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The AAPPS-APCTP Chen Ning...


The AAPPS-APCTP Chen Ning Yang Award

Nov 6, 2019

Association of Asia-Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS)

Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP)

APCTP, AAPPS join hands in discovering and honoring promising physics scholars

-  AAPPS-APCTP CN Yang Award given to young Asian physicists from Australia and China -


AAPPS and APCTP announced on that Professor Igor Aharonovich from the University of Technology Sydney, Professor Xiong-Jun Liu from Peking University, and Professor Song He from the Chinese Academy of Science have been selected as the three finalists for this year’s AAPPS-APCTP CN Yang Award for promising young physicists from the Asia-Pacific region.

The AAPPS-APCTP CN Yang Award was established to commemorate the achievement of young physicists who have shown outstanding research performance in the Asia-Pacific region. As of this year, it is jointly awarded by the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) and the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP). 

   * AAPPS: The physics association of 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The world’s top three physics associations with the ones in the United States (APS) and Europe (EPS.) (website:

   * APCTP: International research institute with participation by 17 member countries in the Asia-Pacific region. (website:

Professor Igor Aharonovich was commended for his pioneering studies of quantum emitters in two-dimensional materials and wide bandgap semiconductors, contributing to the development of the next-generation of quantum nano-devices. Professor Xiong-Jun Liu and Professor Song He have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to ultracold atomic research and the amplitude calculation and theoretical understanding of quantum field theory (QFT), expected to be the basis for studies of particle physics in the future. 

The 2019 AAPPS-APCTP CN Yang Award will be presented at the 14th Asia Pacific Physics Conference, which will be held November 17–22 in Kuching, Malaysia.

In commemoration of their achievements, the citations of the awardees are listed below.


Igor AHARONOVICH (University of Technology Sydney)

"For his pioneering studies of quantum emitters in two-dimensional materials and wide bandgap semiconductors."


Aharonovich's group explores new quantum emitters in wide
bandgap materials and aims to fabricate quantum nanophotonic
devices on single chips for the next generation's quantum
computing, quantum cryptography, and quantum bio-sensing
needs. In 2016, Aharonovich led his team to discover the first
quantum emitter in 2D materials operating at room
temperature. He co-authored more than 100 peer reviewed
publications, including one of the most cited reviews on
diamond photonics. More recently, he has led his team to
realize a new generation of plasmonic devices.

Xiong-Jun LIU (Peking University)

"For his outstanding contributions to ultracold atomic research, in realizing an original quantum simulation for synthetic gauge field and topological quantum phases."


Prof. Liu is one of the pioneers in quantum simulation for
synthetic gauge field and topological quantum phases. He
proposed the first model of the (quantum) spin Hall effect
for ultracold atoms and has successfully realized one-
dimensional spin-orbit coupling (Abelian synthetic gauge field)
and two-dimensional spin-orbit coupling (non-Abelian
synthetic gauge field) for ultracold atoms, in addition to
establishing a systematic theory for realizing, engineering, and
detecting topological phases. These works have advanced
quantum simulation for synthetic gauge field and topological quantum phases to a highly active and broadly
recognized research topic in ultracold atoms. Importantly,
for condensed matter physics, he proposed the concept of
symmetry protected non-Abelian statistics of Majorana
zero modes in topological superconductors, which has
added a new family member of non-Abelian statistics to
quantum statistics and has fundamentally overturned the
traditional view of non-Abelian statistics. His works have
creatively changed the theory and has had a crucial impact
on the related experimental investigations.

Song HE (Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

"For his critical role in advancing the understanding of the scattering amplitudes in gauge theories, gravity, and string theory."


Song He has played a key role in recent advances in better
understanding the scattering amplitudes in gauge theories,
gravity, and string theory. He is renowned for discovering
new ways of computing scattering amplitudes and
unraveling their elegant mathematical structures and hidden
relations. Since Witten's celebrated proposal of twistor
string theory in 2003, there has been enormous progress in
computing and understanding the scattering amplitudes of
quantum field theory (QFT), which is conceivably the
foundation of particle physics. In this fast-growing frontier
of theoretical high energy physics, Song He's works not
only enable more precise predictions of the Standard Model
for high-energy experiments, such as the LHC, but also
shed new light on the structures of QFT and the
fundamental issues in quantum gravity and string theory.

The AAPPS Chen Ning Yang Award

  The idea to create the AAPPS (Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies) Prize or Award was first discussed at the Third Council meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 1992. It was noticed that it is important to encourage young physicists in the Asia/Pacific region and to introduce excellent activities in the region around.

  In the second term of the AAPPS Council (1994 – 1997) creation of the AAPPS Award of Physics was approved as follows:
  a. The AAPPS Award is given at the occasion of the Asia Pacific Physics Conference (APPC) to   
      outstanding young physicists in the country/region where the APPC is held.
  b. The candidates of awardees are selected by the member society of the AAPPS organizing         
      the  APPC (the host society).
  c. The criteria for selection are decided by the host society.
  d. The awardees are approved by the Ordinary General Meeting following to the recommendation by  
      the host society.
  e. The President of the AAPPS awards the AAPPS Award at the APPC.

  The Seventh APPC was decided to be held in Beijing, China in August 1997. Then the Chinese Physical Society (the Executive Committee of the 7APPC chaired by Professor Zhao Zhong Xian) selected two candidates of awardees. Both candidates were approved by the Third Ordinary General Meeting of the AAPPS held on 18 August 1997.

  The first AAPPS Award was given to two graduate students in China from the AAPPS President at the Closing Ceremony of the 7APPC.

  The awardees and their subjects were Mr. Wu Jian (Department of Physics, Tsinghua University) by his contribution on ¡°the electron transport through mesoscopic systems¡± and Mr. Yang Haitao (Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) by his contribution on ¡°the development of 4.2K high vacuum scanning tunneling microscope and its applications to high temperature superconductors¡±.

  Professor Chen Ning Yang was the Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Group for the Formation of the AAPPS from 1988 to August 1990 and the First President of the AAPPS from 11 August 1990 to 2 July 1994.

  He worked as a Council member of the AAPPS in the Second term and retired from the Council at the end of 1997. The Council acknowledged his long-standing contribution for the AAPPS and conferred him the title of Honorary President. At the same time the AAPPS Award of Physics was renamed as the AAPPS Chen Ning Yang Award.


  The past awardees for the AAPPS C.N.Yang Award 


1st (7th APPC in Beijing, August 1997)
     1. Jian Wu: Dept of Physics, Tsinghua Univ, China
     2. Haitao Yang: IOP, CAS, China

  2nd (8th APPC in Taipei, August 2000)
     1. Chi-Kuang Sun: Dept of Electric Engineering, Nat'l Taiwan Univ, Taiwan
     2. Rong-Li Lo: Dept of Physics, Nat'l TsingHua Univ, Taiwan

  3rd (9th APPC in Hanoi, October 2004)
     1. Phan Ngoc Minh: IMS, VAST, Vietnam
     2. Nguyen Huu Duc: College of Applied Sciences and Technology, Vietnam Nat'l Univ, Vietanam

  4th (10th APPC in Pohang, August, 2007)
     1. Hyun-Su Lee : University of Chicago, USA
     2. Hong-Seok Lee : Yonsei University, Korea
     3. Ji Hoon Shim : Rutgers University, USA

5th (11th APPC in Shanghai, November, 2010)
      1. Dong-Lai Feng : Fudan University, China
      2. Zhong Fang : Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
      3. Xianfeng Chen : Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

  6th (12th APPC in Chiba, July, 2013)
      1. Jun Cao : Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
      2. Bae Ho Park : Konkuk University, Korea
      3. Toshiro Kaneko : Tohoku University, Japan
      4. Masahide Yamaguchi : Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

7th (13th APPC in Brisbane, Australia, 2016)

Awardees of C.N.Yang Award at APPC13

Ling Lu
Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Topological photonics
Ling Lu played an important role in the recognition of the newfield of ¡°topological photonics¡± – the term that he coined, including the first observation of Weyl points, the writing of the first review article, as well as the extension of topological physics into other bosonic and classical systems.


Dr Marcus William Doherty
Australian National University, Australia
Pioneering diamond-based quantum technologies

Marcus is internationally recognized as a principal contributor to the emergence of diamond-basedquantum technologies, including quantum microscopy, quantum computing and quantumcommunications. These technologies represent new paradigms of microscopy, computing andcommunications that have the potential to revolutionize many disciplines of science and technology.His research spans first-principles solid state theory to device design and demonstration. Marcus hasreceived several academic awards, including the Geoff Opat Award of the Australian Optical Society,the Dr Phillip Law AC Award of the Royal Society of Victoria, runner-up to the New Journal of PhysicsEarly Career Award and the University of Melbourne Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhDthesis.

Takao Sasagawa
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Discovery of several novel materials having topological electronic states

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the pioneering theoretical work on ¡°topology in 1D/2D materials¡± developed in 1980¡¯s. Dr. Sasagawa has been trying to develop both new compounds and novel electronic functionality within a new class of 3D bulk materials called "topological insulators and superconductors". His achievement was the discovery of several novel electronic materials including a ¡°magnetic¡± topological insulator, a ¡°polar¡± topological insulator, and a promising candidate topological ¡°superconductor¡±, which will be used to realize innovative topological electronics such as spin devices and quantum computers.






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