Tsung-Dao Lee returns to Columbia, where he is appointed Enrico Fermi Professor of Physics. Starting from 1964 he makes significant contributions to the explanation of the violations of time-reversal invariance, which occur during certain weak interactions. From 1981, Lee visits as Honorary Professor several Chinese universities. In 1984 Lee is appointed University Professor. He retires in 2012.
After the invasion of Japanese troops in 1945, Tsung-Dao Lee seeks refuge in the south. There he continues his studies at the National Southwest Associated University (momentarily in Kunming because of the war), where Professor Ta-You Wu encourages Lee’s attitude for physics. After his sophomore year, Lee receives a Chinese government fellowship for graduate study in the United States.
Tsung-Dao Lee receives one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Chen Ning Yang "for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles". Lee becomes the third youngest scientist ever to receive this distinction.
Tsung-Dao Lee is born in Shanghai, the third of six children of Tsing-Kong Lee, a businessman, and his wife, Ming-Chang Chang.
Tsung-Dao Lee attends Kiangsi Middle School in Ganzhou, in southern Jiangxi province, China.
Tsung-Dao Lee accepts an appointment at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton.
Tsung-Dao Lee works as a Research Associate at the University of California at Berkeley.
Tsung-Dao Lee is appointed Professor of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study.
Tsung-Dao Lee directs the RIKEN-BNL Research Center, which together with his Columbia group complete in 1998 a 1 teraflops supercomputer QCDSP, a multidimensional computer designed to study quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong nuclear force.
Tsung-Dao Lee and C. N. Yang propose that the theta-meson and tau-meson, previously thought to be different because their decay-modes have opposed parity, are the same particle (the K-meson). Since the law of parity conservation prohibits a single particle from having decay modes exhibiting opposite parity, they suggest that parity is not conserved in weak interaction and suggest possible experimental set-ups to test this hypothesis. Shortly, the hypothesis is experimentally verified.
Tsung-Dao Lee enters National Chekiang University. Here Lee discovers his great talent for physics and he is guided by several physics professors, including Shu Xingbei and Kan-Chang Wang.
Lee is appointed Assistant Professor of Physics at Columbia. His first work is on a solvable model of quantum field theory (the Lee Model). He is then promoted to Associate Professor in 1955 and Professor in 1956 at age 29. Lee is the youngest-ever full professor in Columbia University's faculty history. In 1964, Lee, with M. Nauenberg, analyses the divergences connected with particles of zero rest mass, and describes a general method (the KLN theorem) for dealing with these divergences.
Tsung-Dao Lee works as a Research Associate and Lecturer at Yerkes Astronomical Observatory.
Tsung-Dao Lee enters the University of Chicago, where he becomes Enrico Fermi's doctoral student. In 1950, Lee receives his Ph.D. on a thesis entitled “Hydrogen Content of White Dwarf Stars”. While at Chicago, Lee renews his friendship with Chen Ning Yang, a physicist who has been an acquaintance of Lee at Kunming.