Born in Gong'an County, Hubei Province, Wang graduated from department of physics of Tsinghua University in 1933, and continue his postgraduate study in its graduate school. Being supported by the government, he went to study in Britain and obtained his doctorate degree from Cambridge University in 1938. Then he returned to China and taught Statistical Physics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics in physics department at Tsinghua. After 1952, he became a professor at Peking University, and later served as the vice president of the University. He was elected a founding member of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1955.
Wang authored several textbooks, such as "Thermodynamics", "Introduction to Statistical Physics". He served as the director of Terminology Committee of Chinese Physics Society, and created quite a few Chinese versions of new physics terms. In the meantime, he devoted to studying philology and edited "New Chinese Dictionary by Division Heads" with 2,500,000 words. It simplified 214 division heads in Kangxi Dictionary into only 56, and arranged over 50,000 Chinese characters by stoke orders, from top to bottom, left to right, which was convenient for retrieval.
Many of Wang's students are prominent physicists, including Nobel laureate Chen-Ning Yang and former president of CAS, Zhou Guangzhao. In 2003, a brass statue of Wang was founded on the campus of Peking University.
- Thermodynamics,2nd Edition; Wang Z.X; Peking University Press 2005 ISBN 7-301-08495-1
- Statistical Physics, Wang Z.X. Peking University Press
- Special Functions, Wang Z X, Guo D R, Singapore World Scientific Publishing C. 1989 ISBN 9971-5-0667-X
- New Chinese Dictionary by Division Heads, Wang Z.X.
- The Beauty of Rigor and Conciseness—Wang Zhuxi's Life Long Pursuit of Physics, by Wang Zhengxing, Peking U Press 244pp ISBN 978-7-301-13538-9