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Remembering Fermi: His Years at the University of Chicago

October 16, 2015 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Enrico Fermi was one of the many remarkable physicists of the first half of the twentieth century. Born September 29, 1901, his short career can be roughly divided into three periods. The first, in the late 20’s, involved the application of quantum theory to statistical mechanics and the proper description to radioactive beta deca. In the thirties he studied the production of nuclei by systematic bombardment of elements with slow neutrons. In January, 1939, after receiving the Nobel prize he moved to Columbia University and eventually the University of Chicago where he led the first nuclear chain reaction. After the war in 1945 he returned to Chicago and led theoretical and experimental research until his untimely death in 1954. This year the University of Chicago is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and the Fermi years are a memorable part of its history.

In this talk, Dr. Jim Cronin will describe Fermi’s research at the university, important correspondence from his archives, his remarkable students and faculty, and the intense physics environment created by his leadership.

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Dr. Jim Cronin, Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and 1980 recipient for the Nobel Prize in Physics, was a graduate student at the University of Chicago under Dr. Enrico Fermi. Prior to his tenure at the University of Chicago, Dr. Cronin also taught at Princeton University and worked at Brookhaven Natinoal Laboratory. Major experimental accomplishments include the discovery of CP violation with the collaboration of Christenson, Fitch and Turlay and the creation of the Pierre Auger cosmic ray observatory with Alan Watson, Leeds University and Murat Boratav, University of Paris VI. Dr. Cronin recently edited Fermi Remembered, a tribute to Enrico Fermi.


October 16, 2015
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Fermilab, Wilson Hall
Road a-1
Batavia, IL 60510 United States