A statue of Qian Sanqiang on the Zijingang campus of Zhejiang University [Photo/IC]
Qian Sanqiang (1913-1992), originally from Huzhou, was a nuclear physicist and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
He was admitted to the physics department of Tsinghua University in 1932, and later gained entry to the University of Paris. He published more than 40 research papers on nuclear fission in France.
In 1950, CAS established the institute of modern physics for the study of nuclear science, with Qian as its deputy director. Qian became the director the next year. He was elected a member (academician) of the department of mathematics and physics of CAS in 1955.
He was a second-generation student of the Curies; he and his wife He Zehui were called "the Curies of China" in the West. He was the coordinator and chief designer of China's nuclear weapons.