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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Qian Sanqiang


Qian Sanqiang with Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie

Qian Sanqiang (1913-1992) was a Chinese physicist and is often called the father of the Chinese nuclear program.

Qian was born in Shaoxing in the Zhejiang Province. After graduating from Qinghua University in 1936, he moved to France to study at the Collège de France under French physicist Frédéric Joliot-Curie. During his time there, Qian became an expert in uranium fission and received the Henri de Parville Award for Physics from the French Academy of Sciences.

Qian returned to China in 1948. The new communist government offered him financial support to buy nuclear instruments from Europe. In 1955, Qian advised Mao Zedong and other Communist Party leaders to build an atomic bomb. He served as the administrative head of the project and oversaw its first test in 1964.

Qian later served as Honorary Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and President of Zhejiang University.

Qian Sanqiang died on June 28, 1992 in Beijing.

Qian Sanqiang's Timeline
1913 Oct 16th Born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province.
1936 Graduated from Qinghua University.
1946 Won the Henri de Parville Award for Physics from the French Academy of Sciences
1955 Helped start the Chinese nuclear program.
1978 Became President of Zhejiang University
1992 Jun 28th Died in Beijing.

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