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Physics Colloquium: Enrico Fermi: The Pope of Physics

September 9, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

When: Thursday, November 30, 2017 4:005:15 p.m.
Where: Kersten Physics Teaching Center, Maria Goeppert-Mayer Lecture Hall
Description: Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin, co-authors of The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age, will discuss Fermi’s personal life and his scientific contributions and illustrate how he was shaped by history and how he, in turn, shaped history.

Enrico Fermi has been called the last scientist who knew all of physics, having attained the heights of the profession as a theorist and experimentalist. Unique in numerous ways, this 20th century physicist was entirely self-taught; the breadth and depth of his research remain unparalleled. Fermi’s 1938 Nobel Prize was picked up en route in his flight from fascist Italy with his Jewish wife and children to a new life in America. In 1942 he became the lead scientist in the University of Chicago experiment that produced the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, a key precursor to building the atomic bomb. His role in the success of the Manhattan Project was critical.

Legendarily apolitical, Fermi was reluctantly involved in American political decision making during the war and afterwards. The many challenges he faced, including the tensions between politics and science, are still relevant today.

Learn more about the authors: https://physics.uchicago.edu/segre-hoerlin

This event will be followed by a reception.

This event is part of Nuclear Reactions, a series of public events beginning in fall 2017 to commemorate and discuss the complex legacy of what transpired on December 2, 1942. http://nuclearreactions.uchicago.edu

Cost: Free and open to the public
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Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787.
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September 9, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Kersten Physics Teaching Center
5488 S Ellis Ave, Chicago
Chicago, IL 60615 United States
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