Wednesday, 15 January 2020

"Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shuing helped unlock the secrets of the Atom (People Who Shaped Our World)" by Teresa Robeson and Rebecca Huang (Sterling Kids)

To most people, the name Wu Chien Shiung is completely unknown, but in "Queen of Physics" by Teresa Robeson and Rebecca Huang, it's time to raise the profile of this astonishingly accomplished physicist, rightly placing her name amongst other more well known and easily recognised figures such as Oppenheimer and Fermi.

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. 

But her parents felt differently. Naming their daughter Courageous Hero, they encouraged her love of learning and science. 

This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States to become what Newsweek magazine called the Queen of Physics for her work on how atoms split. 

Wu Chien Shuing became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honours.

Sum this book up in a sentence: This book offers a fascinating glimpse at Wu Chien Shuing's life, and is a hugely positive and inspirational piece of work, showing that girls can achieve whatever they want to once the obstacles of prejudice and sexism are removed (as they should be!)

"Queen of Physics" by Teresa Robeson and Rebecca Huang is out now, published by Sterling (kindly supplied for review).