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A Sparkling Life

An original and exciting chapter of world science and physics is that linked to the life of Enrico Fermi. Trained at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, after some stays abroad, in 1926 he held the first chair of Italian theoretical physics at the Physical Institute in via Panisperna in Rome. Here, in addition to formidable theoretical developments, he gave birth to a brilliant group of young collaborators: Franco Rasetti, Emilio Segrè, Edoardo Amaldi, Ettore Majorana, Bruno Pontecorvo, and Oscar D’Agostino.

His experimental research in nuclear physics, supported by Orso Mario Corbino and Guglielmo Marconi, was so avant-garde in the international field that it deserved the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1938.

Starting in 1938, his life took place in the United States, where he went as a result of the shortage of university funding, but also due to the enactment of the racial laws affecting his wife.

Fermi first worked in the laboratories of Columbia University in New York, then in 1942 he moved to Chicago where he built the first nuclear battery. During the war, he participated in the Manhattan Project. After the conflict, he embarked on new adventures by creating a school in Chicago that would achieve exceptional importance in the development of particle physics. Temporarily returning to Italy, he gave some famous lectures in 1954, the year of his death.

Enrico Fermi’s life told in four short films.

The films are part of the exhibition of the Enrico Fermi Museum in the building in Via Panisperna, now home to the Enrico Fermi Research Center.