How distinctive is BIT’s discipline of Physics

Committed to the first-tier, writing a new chapter of science development

-Record of the establishment and development of physics discipline in Beijing Institute of Technology

“Better to be clumsy than clever, and better to be simple than gorgeous”. Walking into the Science Experiment Building on Liangxiang Campus of BIT, the school motto of the School of Physics written by Ge Molin, the first dean of the School of Physics and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, jumped into view.


In the hall, the "Physics Major Science Month" activities are in full swing. "The world of physics is full of wonders, maybe quantum entanglement attracts you, maybe the perfect unity of electromagnetic fields impresses you... Today, I will take everyone into the magical world of physics," said Yao Yugui, dean of the School of Physics, in a warm exchange with the students.

From cultivating physics talents who integrate theory and practice, to cultivating leading talents as well as leaders who have a mind for the world and pursue scientific dreams; from designing and manufacturing accurate sundial, solving the difficulties of people in border areas, to serving national strategies... 80 years have passed, the physics discipline of BIT adheres to the original mission of educating people for the party and cultivating talents for the country, and is committed to the responsibility of first-tier and serving the development of the country.


History of the School of Physics

In 1941, the Department of Physics, as one of the four major divisions of the Academy of Natural Sciences (now Beijing Institute of Technology), began to recruit students in Yan'an. In 1984, the Department of Applied Physics was established. In 1986, the master's program in condensed matter physics was rated as a provincial and ministerial key discipline. In 2002, the Department of Applied Physics changed its name to the Department of Physics, and together with the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Mechanics, and the Department of Chemistry, the School of Science was established. In 2005, it was approved to grant the master's degree in the first-level discipline of physics. In 2011, the School of Physics was established. In 2019, the discipline of physics entered the top 7% of the soft subjects of universities in mainland China, ranking 13th in domestic universities, and was positioned as an "eagle-type discipline" by the dynamic monitoring data platform of the discipline development level. In 2020, the undergraduate major of applied physics was rated as a national first-class major. In 2021, it entered the world's top "201-250" in the QS "Physics and Astronomy" discipline, ranking 12th among domestic universities. In February 2022, the discipline of physics entered the second round of the "Double First-Tier" construction list.

In recent years, adhering to the construction concept of "first-tier physics, combination of science and engineering and characteristic development", the physics discipline of Beijing Institute of Technology adheres to the fundamental task of moral education, adheres to serving the major strategic needs of the country, aims at the forefront of world science and technology, strives to build an international first-tier physics research center and cutting-edge talent training base, and continuously improves its comprehensive strength and international influence.

Breakthrough! Building a new highland of technological innovation

"The country has given us so much support, and I hope to solve some problems for the country and make practical physics." In 2019, the project "First-principles Research on Berry Phase Effects in Solid Materials" led by Yao Yugui won the only second prize in the Physics and Astronomy Group of the National Natural Science Award. Yao Yugui has been devoted to the research of condensed matter physics, computational physics and material physics for a long time, which has strongly promoted the development of related fields. From 2018 to 2021, he was continuously selected into the list of "Highly Cited Scientists" in the world.


Strengthening and deepening theoretical research, and building a new highland of original innovation

Physics is the theoretical foundation of natural science and technical science, and the source and foundation of innovative ideas. The physics discipline of BIT has continuously strengthened theoretical research. In addition to the second prize of the National Natural Science Award mentioned above, it has also been approved to establish a key laboratory of the Ministry of Education for the "Advanced Photoelectric Quantum Structure Design and Measurement", and participated in the construction of the Ministry of Education's "High Energy Material" Frontier Science Center, undertaken more than 100 projects such as the National Major Research Program, the National Key R&D Program, the National Major Instrument Project, the "863" Program, the "973" Program and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, with an average annual research funding of more than 20 million yuan. Among them, the research funding in 2020 reached more than 45 million yuan, with an average annual publication of more than 200 SCI papers.


The Quantum Laboratory

"The establishment of a quantum laboratory can be described as a timely and innovative move for the physics discipline of BIT to promote the in-depth integration of science and engineering!" On November 8, 2019, academician Xiang Tao, academician Duan Wenhui, academician Gong Gaoxin, academician Xu Hongxing, academician Lin Haiqing and many other "big shots" in the field of physics gathered at BIT to jointly give suggestions for the Key Laboratory of Advanced Optoelectronic Quantum Architecture and Measurement of the Ministry of Education (hereinafter referred to as the Quantum Laboratory). Quantum laboratory is another high-level experimental platform for the cross fields of physics, materials, optoelectronics and information. After the completion of the laboratory, a group of young teachers such as Liu Chengcheng, Ma Jie, Wang Gang, Zhou Jiadong and Li Xiang have gathered, and more than 50 papers with international influence have been produced.

Intersection of science and engineering to achieve new breakthroughs in the development of disciplines

Basic research is the forerunner and source of scientific and technological progress, and promoting interdisciplinary integration is the only way to achieve scientific and technological innovation. In recent years, the discipline of physics has adhered to the "four aspects", focusing on key scientific and technological issues, and further promoting interdisciplinary integration. In 2016, led by Academician Ge Molin, a small research institution with cutting-edge, cross-cutting, advanced level and distinctive features was established - the Quantum Technology Research Center. In the past five years, the center has quickly gathered many young backbones such as Zhao Qing and Yin Zhangqi, and has achieved fruitful results in the detection of weak signals with quantum technology and protein analysis.

Since 2019, Professor Zhang Xiangdong's team and Sun Houjun's research group from the School of Information and Electronics have joined forces, and relevant research results have been published in important journals such as "Nature Communications" and the top journal of physics "Phys. Rev. Lett", creating an example of research on the intersection of science and engineering.

Carrying out astrophysical research, studying the high-energy radiation of celestial bodies with multi-band observation data; detecting dark matter with some low-energy subsystems... In recent years, the participation of several young teachers such as Zhang Jin and Sun Sichun has promoted high-energy physics to become another new direction of theoretical research in physics.

Breaking through the technical bottleneck and filling the gap of industrial application

Adhering to the principle of " indomitable spirit", while producing original innovative results, the discipline of physics also actively faces the main economic battlefield and continuously deepens the breadth and depth of scientific research. In 2016, the first domestic industrialized laser coal quality online detection spectrum system led by Professor Liu Ruibin was installed and put into use in Zouxian, Zhangqiu and other power plants of Huadian International Group, creating an output value of more than 20 million yuan for enterprises, effectively filling the gap of national intelligent manufacturing rapid all element detection technology. The system will also be applied to customs, soil, medicine and other fields on a large scale, serving major national strategies.


Display of laser spectrum system for on-line coal quality detection

In addition, experts and scholars in the discipline of physics have also taken the lead in formulating a number of national industry standards such as "Measurement Method of Grounding Resistance in Fireworks and Firecracker Workplaces", and cooperated in the development of "double-proof work clothes" to reduce the casualty rate of electrostatic accidents; designing photodetectors with extremely low power consumption and improved sensitivity has broad market application prospects and considerable economic benefits.

Innovative! Creating more attractive physics teaching

On a sunny afternoon, in physics class, teacher Shi Hongting is sitting on a swivel chair for teaching demonstration in order to speak well about "Mechanics". As his hands and feet extend around, the speed of the chair slows down, and as his hands and feet curl up to the center of his body, the speed of the chair speeds up... Laughter fills the classroom. A variety of "activities" such as "shaking diabolo", "turning chairs" and "playing table tennis" have made BIT's physics class a favorite "Internet celebrity class" for students.


Shi Hongting explaining the knowledge point of mechanics "rigid body rotation" to students with diabolo

"Grasp the interests of students, and teach theories based on practice, so that students are willing to learn and easy to understand." said Yin Zhangqi, a "magic" physics teacher who likes to show sci-fi movies in the classroom. "In order to teach a course well, I spent a whole year preparing for the course, from the interpretation of teaching materials, PPT production, and then to the trial lecture of the course, striving for perfection and tempering." When it comes to teaching, Jiang Zhaotan, the lecturer of condensed matter theory, feels particularly impressed.

Behind the simple and interesting classroom is the ultimate pursuit of teaching and the originality of educating people by physics teachers of Beijing Institute of Technology.

In early 2020, COVID-2019 broke out suddenly. The leader of the University Physics Course, Hu Haiyun, a teaching master in Beijing, led the team to conduct online teaching for the first time and opened up high-quality MOOC classes for the society. The series of MOOC classes was used by 55 universities such as Southwest Jiaotong University and Northwest Normal University, covering about 23,000 students. "We insist on truth-seeking, flexibility, and innovations, take students as the center, and light up every wonderful classroom with heart and emotion." Hu Haiyun said.

"University Physics" is a compulsory course for non-physics students majoring in science and engineering in BIT. Every year, the teaching workload of 3,300 students in BIT reaches 9,600 hours. Under the deep cultivation of the teaching team for many years, "University Physics" has not only become a Beijing high-quality course, a national high-quality online course, a national-level online first-class course, and a national-level mixed online-offline first-class course. Among them, "The Wonderful View of Physics" "Flower" was also rated as a national excellent video open course, and "University Physics (I, II)" was rated as an excellent textbook for higher education in Beijing. The iCourse textbook has become the only new set of textbooks in China to support university physics MOOCs. At present, the number of online course selection of college physics has exceeded 700000, ranking first in physics in China.


"The Physics Experiment Center is our innovation dream factory. When preparing for various innovation competitions, the teachers will give patient and meticulous guidance as soon as possible, no matter what problems are encountered." Luo Ruipeng, a 2018 student of Qiushi College, said. The University Physics Experiment Center, established in 1999, undertakes the experimental teaching tasks of more than 3,300 students and more than 220,000 hours of school-based science and engineering majors each year, providing students with a broad space for basic experiments, innovative experiments and scientific research.

In the view of Liu Wei, the person in charge of the physics experiment course, physics is a subject "based on experimental foundations and loyal to experimental data", and physics experiments are an important channel for improving students' academic character, cultivating academic ability and improving scientific research ability. In 2018, the "two goals and three stages" innovative talent training model based on physics experimental teaching was awarded the second prize of Beijing Higher Education Teaching Achievement.

"Preaching and teaching, enhancing each other. I would like to use the gleam of my limited knowledge to inspire students to pursue the splendor that belongs to them in the splendid spectrum!" When it comes to teaching, Wang Fei, a physics teacher, feels it. In July 2019, Wang Fei, who performed the "Legend of big things", won the most popular teacher of "I love my teacher" of Beijing Institute of Technology and the First Session of Famous Young Teaching Master in Beijing, was promoted to professor with excellent classroom teaching and fruitful teaching achievements.

In recent years, under the guidance of teaching, the physics discipline has continued to promote the construction of "morality and education" teacher teams. Young and middle-aged teachers have grown rapidly, and the atmosphere of "building teachers' morality, style and ability" has become increasingly strong. "Three generations of physicists", represented by Academician Ge Molin, Professor Yao Yugui, Professor Hu Haiyun, and Professor Wang Fei, have been formed, and "Beijing Famous Teaching Teachers" continue to emerge. In the past five years, physics teachers have been awarded more than 100 honors of various types, including the National First-Class Course, the National Excellent Course, and the Beijing Teaching Achievement Award.


Bookmarks made by Li Jialin and other students

"Plums in one place are in a hurry in autumn, and there are many peaches and plums in the capital, regardless of the prosperous period of the spring breeze." This is a poem written by Li Jialin, a 2018 undergraduate majoring in physics, on the eve of teacher's day in 2021 under the title of "pay tribute to my teacher", and made this poem into exquisite bookmarks. Writing, chapter engraving, rubbing and cutting are all done by hand with extreme care. On Teacher's Day, Li Jialin and his classmates went to every room of the School of Physics and sent the most sincere wishes to the dear teachers. "Whether I have the fate or not to hand this bookmark to the teacher, this poem is my sincere heart to the teachers."

Carving! Joint efforts to cultivate first-class talents

Floating globes, suspended faucets, and vibrating fish wash basins... In the Physics Experiment Center, with the explanation of Professor Wang Fei, each interesting experimental equipment was surrounded by students. In May 2021, the fourth science communication activity of "the beauty of heaven and earth, the reason of all things" was opened to all students on Liangxiang campus. The five sections of "Coffee Salon", "Physics Secret Room Escape", "Physics Film", "Physics Market" and "Book Exhibition" provided students with colorful popular science activities and more intimate, detailed and grounded education methods, and physics learning is imperceptibly integrated into the growth of students.




"The beauty of heaven and earth, the reason of all things " Public Science Day

"It is the first time that I learned so much about physics in a short period of time, and I am very inspired. Physics is really an ever-changing knowledge." Many students who participated in the activity expressed emotion.

The spring breeze turns into rain, moistening things silently. In recent years, the physics discipline has adhered to the principle of party building, the integration of science and education, and the teaching first. In promoting the comprehensive reform of "three comprehensive education", with the goal of "strengthening basic research in physics and cultivating first-class innovative talents", it has created the "Physics ·Boyue" education brand.

In the second half of 2021, the "Boyue" community consisting of multiple cultural functional areas such as Boyue Study and Boyue Coffee was officially opened. "Physics is Life", Einstein's head portrait badge, and the "Schrödinger" stray cat downstairs in the Science Building, a handmade card from the Mid-Autumn Festival... "Physics" is infiltrated in the bits and pieces of students' study and life, cultivating the temperament of "small house, big family". In addition, the School of Physics has also set up a pioneer post for party members in the academy community, and organized the "Boyue" series of party day activities for teachers and students, classic guide reading, and education seminars. In the characteristic space full of strong disciplinary culture and humanistic atmosphere, spiritual and cultural feasts containing party building, ideology and politics, and enlightenment are carried out one after another.


The "Boyue" community

He has won two National Scholarships, four Highest Academic Scholarships, the Innovation Scholarship of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, twice the Outstanding Postgraduate Pacesetter of Beijing Institute of Technology, published 14 SCI academic papers in top international journals, and made poster presentations and oral reports at international conferences for many times... In 2019, Zhang Weixuan, a 2015 doctoral student in physics, won the school's highest level and highest honor scholarship - Xu Teli Scholarship for his diligence and hard work. In 2021, Li Jing, a 2016 undergraduate student, Liu Zhouhui, a 2018 graduate student, and Ma Dashuai, a 2016 doctoral student, received Xu Teli Scholarships respectively. "Three consecutive years of Dashain Xu Teli Prize" is just a microcosm of the cultivation of talents in the discipline of physics.

First-tier universities, first- tier disciplines, must cultivate first-class talents. In recent years, the discipline of physics has followed the growth pattern of top-notch talents and is guided by the needs of national development, BIT’s physics discipline is committed to cultivating leading talents who "have the world in mind, pursue scientific dreams, have a deep physical foundation and are good at the integration of science and Engineering". Focusing on this goal, the physics discipline strives to build an innovative talent training mode of "innovative curriculum + innovation and entrepreneurship competition + scientific research training + academic lecture hall", establishes an innovation and entrepreneurship dream factory operated by students independently, jointly builds a student innovation and entrepreneurship practice base with the Yangtze River Delta Physics Research Center, and integrates the front edge of physics and engineering into the scientific research and training courses in the form of small topics, takes multiple measures to cultivate students' innovative ability.


BIT's "Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Practice Base" established at the Yangtze Delta Physics Research Center in Liyang, Jiangsu Province on July 26, 2020

Since 2011, physics majors have won 20 national awards, 105 provincial and ministerial awards, and 66 papers. In 2018 and 2019, they successively won the Beijing First Prize and the National Bronze Award in the China "Internet +" College Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. A group of leading talents, represented by Li Mingjun, academician of the American Academy of engineering, Wang Huang, director of Sichuan Key Laboratory of Earthquake Early Warning, Shi Feng, director of Science and Technology on Low-Light-Level Night Version Laboratory, and Cui Wei, second prize winner of the National Technological Invention Award, have emerged in the industry.

"Physics is not only the 'source water' of science and technology, but also the 'engine' of innovative research. The discipline of physics, which has accumulated over 80 years and is engraved with deep red genes, will surely stand at the forefront of the tide, strive hard and create a first-tier in the new era., write a first-tier!" said Jiang Yan, secretary of the Party Committee of the School of Physics.


Deeply promoting the construction of "Double First-class"

Accelerating the development of discipline connotation

Building high-quality science

Striving to create a new situation of building

a world-class university with Chinese characteristics