Mathematical Treatises of Tsien Hsue-Shen Published in China

Published November 10, 2018

One of the most important features of my book is the extensive bibliography that covers topics in aerospace engineering, nuclear physics, and foundational mathematics. In light of recent rapid aerospace developments in the People’s Republic of China it is appropriate to reflect at this time upon the contributions of Chinese physicist Qian Xue-Sen (also transliterated as Tsien Hsue-Shen) who was expelled from the United States in 1956 and went on to become the father of the Chinese space program and the Chinese nuclear program. Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press published the Collected Works of Hsue-Shen Tsien, 1938-1956 in 2010. It contains all of his important papers originally published in America on aerodynamics, stability of shells, rocket ballistics, engine analyses, thermodynamics, and thermonuclear power plants. It is fascinating to read his early collaborative works written with Theodore von Karman at Pasadena during the dawning years of the first space age.

For historical context about this at once heroic and tragic life figure I also cite the work of the late Iris Chang entitled Thread of the Silkworm, the story of Tsien Hsue-shen, “the brilliant, enigmatic, Chinese-born scientist who helped pioneer the American space age and, when rejected by the nation he sought to adopt as his own, became the undisputed father of the Chinese missile program.” (Basic Books: 1995).