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Houston scientist invited to parade

By May Zhou in Houston (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-01 07:45

Professor Paul Chin-wu Chu, founding director and chief scientist at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, is one of five overseas Chinese - and the only one in the US-invited to view the military parade on Sept 3 from Tian'anmen Rostrum in Beijing.

Chu said that he accepted the invitation several months ago to attend the celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

"I happened to need to make a research trip to Shanghai at the same time, so I incorporated it into my schedule," said Chu.

The invitation to ascend to the top of Tian'anmen Rostrum to view the parade came as a surprise to Chu.

"I was in Geneva when a student of mine forwarded me the news. I am not sure why I was selected but I feel honored," Chu told China Daily.

Chu is a well-known physicist for his discovery of higher temperature superconductors and has been nominated for a Nobel Prize. His discovery led to a legendary event in science known as the "Woodstock of Physics" in 1987, when scientists mobbed the New York Hilton and presented papers on superconductors until 3 am.

Over the years, Chu has continued to work in superconductor research and has been active in joint research efforts with scientists in China, Hong Kong and other nations. He also served as president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 2001 to 2009 and helped build it into a leading university.

"My father was a pilot in the US when Japan invaded China," Chu said. "He made speeches and did fundraising to muster support for China. Then, he and 12 other pilot buddies went back to China together to join the air force to fight Japan in the late 1930s," said Chu.

Chu's father was stationed at an air force base in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. Since he was the only son of the family, he worked on the ground. While he survived the war, all of the other 12 pilots died in battle.

"I listened to those WWII stories growing up, it's a very important part of their history," said Chu. "China fought hard to win the war against Japan, the victory didn't come easy. I am very happy to see a stronger China."

Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin in Houston said that Chu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has dedicated decades of his life to superconductor research and achieved remarkable results.

mayzhou@chinadailyusa.com

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