Career in China

Two years after the founding of the People's Republic of China, Yang and his wife Xia Peisu returned to China in 1951. They both became faculty members at Tsinghua University, although Yang was soon transferred to Peking University during Communist China's reorganization of higher education on the Soviet model in 1952. At Peking University he served as associate professor, professor, and later doctoral advisor. In the late 1950s, he and Yu Min co-authored a textbook on the theories of nuclear physics.
Starting in the late 1950s, Yang advanced many-body theory in condensed matter physics, which was pioneered by Keith Brueckner. In the 1970s, he conducted research and proposed new theories for the interacting boson model (IBM). In 1985, he taught as a visiting professor at Yale University on the invitation of Francesco Iachello, a co-inventor of IBM. He taught at the Technical University of Munich in 1986, and collaborated with Akito Arima, the other co-inventor of IBM in Japan.
Over a teaching career spanning more than four decades, Yang educated a large number of students, including more than 30 doctoral and master's students. In 1991, Yang Liming and his wife Xia Peisu were both elected as academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.