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A Biography on Enrico Fermi

  • Date Submitted: 01/09/2014 09:16 PM
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Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1938 for his discovery of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation and also for his discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons. The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. From 1901 the prizes have been awarded at a formal ceremony held on December 10 at Sweden, Stockholm.

Birth and education
Enrico Fermi was born on September 29, 1901 in Rome, Italy. He was the son of Alberto Fermi and Ida de Gattis. His father was a Chief Inspector in the Ministry of Communications. He studied at a local grammar school. From an early age he showed an aptitude for mathematics and physics. He was greatly encouraged by his father’s colleagues especially A. Amidei. In 1918 as he was an intelligent student he won a fellowship to study at the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. In 1922 he obtained a doctorate in physics under the guidance of Professor Puccianti from the University of Pisa. The 17-year-old Fermi chose to derive and solve the partial differential equation for a vibrating rod, applying Fourier analysis in the solution. The examiner, Professor Giuseppe Pittarelli from the Sapienza University of Rome, interviewed Fermi and concluded that his entry would have been commendable even for a doctoral degree. Fermi achieved first place in the classification of the entrance exam.

Notable Awards    

                                              Matteucci Medal (1926)

                              Nobel Prize for Physics(1938)

                              Hughes Medal (1942)

                              Medal for Merit (1946)

                              Franklin Medal (1947)

                              Rumford Prize (1953)

Early career in Italy

In 1923 he was awarded a scholarship by the Italian government and spent a few months under the guidance of...


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