Carlo Rubbia (1934)

19/03/2020

Carlo Rubbia, born on 31 March in Gorizia, won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1984, together with his colleague Van der Meer.

He is life senator of the Italian Republic since 2013. Son of an electrical engineer and an elementary school teacher, at the end of the Second World War he left his hometown, Gorizia, to move first to Venice and then to Udine, where he attended the Marinelli Scientific High School. After graduating in physics from the University of Pisa in 1957 with a thesis on cosmic rays, he spent a year at Columbia University, in the United States, where he carried out experiments on weak interactions at the Nevis Synchrocyclotronus. He is assistant to Marcello Conversi at the University of Rome and since 1960 he has carried out research activities at Cern in Geneva, the largest laboratory in the world for high energy physics, of which he was later Director General from 1989 to 1994. In 1983, at the head of a group of one hundred physicists he discovered the particles responsible for weak interaction, also confirming the theory of unification of electromagnetic force and weak interaction in electroweak force. One year after this discovery he received the Nobel Prize for physics. Among other things, he was president of the Sincrotrone Light Laboratory in Trieste from 1986 to 1994. He continues to carry out research activities in the field of proton stability, fission, controlled nuclear fusion; he designed an engine (the 242 project) that using only 2.5 kg of Americio 242 can take a spaceship to the Red Planet in a much shorter time than the current engines.