors insulating while their surfaces conduct electricity without heat loss, making them ideal for efficient electronics of the future.

About Xue: Xue, who came from a rural family in Shandong province and faced various challenges in his scientific career, now serves as the vice-president of the Chinese Physical Society. His work in the field of topological insulators has made him a prominent figure in the world of condensed matter physics.

“My number one mission now is to help China train the most competitive talent, so they can use science to build the country into a powerhouse,” Xue reportedly said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV.

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