Chen Ning Yang


Chen Ning Yang

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Chen Ning Yang
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1957

Born: 22 September 1922, Hofei, Anhwei, China

Affiliation at the time of the award: Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA

Prize motivation: “for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles”

Prize share: 1/2


For a long time, physicists assumed that various symmetries characterized nature. In a kind of “mirror world” where right and left were reversed and matter was replaced by antimatter, the same physical laws would apply, they posited. The equality of these laws was questioned concerning the decay of certain elementary particles, however, and in 1956 Chen Ning Yang and Tsung Dao Lee formulated a theory that the left-right symmetry law is violated by the weak interaction. Measurements of electrons’ direction of motion during a cobalt isotope’s beta decay confirmed this.

To cite this section
MLA style: Chen Ning Yang – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Wed. 19 Jun 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.