Peng Huanwu was born in Changchun City, Jilin Province. He is a native of Macheng, Hubei Province. He obtained a doctorate degree in philosophy from Edinburgh University in Britain in 1940, and became an academician of the Irish Royal Academy of Sciences in 1948.
Peng engaged in research on the basis and application of theoretical physics. He also conducted studies on nucleus, two particle chemical bonds, technique for rapid heating steel ingot, theory of reactors, engineering design, and critical safety.
Peng contributed to the research and theoretical design of atom bombs and hydrogen bombs for the first generation in China.
In 1955, he was elected as an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and became the Honorary Head of the Theoretical Physics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.