Xu Guangxian

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

Xu Guangxian (simplified Chinese: 徐光宪; traditional Chinese: 徐光憲; pinyin: Xú Guāngxiàn; born November 7, 1920 in Shaoxing, Zhejiang), is a Chinese chemist and academician of Chinese Academy of Science. He is former president of Chinese Chemical Society, and known as "The Father of Chinese Rare Earths Chemistry".[1]


He studied in several schools in Zhejiang (now known as Zhejiang University and Zhejiang University of Technology), then he entered Jiaotong University in Shanghai (now known as Shanghai Jiaotong University), and received B.S in 1944. 1944-1946, he was a technician in a chemical company in Shanghai.

Xu went to USA in 1948, studied in the graduate school of the Washington University in St. Louis from Jan to Jun. 1948-1951, he studied at the Columbia University in New York, and received M.S. in 1949 and PhD in 1951 (under C. D. Beckmann).[2] 1949 Feb, he became a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon. 1950 Oct, he became a member of Sigma Xi.

1951, he went back to China with his wife Gao Xiaoxia - also a chemist. In the same year, he became the associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, Peking University. Soon later he was promoted to be a full professor. He became a dean of the department in 1956, and especially directed the department of radiation chemistry. Xu also was involved in the Chinese nuclear weapon development program, within which he played a role in separating and extracting the nuclear elements, especially Uranium-235.[3]

In 1969 Xu and his wife were accused of being spies for the former Kuomintang government and sent to a labor camp until 1972.[4]

Xu played an important role in the chemistry of rare earths in China. He systematically studied the chemical and physical properties of the rare earths found in China and developed several methods to separate and extract them. Xu also has an important career in Chinese chemical industry.

Jan 2009, Xu received the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award from the President Hu Jintao.

In September, Science News Focus on China's rare earth industry and its worldwide influence, and Xu's significant contributions.[5]

Membership, etc[edit]

See also[edit]

  • 596 - China's first nuclear weapons test.


  1. ^ 北京大学
  2. ^ CV B.S., 1944, Jiaotong University; M.S., 1949, Columbia University; Ph.D., 1951, Columbia University
  3. ^ 百度百科 1959年2月 开始从事铀-235同位素分离方法的研究,讲授核燃料化学。
  4. ^ Cindy Hurst China's Rare Earth Elements Industry: What Can the West Learn? Institute for the Analysis of Global Security March 2010, p. 8
  5. ^ Science News Focus (material science), As China's Rare Earth R&D Becomes Ever More Rarefied, Others Tremble, by Richard Stone, 11th Sep, 2009
  6. ^ 中国化学会
  7. ^ The Chinese Society of Rare Earths(CSRE)
  8. ^ Selected publications of Xu Guangxian
  9. ^ Journal of Rare Earths: Editorial Committee

External links[edit]