Abstract There are two things. Tian Yongjunâ€™s wife does not understand him. The first is that in the next 20 years, I only did a job and didn't feel bored. From "whether there is a harder material than natural diamonds", to "how hard can be made...There are two things, Tian Yongjunâ€™s wife does not understand him.
The first is that in the next 20 years, I only did a job and didn't feel bored. From "whether there is a harder material than natural diamonds" to "the ability to make a hard nano-diamond-based artificial material," he peels the veil of hardness "layer by layer" like peeling onions. In his eyes, this long and patient process is like a quest for the planet. "Every step forward, you can open a door to the new world."
The second is the infinite enthusiasm for playing cards all night. He likes to play cards, but not with anyone. Like his friends, his friends are mostly "Jie Qing". Even if he is far away, he will go straight as long as he greets him. According to him, such a hand often has 4 to 6 people, and has nothing to do with money, only to fight for technology, and sometimes can not sleep continuously "continuous combat." He said with a smile: "Scientists also need to 'free themselves.'"
National Outstanding Youth Fund winner, Minister of Education Jiang Scholar Distinguished Professor, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Academic Leader of Innovation Research Group, German Humboldt Scholar... Today, Yanshan University professor and doctoral tutor Tian Yongjun has another title â€œ2016 "The winner of the annual Science and Technology Outstanding Contribution Award of Hebei Province", "I am very fortunate, like and engaged, just the same thing."
"If you sink your heart, you will find it."
The 54-year-old Tian Yongjun is like a contradictory complex.
He respected the predecessors of the academic world as "Mr.", and whenever he mentioned it, he would always stand up straight and face his face. When it comes to the wife, it must be "how is my wife?"
He uses the old-fashioned mobile phone, only the function of sending and receiving information and answering calls. I watch TV occasionally, but I only love war dramas.
Despite his academic achievements, he does not like any opportunity to show his face. His latest interview was made 11 years ago, which was dedicated to the Hebei Daily.
He always said that life and work should be separated. There is no network cable at home, and there is no WiFi. "This way, you have to go to the office to process e-mails." But his brain can't be so clear, "Scientific research is for me, just like mobile phones." For you, before going to bed, after going to bed, waiting in line, there is time to think hard."
Tian Yongjun is not an "old-fashioned scholar", he will say "the words of young people", and he also loves to talk about the humor in life.
The reporter asked: "Why did you join the academics in the first place?"
He replied: "I was forced by my father to have a chance to go to politics."
Filling in the college entrance examination, Tian Yongjunâ€™s father chose a thousand and chose to report the heat treatment of metal materials. â€œAlthough I donâ€™t know what to do, it sounds like a good job.â€
This is indeed the case. He is reading Harbin University of Science and Technology. He is not only a party member, but also has outstanding achievements. After graduation, he is very hopeful to go to the enterprise. When he was able to graduate, his father changed his mind: "When you think about it, or if you are quiet in the study, you can continue reading."
Father's life does not dare to violate, Tian Yongjun, who is ready to go to the community to fight, can only sneak into the postgraduate entrance examination. After graduating from the Northeast Heavy Machinery Institute (now Yanshan University) in 1987, he stayed on to teach. In 1994, he entered the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to study for a doctorate. He was awarded the Humboldt Scholarship in Germany, and he went to the sea to study. "Step by step, he was forced to go to the scientific research."
But he is still back. In 1998, Tian Yongjun returned to Yanshan University, and then began to prepare provincial key laboratory for metastable materials preparation technology and science. In 2006, the laboratory was officially promoted to the national key laboratory. During this period, he became the first â€œYangtze Scholarâ€ in Hebei Province.
"I have a characteristic, no matter what you do, as long as you choose, you can get into it with one mind. Just like when you first reported a major, although you have never heard of it before, you must learn well. Everything has its interesting side, but you must sink. Only the heart can find out." Tian Yongjun said.
He has never forgotten the free and easy life of college life. He categorized himself as a contestant. He wanted to be in the same year, such as long-distance running, basketball and other competitive projects, especially like to challenge the master. "Now that I am older, the big ball is not playing, I am looking for a football teacher in the sports academy than badminton." He smiled.
His photos are rare. I needed a few photos of life before the awards. He found only two 1-inch ID photos at home in the box and had no choice but to send them. Even if he travels with his family, he rarely shows up. "Probably because I am ugly."
He said that the only regret was that he had never been a soldier. "My father was a soldier. I was impressed that he was not bent when he was young. I especially like the strength of the military's 'tough guy', which is contrary to the intellectuals. The gas festival is a bit like."
"I don't want to be a follower"
How to find new and harder materials? In the past, the methods used by scientists were often referred to as â€œcooking methodsâ€, that is, only after they were made, they could be judged for their differences in â€œcolor, fragrance, and tasteâ€, and they required a lot of resources such as people, money, and materials.
As early as 1934, British scholars had reluctantly wrote in a monograph: "Hardness is like the storm of the sea, easy to understand, but not easy to measure." Until 1998, American physicists still lamented: " Hardness is not only difficult to measure, but also difficult to define."
Tian Yongjun has to challenge the impossible. "Either to overcome the recognized problems, or to make the impossible possible, these two roads are the most difficult to walk, but the scenery is also the most attractive. In addition, even if you run harder in the direction of others, the most is It is the top of the followers. I don't want to be followers."
In 1999, Tian Yongjun and his team members began exploring the possibility of finding new superhard materials in boron, carbon and nitrogen ternary materials systems. At the beginning, they faced the century-long problem that plagued the academic world: how to design new superhard materials at the atomic level.
Make bold assumptions and be careful. In 2003, the internationally renowned academic journal "Physical Review Letter" sponsored by the American Physical Society published an article from the Yanshan University's Provincial Key Laboratory of Metastable Materials Preparation Technology and Science, "Hardness of Covalent Crystals". Melaleuca: "I don't have to synthesize beforehand, I know who is harder than anyone."
In Tian Yongjun's view, the reasons for success are nothing more than interest, persistence, luck and talent. "Sometimes, a little bit of inspiration can really make research more effective." Inspiration is to get time. In addition to the New Year's Eve, he reports to the lab almost every day, sometimes to stare at the experiment, and sometimes just to turn around. Not long ago, because of high fever at home, he was very happy to eat medicine in bed. "It is like forcing a continuous operation of overloaded computers to shut down, the whole person is relaxed."
To solve the problem, Tian Yongjun only used a set of formulas. "If you look at the wonderful and puzzling problem, you can use a few letters to make it clear. To reveal the complexity with simplicity, this is the beauty of science."
In recent years, he and the research team have successively synthesized cubic boron nitride and diamond blocks with ultra-fine nano twin structure according to the formula. The three properties of hardness, toughness and thermal stability of the two materials are simultaneously improved. The hardness of nano-twisted structure diamond is twice that of natural diamond. "The tool made with it has achieved the mirror finish of hardened steel."
Nowadays, Tian Yongjun introduced the research results in a few words. At the beginning, he also scratched his head and shook: "We have synthesized a new material that is harder than natural diamonds. Who can cut it into the shape and size required for use?" At the same time, my colleagues did not even believe that there has been such a research leap. "You can only find various resources to find and try, and finally lock the femtosecond laser."
He still remembers that on the day of the results, the team members were excited and restrained. "The study is not stopped here. Drinking a small wine will turn this over."
"Can't make people pay tuition fees"
In addition to the "scientist", Tian Yongjun's other identity to him - "teacher" is not to be sloppy. This point can be seen from the teacher-student ratio of his research team: 7 teachers recruit only 6 doctoral students a year, and the inverted trapezoidal structure is rare in colleges and universities.
â€œThe school allocates to our 'Jieqing' and 'Yangtze River' places, each person can recruit 2 to 3 doctoral students per year, but the enrollment is not to make up the number. It depends on whether he is suitable for scientific research or not suitable for this field. "His point of view is very simple. A family needs a lot of effort to make a decision to let a child read a doctor. "We can't let people pay tuition fees."
He advocates a more liberal "elite" education. Each of the six students is equipped with a theoretical instructor and an experimental instructor to guide them in both academic and practical directions. The so-called "my mentor" is just a name in the various required forms. In fact, they can open the door of any teacher's office in the group, and confuse their own research and ask for help.
"The time is long, the teachers often can't figure out who the students are. In this case, there is no barrier to the door. No matter who pushes the door, there is no class to teach." Tian Yongjun said.
But "free-range" does not mean that it can be easier.
Tian Yongjun has a doctoral student who has been studying for a certain chemical element for many years. When he first discovered something new, he was eager to send an article. He was splashed with cold water: "Is it true? Can it be repeated? How confident are you?" In his view, at least for the new discovery, he must first ensure that he "does one, one," and then clarifies the physical causes behind the new phenomenon. In the end, the paper was thoroughly polished by them for 8 years.
The effect of "strictness" is obvious. In the past year, there were 3 articles in the â€œNational Excellent Doctoral Dissertationâ€ in Hebei Province. Among them, Tian Yongjun participated in the teaching. Nowadays, many of his students have continued their studies in world-class universities. "I am very comfortable with learning materials." (Reporter Zhang Huaiyu)
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