The Enrico Fermi Museum was founded to preserve and disseminate the memory of the Italian scientist, defined as “the last man who knew everything” for his contributions to twentieth-century physics both as a theorist and as an experimenter.
The Museum itinerary was presented for the first time in 2015 at the Genoa Science Festival, and installed permanently on the ground floor of the historic building of via Panisperna at the end of 2019.
The building itself is an integral part of the museum itinerary. In the 1930s, this was the “Regio Istituto Fisico”, and Enrico Fermi and his collaborators conducted here their experiments and researches. Eventually the discoveries on radioactivity induced by neutrons earned the scientists the Nobel Prize in 1938.
Combining traditional objects and panels with modern multimedia technologies, the installations allow us to retrace how the exploration of matter has intertwined with the historical events of the twentieth century.
From beta decay to cosmic rays, from the first nuclear fission to the construction of the bomb in the Los Alamos laboratories, the story of the research begun by a group of boys in via Panisperna can’t be disjointed fromthe events that changed the 20th century.
We hope to kindle awareness and curiosity about science methods and history.
For this reason, in addition to the Museum, we have a programme of conferences, school projects, festivals, events and visits to our laboratories.
Are you a teacher? Please check our proposals
Do you have a personal interest? Please check the Open Day calendar and book your visit
The “Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi” is housed in the historical Palazzina di via Panisperna. At the end of the 19th century, when Rome became the capital city of the new Regno d’Italia, this building was the Royal Physics Institute of the University of Rome. Directors Pietro Blaserna and Orso Mario Corbino created a fertile and creative environment for science to flourish. Enrico Fermi arrived here as a professor of theoretical physics in 1926, gathering a group of young and brilliant scholars known to history as the “boys of via Panisperna”. During an exceptional season for Italian science, they led the first experiments on the phenomenon of radioactivity induced by neutrons, which were crucial to understanding the structure of the atomic nucleus. The Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Fermi eventually crowned their research.
In 1936, the Institute of Physics moved to the new university town of Piazzale Aldo Moro.
From 1936 to 1938, most of the physicists who worked here fled away, primarily due to racial laws. Since 1943, via Panisperna lost its scientific function.
After the war, it would host the State Police Archive.
In 1999, a group of parliamentarians wanted to restore the building to its scientific vocation. The law n. 62 of 15 March established the ‘Enrico Fermi’ Historical Museum and Research Centre.
In 2019 the Palazzina was fully restaured. Its position within the Viminale complex and the accurate renovation made the process long and complex.
In the spring of 2022, after a stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we finally re-opened the Museum and resumed the outreach activities.