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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a Chinese name; the family name is Shu.

Shu Xingbei (Chinese: 束星北pinyin: Shù Xīngběi; aka Hsin Pei Soh, Hsin-Pei Soh, or Hsin P. Soh) (October 1, 1905 - October 30, 1983), was an educator and leading physicist in China.




Early years

Shu was born on 1 Oct 1905 in Ganjiang (邗江), Jiangsu Province.[1] In 1924, Shu entered Hangchow University (aka Zhijiang University 之江大学, a root of / merged into current Zhejiang University) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. In 1925, Shu transferred into the Department of Physics, Cheeloo University in Shandong Province.

Travel/study in USA & Europe

In 1926, Shu went to study in the United States, initially studied physics at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, but later transferred to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). During this period of time, Shu was quite active in various social and political activities and communities, and it's said that he even once joined the Communist Party USA.

In July 1927, Shu left USA, and travelled through Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Moscow, and Warsaw, eventually reached Germany. In Germany, Shu mainly visited Berlin, Hannover and Hamburg.

About in 1928, Shu went to UK. In Oct 1928, Shu enrolled into the University of Edinburgh, studied mathematics and physics under E. T. Whittaker and Charles Galton Darwin, where he obtained MSc after one year. In Feb 1930, Shu went to the University of Cambridge, and did study under Arthur Stanley Eddington, who would in August advise him to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Shu did graduate (another MSc) study at MIT, under Dirk Jan Struik. Shu was also a teaching assistant at MIT Department of Mathematics.

Zhejiang University period

In Sep 1931, Shu had to return China, largely due to the pressure from his mother about implementing the engagement with Miss Ge Chuhua. Shu taught physics at the Whampoa Military Academy. In Sep 1932, invited by the chair (Mr. Zhang Shaozhong 张绍忠) of the Department of Physics of Zhejiang University (ZJU), Shu went to Zhejiang University and taught at its physics department. In August 1935, Shu became the chair of Jinan University (then in Shanghai) mathematical department, and was an adjunct lecture at Jiaotong University in Shanghai. In Apr 1936, President Coching Chu of Zhejiang University again invited him to join ZJU. In Aug 1936, Shu was promoted to associate professor, and in 1937, professor. At ZJU physics department, Shu cooperated very well with Kan-Chang Wang. During this period, his famous students includes: Cheng Kaijia (程开甲), Xu Liangying (许良英), Hu Jimin (胡济民), Zhou Zhicheng (周志成), and Tsung-Dao Lee (李政道) who later would win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957.


In 1952, Shu was transferred to the Department of Physics anf Shandong University in Jinan, Shandong Province. In 1954, Shu was transferred to its Department of Oceanography.

In 1956, Shu was purged and classified as a head of anti-revolutionary. During the Anti-Rightist Movement, Shu was classified as a rightist. In June 1958, Shu was again categorized as an anti-revolutionary, and was sent to laogai in the construction field of Yuezikou Reservoir (月子口水库) in Qingdao. In 1960, Shu was transferred to the Qingdao Medical College as a teacher. During the Cultural Revolution, Shu was a cleaner of toilet.

On 11th Sep, 1974, Shu partially regained his normal citizenship. In 1978, Shu was transferred to the State Oceanic Administration (国家海洋局) of PR China, and was a professor and senior researcher of oceanic dynamics at its First Reaserch Institute of Oceanography (第一海洋研究所). In 1970s, Shu did successful calculations for the pacific test of Dongfeng V Intercontinental ballistic missile. In 1979, the Chinese Society of Oceanography (中国海洋学会) Oceanic Physics Branch (海洋物理分会) was established in Guangzhou, and Shu was elected as its honorary director-general.

In Dec 1979, Shu's citizenship was fully resumed.

1979 to death

In Aug 1981, Shu was elected as the honorary director-general of Shandong Society of Physics (山东物理学). From 1981 to his death, Shu was also the honorary-director of Qingdao Society of Physics (青岛市物理学会). Shu died on 30th Oct, 1985, at the age of 77.

Selected publications


  • Selected Academic Works of Shu Xingbei (《束星北学术论文选集》); Ocean Press; ISBN 9787502768904; 2007.
  • General Relativity (textbook) (《狭义相对论》); Qingdao Press; ISBN 7543613832; 1995.


  1. ^ Chinese Encyclopedia: Biography of Shu Xingbei

Memorial essays

Extra links


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