"My testimony on Lord Patrick Blackett”

Wednesday 30th April 2014 @ 14:00

by Professor Antonino Zichichi, President of the World Federation of Scientists

The life and times of Lord Blackett, Nobel Laureate and formerly President of the Royal Society, from a former student

An incredible sequence of unexpected events allowed me to become one of the pupils of Professor Blackett. This has been of vital importance not only for my career in Physics but also for my activities including the establishment of the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture in Erice, the World Lab projects implemented in many developing countries and the scientific culture endeavours to let people know the role of scientific discoveries in everyday life.

Professor Blackett was convinced that it is us, the physicists, who must be engaged directly to let people, outside our labs, know what is the role of Science for the progress of our Civilization. The scientific discovery at the 1st level of Galilean Science is the real motor for the progress in technological inventions that allow the quality of life to the be at the level it is today.

It is thanks to Lord Blackett that I had the privilege to spend an evening with Bertrand Russell and know his views on us physicists engaged at the frontiers of human knowledge in order to understand the Logic of Nature. It is always thanks to Professor Blackett that I learned the existence of the “Blackett effect” which allowed the British Navy to win the Mediterranean battle which liberated Malta during the 2nd World War.

The purpose of this lecture is to pay tribute to a physicist who has played a vital role in the discovery of the Subnuclear Universe and in the promotion of Scientific Culture.

Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of Advanced Physics at the University of Bologna, has authored over 1100 scientific papers which include: the discoveries of nuclear antimatter and the effective energy in quantum chromodynamics; the invention of high-precision electronic circuits for time-of-flight measurements and ideas leading to the discovery of the Third Lepton.

The great projects of European Physics: LEP and LHC at CERN, GRAN SASSO at INFN, HERA at DESY are all linked to his name. He has served as President of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (Italy) and the European Physical Society.

He is President of the Ettore Majorana Center for Scientific Culture in Erice and of the World Federation of Scientists. He has written 20 books; received 100 Prizes and awarded honours, distinctions and medals in 15 Countries.

Venue: Clore Theatre, Huxley Building, 180 Queen's Gate