Lu Hefu, also named Hoff Lu, who was born in 1914, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Yanjing University in 1936. In the same year, Lu enrolled at the University of Minnesota and received a master’s degree in 1938 and a doctoral degree in physics in 1941.
After graduation, Lu returned to China and began his teaching career at Sun Yat-sen University and subsequently taught at Guangxi University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University, and Peking University. In 1957, he returned to Fudan University as a professor until his retirement.
Lu was the deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Research from 1960 to 1977. From 1975 to 1985, he served as the president of the Shanghai Physical Society. In 1980, he was elected an academician of the mathematics and physics division at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Lu is regarded as the father of nuclear energy in China. As a celebrated physicist, educator, and scholar in China, Lu devoted his life to scientific research and educational work, with remarkable results, notably his world famous “equation of irreversibility.”
Lu refused to use his pioneering work in nuclear energy to help develop an atomic bomb. In 2004, Lu was honored with a sculpture in the Tate Laboratory of Physics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. In addition, the University established the Hoff Lu Fellowship in Physics in his honor.