Wu-ki Tung (1940 - 2009)


B.S., Physics, National Taiwan University
Ph.D., Physics, Yale University


1971 - 1976
Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Chicago
1976 - 1980
Associate Professor of Physics, Illinois Institute of Technology
1980 - 1993
Professor of Physics, Illinois Institute of Technology
1982 - 1985
Chair, Department of Physics, Illinois Institute of Technology


Wu-ki Tung was born in China and attended the National Taiwan University where he received a degree in Physics. He moved to the United States in 1961 and attended Yale, getting his P.H.D in Physics. After graduating he worked at theoretical research institutes, at both Princeton and SUNY Stony Brook. After these positions he moved to Chicago and was on the faculty first at University of Chicago and later at IIT where he served as Chair of the Department of Physics from 1982 to 1985.

Tung's research focused on theoretical high energy particle physics, with an emphasis on Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). He is best known for his contributions to elucidating the consequences of QCD for all high-energy processes in the framework of the Parton Model. He pioneered a multi-decade, global analysis of the momentum densities of partons in nucleons through the inclusion of all relevant experimental results in order to extract an accurate set of parton distribution functions which could be used to interpret subsequent experiments.

Shortly before leaving IIT for Michigan State University, Tung founded the Coordinated Theoretical-Experimental Project on QCD, known throughout the High Energy Physics Community as CTEQ. This project continues to this day and his his lasting legacy to the field. After retiring from Michigan State University in 2007, Tung moved to Seattle, Washington where he remained until his death in 2009.[1,2]

Wu-ki Tung was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and while at IIT authored the book, Group Theory in Physics which continues to be a popular textbook in the field of physics.

Notable Publications at IIT


[1] Scholarpedia, author information for Wu-ki Tung.
[2] "Obituaries: Wu-ki Tung", Physics Today Web 23 November 2009.