On the afternoon of October 25th, 2020 Professor Jinlong Yang, a 1981 alumnus from the School of Physics and Technology at Nanjing Normal University (NNU) and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, returned to his alma mater to give a lecture. Before the lecture, a ceremony welcoming him was held in the East Lecture Hall on the second floor of the Jingwen Library. The ceremony included President Guoxiang Chen, Vice President Xuyu Zhang, the leaders from the Physics and Technology and Chemistry and Materials Science departments, together with representatives of the teachers and students. Xuyu Zhang presided over the welcoming ceremony. Guoxiang Chen delivered a welcoming speech and presented the honorary certificate of "Outstanding Alumni" to Academician Jinlong Yang.
After the ceremony, Academician Jinlong Yang gave an academic lecture entitled "Exploring the Mystery of the Molecular World- A Brief Introduction to Single Molecular Science" to the teachers and students present. The lecture was presided over by Yafei Li, dean of the Scientific Research Institute. Academician Jinlong Yang first introduced the research scope and application scenarios of single-molecule science. He pointed out that single-molecule science and technology are widely used in many core fields such as physics, materials science, in electronic chips, and bio-pharmacy. Then, Academician Jinlong Yang detailed auxiliary technologies, e.g. photo-photography; physical and chemical molecular technologies, e.g. single-molecule fluorescence observation; more subtle micro-world exploration processes such as rational design and functionalization of low-dimensional nanomaterials, along with solid surface structure and catalytic mechanism, and then aroused a heated discussion through pictures and animations on single-molecule microscopy involving energy and space resolution.
After that, Academician Jinlong Yang introduced the current research in progress such as scanning tunneling microscope and spectroscopy detection technology. Academician Yang showed the wonderful details of the mono-molecular world through animation, which aroused widespread interest among teachers and students. Academician Yang also talked about the application of interdisciplinary fields from the perspective of his own research field. The lecture ended with the vision of Nobel Prize winner Richard Phillips Feynman, that was, "If one day, the atom was to be arranged according to people's will, what kind of miracle would it produce?"
After the lecture, an interview session, named "Face to Face Talk with Seniors", was held, in which, Academician Jinlong Yang had a cordial and in-depth exchange with the teachers and students right on the spot. Academician Yang talked about his views on interdisciplinary studies, his understanding of the spirit of academic and scientific research, together with his suggestions for undergraduate scientific research, combining his undergraduate study in the School of Physics and Technology at NNU and his scientific research experience in quantum chemistry. He encouraged students to actively explore some challenging and forward-looking fields during their undergraduate years. He said that sometimes the learning and knowledge we already have had can constrict our research, and we usually are unable to solve some seemingly mediocre problems, but by actually exploring them one might have unexpected results. He pointed out that undergraduate students could devote themselves to the laboratory without being bound by the requirements of paper achievements, and it was scientific research skills and the ability to find and solve problems that should be the ultimate goal of undergraduate research and teaching.
Resume of Academician Jinlong Yang:
Academician Jinlong Yang was born in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province in January 1966. From 1981 to 1985, he studied in School of Physics and Technology at NNU (grew out of Physics Department) and obtained a bachelor's degree; In 1991, he graduated from the Center of Basic Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, majoring in condensed matter physics theory. After graduation, he stayed at the University of Science and Technology of China to teach. He has worked as a visiting professor at Padova University, Cagliari University, International Center for Theoretical Physics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, Hong Kong University, and National University of Singapore. Since April 2018, he has served as vice president of the University of Science and Technology of China; In 2019, he was elected as an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Academician Yang has devoted himself to the research of applied quantum chemistry for a long time and has made original and systematic achievements in the design and simulation of new functional materials, characterization, and regulation of surface single-molecule quantum behavior, which has exerted an important influence both at home and abroad. Over 540 papers (280 were written as the first and correspondent author) have been published by him in SCI journals, including 3 in Science, 5 in Nature, 10 in Sub-Nature 31 in J. Am. Chem. Soc., 13 in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. and 14 in Phys. Rev. Lett.