Xu Guangxian

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Xu Guangxian (simplified Chinese: 徐光宪; traditional Chinese: 徐光憲; pinyin: Xú Guāngxiàn; November 7, 1920 – April 28, 2015) was a Chinese chemist and a Chinese academician of the Chinese Academy of Science. He is a former president of the Chinese Chemical Society, and is known as "The Father of Chinese Rare Earths Chemistry".[1]

Early life

Xu was born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang in 1920. He studied in Zhejiang (now known as Zhejiang University and Zhejiang University of Technology), before entering Jiaotong University in Shanghai (now known as Shanghai Jiaotong University) and received his B.S in 1944. From 1944 to 1946, he served as a technician at a chemical company in Shanghai.


Xu traveled to the US in 1948, where he attended the graduate school of the Washington University in St. Louis. From 1948 to 1951, he studied at Columbia University in New York City and received his MS in 1949 and his PhD in 1951 (under C. D. Beckmann).[2] In February 1949, he became a member of the National Honorary Chemical Society's Phi Lambda Upsilon. In October 1950, Guangxian became a member of Sigma Xi.

Guangxian went back to China in 1951 where, in the same year, he became an associate professor at the Department of Chemistry, Peking University, but was soon promoted to a full professor. He became the department dean in 1956 and directed the department of radiation chemistry. Xu was also involved in the Chinese nuclear weapons development program, in which he played a role in separating and extracting nuclear elements, especially Uranium-235.[3]

In 1969, Xu and his wife were accused of spying for the former Kuomintang government and were sent to a labor camp until 1972.[4]

In January 2009, Xu received the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award from Hu Jintao.

At age 94, Guangxian died in Beijing in 2015.[5]


See also

  • 596 - China's first nuclear weapons test.


  1. ^ 北京大学
  2. ^ CV Archived March 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. B.S., 1944, Jiaotong University; M.S., 1949, Columbia University; Ph.D., 1951, Columbia University
  3. ^ 百度百科 1959年2月 开始从事铀-235同位素分离方法的研究,讲授核燃料化学。
  4. ^ Cindy Hurst China's Rare Earth Elements Industry: What Can the West Learn? Institute for the Analysis of Global Security March 2010, p. 8
  5. ^ 刘原革 (2015-04-28). 中国稀土之父徐光宪院士逝世 曾获国家最高科学技术奖 (in Chinese). 中国新闻网. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  6. ^ 中国化学会
  7. ^ The Chinese Society of Rare Earths(CSRE) Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Selected publications of Xu Guangxian Archived March 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Journal of Rare Earths: Editorial Committee Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

  • 中国稀土学报 Journal of Rare Earths (in English) (in Chinese)
  • Xu Guangxian in Baidu.com (in Chinese)
  • Xu Guangxian at Peking University
  • Xu Guangxian's full biography
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