In the period 1953-54, Chen Ning Yang works at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. There, Yang develops with the American PhD candidate Robert Mills the Yang-Mills non-Abelian gauge theory, which is currently the theoretical basis of the Standard Model of particle physics, since both the electroweak theory and quantum chromodynamics are Yang-Mills theories.
In 1950, Chen Ning Yang marries in New York City the teacher Chih Li Tu with whom he has three children: Franklin, born 1951; Gilbert, born 1958; and Eulee, born 1961.
Between 1938 and 1942, Chen Ning Yang attends the eminent Southwest Associated University in Kunming (Yunnan Province of China), where he obtains his bachelor’s degree under the guidance of theoretical physicist Ta-You Wu with a thesis on the application of group theory to molecular spectra.
After retiring from Stony Brook in 1999 Yang returns in China as Honorary Director of Tsinghua University, Beijing, where he is also the Huang Jibei – Lu Kaiqun Professor at the Center for Advanced Study (CASTU). He also sits on the Board of Adjudicators for the Shaw Prize and is a Distinguished Professor-at-Large at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Yang obtains permanent residence in China in 2005.
After graduation, C. N.Yang wins a fellowship to pursue his PhD in the USA. To study with Enrico Fermi Yang enrols in 1946 at the University of Chicago. Military restrictions do not allow Yang to work at his original experimental project with Fermi who is conducting classified research at the Argonne National Laboratories. Yang changes his research topic writing a dissertation in theoretical physics under the supervision of the nuclear physicist E. Teller, receiving his PhD in 1948.
Chen Ning Yang attends elementary school and high school in Beijing. In the autumn of 1937 his family moves to Hefei after the Japanese invasion of China.
Chen Ning Yang studies at the Tsing Hua University, temporarily at Kunming because of the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45. There, in 1944, he completes his Master’s thesis on statistical mechanics under the supervision of J. S. Wang.
In Summer 1971, thanks to the thaw in political relations between United States and China Chen Ning Yang is the first well-known Chinese-American scholar to visit China. From then onward, he does a lot for establishing diplomatic relationships between United States and China and for strengthening the Chinese physics community.
Chen Ning Yang returns to Princeton and, in 1955, he becomes Full Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.
Chen Ning Yang moves to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, then directed by J. Robert Oppenheimer, as a postdoc researcher. Yang remains there for 17 years.
After earning his PhD, Chen Ning Yang remains one year at the University of Chicago as one of the assistants of Enrico Fermi and instructor. Yang appreciates Fermi's style of research and his attention to the links with experimental results.
After the experimental confirmation of the parity violations in weak interactions, Chen Ning Yang is awarded half of the Nobel Prize in Physics along with T.D. Lee “for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles.”
Chen Ning Yang and T.D. Lee investigate parity violation in weak interactions. By the end of 1956, Yang and Lee publish a paper demonstrating that previous experiments have not proved the conservation of parity in weak interactions, and suggest several experiments to test if parity is actually conserved. Chen-Shiung Wu performs one of the experiments proposed by Yang and Lee. The result is that parity is violated in weak interactions.
Chen Ning Yang is born in Hefei, the capital of the Anhui Province in Eastern China to Meng Hwa Loh and Ko Chuen Yang, a Professor of Mathematics at the prestigious Tsing Hua University in Beijing.
In 1966, Chen Ning Yang moves to the State University of New York at Stony Brook and becomes the Albert Einstein Professor of Physics as well as the first director of a newly founded Institute for Theoretical Physics, which is now known as the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics. In 1999, Chen Ning Yang retires from the Stony Brook as Emeritus Professor.