Luo Jialun is interviewed via iPad in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Monday. (Photo: China Daily/Liang Jucong)
Luo Jialun hit the Chinese media spotlight when he attended the news conference last week announcing that scientists had successfully detected gravitational waves, a discovery that opens new possibilities in space exploration.
The senior from Carleton College and others on the U.S.-based team were mainly responsible for processing data to detect the existence of gravitational waves.
Luo, who graduated from Guangzhou Tianhe High School in 2012, said it was his persistence that allowed him to become a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory team.
He joined LIGO when he was a sophomore in 2013, and plans to continue his studies in the United States after he graduates.
Tan Hua, Luo's physics teacher from Tianhe High School, said detecting gravitational wave is hard and dull work.
"Many people in Luo's team left for other profitable projects when they failed to endure the hard work and loneliness," Tan told local media.
But Luo persisted, usually working until 2 or 3 am, Tan said.
In additional to being the top student in his physics class, Luo came first in the English exam in Tianhe district in the national college entrance exams in 2012.
Luo has a high IQ and EQ, Tan said, so teachers never worried about his studies.
Li Yuehai, Luo's mother, said her son was intelligent and fond of learning in high school.
"He once built a small lab at home for physics and chemistry tests," said Li, who created a relaxed family environment for Luo to develop his interests.
"He showed great interest in reading astronomy books when he was a child, and he usually spent most of his pocket money to purchase course books and guidance materials," she said.