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The Newly Elected Academician at Academia Sinica: Professor Tai-Chang Chiang
On Jul. 7, 2016, Academia Sinica announced the list of new academicians elected in 2016. Professor Tai-Chang Chiang, a visiting Professor in Physics Department at NTHU, was elected in mathematical sciences group. Prof. Chiang has been developing strong interest in Physics ever since he was at high school. “Studying is my hobby, my work, and my whole life”, he said.
In his 2nd year as a visiting professor at NTHU, Academician Chiang is currently Research/Emeritus Professor in Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He helped Taiwan set up the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center and coached the researchers to use the synchrotron radiation facilities. His contribution to the basic scientific research in Taiwan is enormous. Due to his outstanding research achievements in the fields of Condensed Matter Physics and photon-emission Source spectroscopy, as well as his excellent contributions to the applied science research of VUV and X-ray, he was awarded the “Davidson - Germer Prize” from the American Physical Society in 2015.
Academician Chiang had shown his brilliance and interest in Physics at high school. After his graduation from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, he was admitted to the Department of Physics at National Taiwan University. Thereafter, he went to the States and received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1978.
Academician Chiang always felt curious about what was happening in his surroundings and enjoyed doing hands-on experiments. At the junior high school, he collected materials around him and made a rocket headed with a piece of metal of the size of a NT$10 coin. It burst out so loud and caused quite a bit shock. “My neighbors all ran out to check what happened.” Reflecting these interesting moments of his life, one can see his eyes twinkling with mischief. He suggested students nowadays to be passionate and persistent about what they are interested to do; and to seek knowledge in a more proactive way.
He further pointed out that people tended to reflect on themselves if they had failed to fulfill their own expectation in the past, but nowadays people tend to attribute their own problems to social injustice or to lack of opportunity. This worries him much. He encourages young people to step out of their comfort zones and face to the world with confidence and independence.
Named as the real “Light of Taiwan", Taiwan Photon Source (TPS) will function starting from this September, setting a new epoch for the research and development of basic sciences in Taiwan, in which Academician Chiang played an important role in its establishment. He emphasized that all domain of applied sciences are derived from the study of basic science, thus it can’t be neglected or abandoned. He also suggests Taiwan to move forward to development of free electron laser technology after the success on TPS. This he believes will further enhance Taiwan’s worldwide competitiveness in the field of Physics.
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