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China’s nuclear bomb pioneer dies

Zhu Guangya, a nuclear physicist and one of the key scientists engaged in the development of China’s first atom bomb and first hydrogen bomb, died on Saturday at the age of 87, China Daily reported.

A pioneer of China’s nuclear science, Zhu contributed to breakthroughs in the research for nuclear energy, and helped the country’s development of defense technology.

Born in Yichang, central China’s Hubei province, in 1924, Zhu completed his doctoral degree in nuclear physics from the University of Michigan in 1950. He returned to China the same year.

He taught at the Department of Physics at Peking University in the 1950s.

In 1999, he was awarded a prestigious medal in recognition of his contribution to China’s “Two Bombs, One Satellite” (atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb and man-made satellite) projects.

Because of Zhu’s prominent contributions, an asteroid discovered by a Chinese observatory was named after him in December 2004.