In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking wrote: “Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity’s deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”

The universe is infinite, and the stars are innumerable. Looking up at the sky, gazing into the unknown, unleashing the imagination, galloping across the starry wilderness ...... such fantastic experiences have inspired Jack C again and again over the years. As a Dulwich Zhuhai Class of 2022 graduate student, Jack has had a magical relationship with the “universe” since his childhood.


Setting out for a space odyssey

Jack, like most people, first learnt about the universe through the science classes at elementary school: "The science teacher introduced the formation of the Milky Way and the Solar System, and explained how the planets were arranged. Though these were just basic astronomic knowledge, they kindled my passion for astronomy.” 

Jack, a self-claimed truth seeker, soon began to look beyond classroom knowledge and initiated his own “Space Odyssey” – he searched the Internet and learned about the Solar System, the red giants, the blue giants, the neutron stars and the black holes. He read A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Shell, and was left impressed by how Stephen Hawking could interpret profound theories in plain language. In middle school, he was exposed to advanced theories such as relativity and quantum mechanics. He admired Einstein's genius and also became a frequent visitor to the official websites of NASA and ESA ......

Study trips overseas also enabled Jack to experience first-hand the fascination of astronomical science. He has visited the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Deutsche Museum in Germany, where he has witnessed generations of scientific pioneers dedicating their lives to exploring the universe and making contributions to mankind. Their wisdom, perseverance, and pioneering spirit touched him deeply.


Putting knowledge into practice

By the time he made his way in the international education, Jack had already decided to focus his efforts on physics to prepare for his future study of astrophysics and other relevant subjects. Always putting students first, Dulwich Zhuhai encourages students to take part in various practical activities both home and abroad, which created opportunities for Jack to pursue his dreams. 

Jack has participated in major international science competitions including the UK Chemistry Olympiad and the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO), for which he created CCAs for like-minded students to pursue common goals together. “Preparing for the competitions is indeed an opportunity for us to communicate and exchange ideas. I really enjoy working with my schoolmates and preparing for our exams." said Jack.


Jack also took a summer course at the University of Michigan with fellow students from Dulwich Zhuhai, analyzing cluster structures and star distributions with Python. His biggest takeaway was that astronomy and chemistry are deeply interconnected: “Astronomy requires not only solid knowledge in physics, but also enough understanding of chemistry to better comprehend the composition of stellar matters." This year's Dulwich Zhuhai Science Fair also set the stage for Jack to fully demonstrate his passion for science: Inspired by a research project published by CAS in Science, a prestigious science journal, he and several schoolmates worked together to present a graphic exhibition on the artificial synthesis of starch and its application, introducing a cutting-edge technology to tackle future food shortage.

Musical skills adding to scientific strength

In addition to his continuous effort in science, Jack's musical talents also made him a star at Dulwich Zhuhai – he has been practicing piano since he was five years old and had already been familiar with the fundamentals of music theories before high school. At Dulwich Zhuhai, he joined the orchestra and the choir, practicing vocal performance and composition at the same time. In Year 11, he also learned to play timpani when attending the Dulwich Festival of Music in Beijing, setting foot into the new world of classical percussion. 

"What art and science have in common is that both require not only a rich imagination, but also a spirit of discovery and experimentation."


For younger students who aspire to pursue a career in physics or astronomy, Jack’s advice is to find their passion as early as possible and stick to it unconditionally. 

He emphasised that studying is not a one-off effort, “but something you need to achieve step by step. You should make the most of the opportunities offered by Dulwich, choose more subjects and try and experience more, then narrow your scope down and choose the one area you’d like to focus on. What’s more, astronomy and quantum mechanics are subjects that evolve with the times. You must stay abreast of current events and keep up with most up-to-date information."

Jack has received offers to study Physics or Science at Imperial College London, the University of Hong Kong, University College London and University of Manchester. He has made up his mind to continue his studies in his beloved Astronomy and Quantum Mechanics. He aspires to become a scientist in the future and continue his interstellar wanderings in the fantastic vastness of the universe.