Newsletter No. 334

No. 334, 19.3.2009 第三三四期 二零零九年三月十九日 No. 334 19 March 2009 激动人心的研究者─伍灼耀教授 An Inspiring Researcher—Prof. Ng Cheuk-yiu 伍 灼耀教授是崇基1971年化学系毕业生,现为加州 大学戴维斯分校化学系杰出讲座教授。他于2月 22日至3月7日到访书院,主讲公开讲座、参与研讨会及出 席师生聚会。 伍教授以自身的经验供师弟妹作参考。他于中大毕业时, 本已获选为加州大学的交换生,可任意到该校的任何一所 分校,在阳光充沛的西岸继续升学。然而,由于心系物理 化学,他毅然选择到以此科称着的芝加哥大学(芝大)进 修。他说:「物理化学在当时不是学生的热门选择,因为 当中牵涉很多物理学和复杂的数学,而出路也有限。如果 从事研究,所需的科技设施费用不菲,要物色资助亦非容 易,当时还有人劝我不要选择此科哩。」 伍教授固然不为所动,抵达芝大后,旋即加入时为化学系 副教授李远哲教授领导的研究小组,致力以分子束研究反 应动态学的实验。(李教授为1986年诺贝尔化学奖得奖 人)。1973年,伍教授跟随李教授转至加州大学柏克莱分 校及罗伦斯.柏克莱国家实验室继续研究,并完成他的博 士论文,取得物理化学哲学博士学位。 伍教授又透露,当年研究小组整天都耗在实验室,保安员 常于凌晨时分看见实验室仍有灯光,特意走来问他们有无 不妥。李远哲教授对研究的热诚和努力,更是研究小组的 模范。伍教授笑说:「当时我们怀疑李教授每天睡不多于 四小时。」他诉说这一二事的用意,是阐明研究之路满布荆 棘,必须有浓厚的兴趣、澎湃的热诚和坚韧的毅力,才能 徐步而行。然而,过程虽艰辛,果子却甘甜。「研究工作虽 耗心力,但每次解决了一项难题,我即会感到身心焕发,又 有精力迎接新挑战。」 也是由于有这样的体会,伍教授深切感受到「令人称羡」 (impressive)和「激动人心」(inspiring)两种研究者的 区别。令人称羡的研究者做的研究,为的是回报,包括金 钱、名誉或是奖项等。激动人心的研究者苦心钻研,为的 是较高的理想,探求事情怎样发生,为何发生,从中获得的 乐趣和满足感让他们长时间工作也丝毫不觉疲累和压力, 他们也是最快乐和成功的学者。伍教授希望中大青年学者 能以当激动人心的学者为理想。 P rof. Ng Cheuk-yiu is a chemistry graduate of Chung Chi College (1971) and currently Distinguished Professor of the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis. During his visit to Chung Chi College from 22 February to 7 March, he hosted public lectures, participated in conferences, and met with staff and students. Prof. Ng quoted his own experience to illustrate the importance of interest in reseach. When he graduated from CUHK, he was selected as an exchange student by the University of California. He could have chosen to study at any of the University of California campuses in sunny California. But his deep interest in physical chemistry led him to choose the University of Chicago, one of the top places for the subject. He said, ‘At that time students were reluctant to choose physical chemistry as it involved physics and complex mathematics, and career prospects were limited. Research laboratories were extremely expensive to set up. It was not easy to get research grants. Someone even persuaded me to give up my choice.’ But Prof. Ng stuck to his interest. He joined the research team of Prof. Lee Yuan-tseh, then associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, upon arriving at the 「选择研究课程,必须符合自己的兴趣,这样 你才能坚持下去,应付困难和挑战,造就激动 人心的研究成果。」崇基学院本年度的黄林秀 莲访问学人伍灼耀教授寄语一众中大学生。 ‘Choosing the research programme that interests you will help you to persevere and persist, leading to inspiring research results.’ Prof. Ng Cheuk-yiu, Siu Lien Ling Wong Visiting Fellow 2008–09, Chung Chi College, advised CUHK students. University of Chicago, where he studied experimental reaction dynamics using the molecular beam method under Prof. Lee’s guidance. (Prof. Lee won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986.) In 1973, Prof. Ng followed the relocation of Prof. Lee to UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he completed his thesis and received his PhD in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. Prof. Ng recalled those late nights spent in laboratories with the research team. The light always attracted visits by the security guard. He praised Prof. Lee’s enthusiasm and hard work; he was a role model for the team. ‘We guessed that Prof. Lee slept only four hours each day.’ He pointed out that perseverance and persistence are the keys to overcoming difficulties encountered in research. ‘Research is by no means an easy job. But whenever I solve a problem, I am heartened again to face new challenges.’ Prof. Ng emphasized the difference between being ‘impressive’ and being ‘inspiring’. Researchers who are ‘impressive’ do their work in order to get returns in form of financial gains, recognitions, and awards. Those who are ‘inspiring’ carry out their work with the goal of understanding how and why things happen. The happiest and the most successful researchers are ‘inspiring’ people who find excitement and fulfilment in their work. They can work for long hours without feeling tired and stressed. He hopes that the young scholars at CUHK will become inspiring researchers. 伍灼耀教授小档案 Profile of Prof. Ng Cheuk-yiu 建立多个最先进的激光系统,覆盖频率由红外线至真 空紫外线 Establishing state-of-the-art laser systems from infrared to vacuum ultraviolet 创制多套崭新的实验装置,用作光致电离、光致裂解、 光电子能测定及离子–分子碰撞动态学的开创性研究 Setting up new apparatus for novel studies of photoionization, photodissociation, photoelectron energy, and ion-molecule collision dynamics 领导约有十四名博士生及博士后研究员的研究团队, 研究经费来自美国联邦政府能源部、空军科研办公 室、国家科学基金会及国家航空暨太空总署 Leading a research group of about 14 PhD students and postdoctoral associates with research support from the US Department of Energy, the Air Force Office for Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 曾获Camille and Henry Dreyfus 基金会的教授–学者 奖及德国洪堡基金的资深科学家奖 Being named Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, awarded Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher–Scholar and Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award • • • •

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