Anthony Zee

Anthony Zee (Chinese: 徐一鸿, b. 1945) (Zee comes from /ʑi23/, the Shanghainese pronunciation of ) is a Chinese-American physicist, writer, and currently a professor at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the physics department of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Anthony Zee
Alma materPrinceton University
Harvard University
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Doctoral advisorSidney Coleman
Doctoral studentsDavid Wolpert
Anthony Zee
Simplified Chinese徐一鸿

After graduating from Princeton, Zee obtained his PhD from Harvard in 1970, supervised by Sidney Coleman. During 1970–72 and 1977–78, he was at the Institute for Advanced Study. From 1973 to 1978, he was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. In his first year as assistant professor at Princeton, Zee had Ed Witten as his teaching assistant and grader.

Professor Zee has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific publications and several books. He has written on particle physics, condensed matter physics, anomalies in physics, random matrix theory, superconductivity, the quantum Hall effect, and other topics in theoretical physics and evolutionary biology, as well as their various interrelations.

Zee is an accomplished teacher, covering both general relativity and quantum field theory. The culmination of his teaching is his highly regarded and widely praised "trilogy" of graduate level textbooks: Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell, and Group Theory in a Nutshell for Physicists. He is also the author of several books for general readers about physics and Chinese culture.



  • 1982. Unity of Forces in the Universe. Singapore: World Scientific.
  • 2010. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell. 2nd ed. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691140346
  • 2013. Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691145587
  • 2016. Group Theory in a Nutshell for Physicists. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691162690

General readers:

  • 1989. An Old Man's Toy, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-02-633440-2
  • 1990. Swallowing Clouds. University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0-671-74724-4
  • 2007. Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics, 2nd ed. Princeton University Press. Foreword by Roger Penrose. ISBN 978-0-691-00946-9. 1986 1st ed. published by Macmillan.
  • On Gravity: A Brief Tour of a Weighty Subject. Princeton University Press. 2018. ISBN 9780691174389.


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