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Prof. Xueming Yang’s scientific discovery named China’s top 10 scientific advances of 2020

Yingying XIA     2021-02-28

On Feb. 27, 2021, the Basic Research Management Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology announced the 16th edition of the top 10 domestic scientific advances of 2020. The research team led by Prof. Xueming Yang from the SUSTech College of Science offers experimental proof of quantum interference in chemical reactions.

Science, an international high-impact journal, published this ground-breaking discovery on May 15, 2020. This work shows that there are still mechanisms to uncover in the simplest chemical reactions. There is quantum interference, proving nature does play dice, as initially derided by Albert Einstein.

College of Science, SUSTech has won this award for the second consecutive year. In 2019, a research team led by Prof. Liyuan Zhang, Dept. of Physics proved the 3D Quantum Hall effect by experiment, and his work was selected as one of 2019 China’s top 10 scientific advances.

The annual top 10 scientific advances campaign aims to promote China’s major scientific progress in basic research, motivate the scientific and technical (S&T) personnel, make development in science popularization, get public support for basic research, and create an excellent scientific atmosphere in the whole society.

The top 10 advances of 2020 include Chinese scientists’ remarkable progress in tackling COVID-19, the Chang’e-5 probe’s retrieval of lunar samples, the deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe’s diving, research on the transmission of human genetic materials, transparent ferroelectric single crystals with ultrahigh piezoelectricity, quantum interference in chemical reactions, as well as biomarkers and potential intervention targets for organ aging in mammals.

Chinese scientists’ efforts in measuring the new height of Mount Qomolangma, revealing the evolution and migration history of Chinese populations with ancient DNA, and recreating the history of over 300 million years of biodiversity changes on Earth, are also listed.

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