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"Confucianism, the May Fourth Movement and the T. S. Chang's role in the quantisation of gauge field theory" - Donald Salisbury & Xiaodong Yin

Thursday, 16 June, 2022 - 15:00

ILAS - SISSA Interdisciplinary Lab for Advanced Studies and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin are pleased to invite you to participate in the joint webinar:

"Confucianism, the May Fourth Movement and the T. S. Chang's role in the quantisation of gauge field theory"  delivered on zoom by Donald Salisbury, Austin College Physics Department, Sherman, Texas, USA and Xiaodong Yin, Physics Department, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China.

To be held Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 3 p.m. CET

Abstract: Chinese students studying abroad in the first half of the twentieth century played an important role in the emergence of modern physics in China. T. S. Chang was born in 1915 in Zhejiang Province in eastern China. His father, Zhang Dongsun obtained his degree in philosophy in Japan and had been an active supporter of the student-led May Fourth Movement of 1919. The father advocated a fusion of Confucianist government by sages and limited democratic structure. He had a profound impact on the young Chang, and we are just now initiating an investigation into the possible influence of his ideas and actions and of the general social and cultural environment on the young physicist, who obtained his doctoral degree at Cambridge University in 1936. After visiting with several world-renowned scientific masters including Niels Bohr, Chang returned to teach from 1939 to 1945 at Chongqing Central University where in relative isolation he commenced his groundbreaking study of constrained Hamiltonian dynamics. There followed a prolonged contact with Paul Dirac, including a stay with him in 1947 in Princeton. We will outline Chang’s contributions related to the emerging quantum electrodynamical gauge field theory and Dirac’s altered commutator algebra.

This seminar is meant as an opportunity for students, post-docs, and researchers to broaden their cultural perspectives on the scientific enterprise and as a prelude to the conference “The Evolution of Knowledge” that SISSA will host July 14-16 2022. The conference is organised jointly with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Chinese Academy of Science and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

To attend, please contact the interdisciplinary laboratory via email to recieve the webinar link.