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Enrico Fermi

( Italian physicist, one of the creators of nuclear and neutron physics)

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Biography Enrico Fermi
(1901 - 1954)
Italian physicist, one of the creators of nuclear and neutron physics, osnovat. scientific. schools in Italy and the U.S.. In 1938 he emigrated to the U.S.. Developed the quantum statistics (statistics FA - Dirac, 1925), the theory of beta decay (1934). One of the founders of quantum electrodynamics. Open (Joint. et al., 1934) Art. radioactivity induced by neutrons, slowing down of neutrons in matter. Built the first nuclear reactor and was first performed in it (December 2. 1942) chain reaction. In honor of the Fermi named chemical. element Fermin. Nob. pr. (1938).
Enrico Fermi, the man who designed the first nuclear reactor, was born in 1901 in Italy, Rome. He was an excellent student and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pisa before, as he was twenty-one year. For twenty-six years was a professor at the Fermi University of Rome. By the time he had already published his first work, which dealt with the difficult area of physics - quantum statistics. In this work, Fermi developed the statistical theory to describe the behavior of large clusters of particles, now known as fermions. Since the electrons, protons and neutrons - three "building blocks" that make up ordinary matter - are fermions, the Fermi theory is of great scientific importance. Equations scientist allowed us to better explore the nucleus of atoms, the behavior of degenerate matter (which takes place within some types of stars), the properties and behavior of metals - the theme obvious practical application.

. In 1933, Fermi formulated the theory of beta decay (like radioactivity), which comprises the first qualitative discussion of neutrinos and weak interactions - both now are important topics in physics
. Studies of this kind, although not readily understood by non-professionals, have the Fermi one of the leading physicists of the world. But his most important achievements were yet to come.

In 1932 the British physicist James Chadwick discovered a new subatomic particle - the neutron. Since 1934 Fermi took up the bombardment of many known chemical elements with neutrons. His experiments have shown that many types of atoms were able to absorb neutrons, and in many cases as a result of a nuclear transformation of atoms become radioactive. You'd think if the neutron is easier to penetrate into the nucleus, if it moves very quickly. But Fermi's experiments have shown quite the opposite - if the neutrons are first slowed its course, passing through the paraffin or water, it might be more suitable for atomic absorption. This discovery has found a very important application in nuclear reactors. The material used in them to slow down neutrons, is considered to be the moderator.

In 1938 a major study of neutron absorption Fermi won the Nobel Prize in Physics. But in Italy, he encountered difficulties. First of all, his wife was Jewish, and Italian fascist government adopted a series of tough anti-Semitic laws. Secondly, the Fermi hated fascism - a dangerous relationship with the dictatorial regime of Mussolini. In December 1938 he went to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize and not returned to Italy. Fermi went to New York, where Columbia University, considered it an honor to take in your home state of one of the greatest scientists of the world. In 1944 Fermi became a citizen of the United States.
At the beginning of 1939, Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann stated that the absorption of neutrons can sometimes cause the splitting of uranium atoms. When you report on this phenomenon, the Fermi (as well as several other leading physicists) immediately realized that the splitting of an atom of uranium can release enough neutrons to start a chain reaction. Moreover, he (again like many others) soon saw in this chain reaction of enormous opportunities offered by military. By March 1939 the Fermi contact with the U.S. navy command and tried to interest the creation of nuclear weapons. But only a few months later, after Albert Einstein wrote a letter about this to President Roosevelt, the United States drew attention to nuclear power.

. When the U.S. government is interested the opportunity to make an atomic bomb, scientists first task was to create a prototype nuclear reactor, to ensure the possibility of self-sustaining chain reaction
. As Enrico Fermi was the world's leading authority on the study of neutrons, and because it combined the talents of the experimenter and theorist, he was elected leader of the group to create the world's first nuclear reactor. First he worked at Columbia University, then at the University of Chicago. It was in Chicago on Dec. 2, 1942 first began to operate a nuclear reactor, designed and built under the direction of the Fermi. This was the true beginning of the atomic era, since the first time humanity has successfully implemented a chain reaction. The report on the successful test was immediately sent to England with the incomprehensible, but the prophetic words: "The Italian navigator has entered a new world". Following this successful test, it was decided to move full speed ahead with Manhattan tenskim projects (atomic bomb). Fermi continued to play an important role in this project as a scientific consultant.

After the war he became a professor at the University of Chicago. Fermi died in 1954. He was married and had two children. Fermium - chemical element under the number 100 - is named in his honor.

Fermi was an important figure for several reasons. First of all, he certainly was one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century and one of the few who became famous and as an experimentalist and a theoretician. This article discusses only a few of his scientific achievements, but in fact during his career, he has written over 250 scientific articles.

. Secondly, Fermi was a very important figure in the creation of the atomic bomb, although in this event played an equally important role and some other people.

. But the main value of the Fermi level lies in the role he played in the invention of nuclear reactor
. It is obvious that he belongs in the main merit. He first made a major contribution to the basic theory, and then led the design and construction of the first reactor.

. Since 1945, nuclear weapons are not used in wars, but it was built a huge number of nuclear reactors to produce energy for peaceful purposes
. In the future, it seems, these reactors will become more important sources of energy. Moreover, some reactors are used to produce useful radioisotopes, which are used in medicine and scientific research. Also reactors are a source of plutonium - a substance that can be used to create atomic weapons. There is an understandable fear that a nuclear reactor can be a great danger to humanity, but nobody believes this invention minimis. For better or unfortunately, but the work of Fermi, it seems, has a huge impact on mankind for many years.


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