2015 Achievement in Asia Award


Yugang Ma and Qing-Feng Sun won the 2015 Achievement in Asia Award (Robert T. Poe Prize)

Professor Yugang Ma (SINAP; Shangahi Institute of Applied Physics) and Prof. Qing-Feng Sun (Department of Physics, Peking University) are the co-winners of the 2015 Achievement in Asia Award (Robert T. Poe Prize) given by the International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers (OCPA).

The OCPA AAA (Robert T. Poe Prize) is awarded annually to a Chinese physicist/astronomer or a team working in Asia in recognition of their outstanding achievements in physics and astronomy. The Award carries a total cash prize of US$2,000 and a certificate citing the awardee's accomplishments in research.


Prof. Yu-Gang Ma received his B.S. from Hangzhou University (Zhejiang University now) in July 1989. He attended Institute of Modern Physics at Lanzhou as a graduate student and was awarded Ph.D. degree in July 1994 from Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was promoted to be a full professor in December 1994 at SINAP shortly after graduation. In 1996-1997, he visited LPC-Caen, France as a Wang Kuan Cheng Fellow. He has been a visiting scholar in many institutions in the US and Europe.

Prof. Yu-Gang Ma serves as a chief scientist of a 973 National Basic Research Development Program. He is the leader of a NSFC Innovation Team. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2015. He was awarded the NSFC Distinguished Young Scholar Foundation grant in 1997. He has won many prizes including the second national prize for natural sciences in 2001, first Shanghai prize for natural sciences in 2014 and second Shanghai prize for natural sciences in 2008, second CAS prize for natural sciences in 2007 and young scientist award of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999. He has published over 500 research papers on refereed journals.

In Prof. Ma’s career, has made significant contributions to understanding nuclei under extreme conditions, and in the search for anti-matter particles. His creativity and productivity has led to the publication of many highly cited research articles. He has been also a very effective leader of very large group of young nuclear scientists at SINAP.

Starting in 2005, Prof. Ma has led the Chinese effort in constructing the Multigap-Resistance-Plate-Chamber for STAR time-of-flight upgrade. After this upgrade was successfully completed in 2010, his team was able to identify 16 candidates of the anti-Helium-4 nucleus, the heaviest anti-matter known to date. This type of detectors has proven to be one of the most crucial ones for several programs at RHIC. One of Prof. Ma’s students has carried out a systematic effort to measure the collision centrality dependence of di-electron production in Au + Au collisions at 200 GeV, in order to probe chiral symmetry in nuclear collision dynamics. Prof. Ma’s team also discovered the anti-hypertriton nucleus in Au + Au collisions at RHIC. This represents the first ati-hypernucleus observed thus far, and provides additional supporting evidence for the formation of quark-gluon plasma in heavy ion collisions.

Prof. Ma’s contributions go beyond cutting-edge research. He hosted the Quark Matter conference in Shanghai in 2006, as well as other international conferences. He is active in the international nuclear physics community, and has served on many advisory boards. In addition, he has trained many Ph.D. students, most of whom have either gone on to a career in research or in teaching.


Prof. Qing-Feng Sun received his B.Sc. degree in 1995 and Ph.D. degree in 2000 from Peking University, both in Physics. From 2000 to 2003, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Physics, McGill University, Canada. In 2003, he was appointed Professor at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since Prof. Sun joined the School of Physics at Peking University in 2013.

Professor Sun’s research mainly focuses on quantum transport and spintronics. He has obtained several outstanding achievements. He and his collaborators derived some important formulas and Hamiltonians, and predicted a number of interesting effects or phenomena. They discovered that the spin-orbit coupling gives rise to an extra spin-dependent phase factor in the hopping term of the Hamiltonian, and derived a model Hamiltonian of DNA and helical protein molecules, which includes the helical structure and the spin-orbit coupling. They predicted a quantized, perfect Andreev reflection in two-dimensional topological insulator-superconductor hybrid systems, which has been verified in a subsequent experiment. Moreover, a new quantum state, the spin superconductor which is the counterpart of the superconductor, was proposed. They showed that the spin superconductor has zero spin-resistance, the electric Meissner effect (against a spatial varying electric field), and the spin-current Josephson effect. His accomplishments have also led to some prestigious awards in China, including the National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award of China (2002), NSFC Distinguished Young Scholars (2005), Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize of CAS (2011), and Cheung Kong Professor of the Ministry of Education of China (2013).

Prof. Sun has broad research interests. In addition to the above, he has made significant contributions to various subfields of condensed matter physics, such as quantum transport, quantum dot systems, graphene, Kondo effect, etc. Collaborating with colleagues, his contributions include: 1) the proposal of a method to experimentally detect directly the Kondo resonance peaks in the local density of states of a quantum dot. Subsequently, Kouwenhoven’s group (Delft) applied their proposed method to successfully detect the Kondo resonance peaks [see PRL 89, 156801(2002)]; 2) the derivation of a general formula for heat generation by electric current in mesoscopic devices, which have been extensively applied by many researchers; 3 the discovery that the conductance is small in a clean graphene p-n junction while under the magnetic field. However, this conductance is strongly enhanced by the disorder and

some plateaus emerge at moderate range of disorder, in excellent agreement with the experimental; and 4) in two-dimensional topological insulator, the discovery that the quantum plateaus of the resistance are robust against the normal dephasing, but the spin dephasing can cause backscattering and destroy the quantum plateaus. Subsequent experimental work, by Stuart S.P. Parkin et al., showed that this is a dominant edge scattering process [see PRL 112, 026602(2014)].


The winners of the 2015 AAA (Robert T. Poe Prize) were selected by following panel of distinguished physicists (in alphabetical order):

Professor Che-Ting Chan Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Professor Meng Jie Peking University

Professor Ting-Kuo Lee Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Professor Zheng-Tian Lu Argonne National Laboratory

Professor Jian-Wei Qiu Iowa State University and Brookhaven National Laboratory

Professor Wu-Tsung Weng Brookhaven National Laboratory

OCPA's AAA activity is a continuing program and represents a long tradition of OCPA to recognize outstanding achievements of the members of the Chinese physics and astronomy community. Previous AAA winners include:

  • OU-YANG, Zhong-Can (1993, Institute of Theoretical Physics, China)
  • ZHU, Qing-Shi (1994, University of Science and Technology, China)
  • I, Lin (1995, National Central University, Taiwan)
  • WEI, Ching-Ming (1996, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
  • CHING, Emily Shuk-Chi (1999, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • WANG, Jian (1999, University of Hong Kong)
  • CHAN, Che-Ting (2000, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)
  • HOU, Jian-Guo (2001, University of Science & Technology, China)
  • YANG, Xue-Ming (2001, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
  • HOU, Wei-Shu (2002, National Taiwan University, Taiwan)
  • WANG, Enge (2002, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • ZHANG, Jie (2004, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • LI, Baowen (2005, National University of Singapore)
  • WANG, Ning (2006, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)
  • LI, Hsiang-nan (2007, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
  • GAO, Hongjun (2008, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • East Team (2009, Institute of Plasma Physics, CAS, China)
  • MENG, Jie (2009, Beijing University, China)
  • FENG, Dong-Lai (2010, Fudan University, China)
  • WEN, Hai-Hu (2010, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • HO, Pei-Ming (2011, National Taiwan University, Taiwan)
  • DAI, Xi (2012, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • FANG, Zhong (2012, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • JIA, Jin-Feng (2013, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
  • ZHOU, Xing-Jiang (2013, Institute of Physics, CAS, China)
  • HAN, Yilong (2014; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • YAO, Wang (2014; University of Hong Kong)