"How Fermi Became Fermi." by David Schwartz (D N Schwartz & Co)

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Thursdays, 3:30-4:30 pm

1-434 Physics and Astronomy (map)
Reception from 3:30-4:00 p.m.
(unless otherwise posted)


Guest Speaker: David Schwartz (D N Schwartz & Co)


Talk Title:  “How Fermi Became Fermi.”


Enrico Fermi was one of the most significant figures of 20th century physics, with major contributions across a wide range of sub-disciplines. How did Fermi become Fermi? Drawing on research undertaken in preparation for his recently published biography of Fermi, “The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age” (Basic Books, December 2017) David N. Schwartz will discuss the development of Fermi as a physicist; the role of nature, nurture, and historical circumstance in his career; and the characteristics behind both his strengths and his weaknesses. Are great physicists born, do they make themselves, or do others make them? How does the accident of one’s birth influence a career like Fermi’s? What was it that enabled Fermi to continue to contribute to the field well beyond the age when many great physicists are content to rest on their previous achievements?


For more information, contact Jay Hauser


We thank the following people for their contributions to the wine fund for the post-colloquium reception:
Prof. Dolores Bozovic, Prof. Robijn Bruinsma, Prof. Wesley Campbell, Prof. Bob Cousins, Prof. Jay Hauser, Prof. Eric Hudson, Robert Huff, Prof. HongWen Jiang, Prof. Alex Kusenko, Prof. John Miao, Prof. George Morales, Prof. Pietro Musumeci, Prof. Christoph Niemann, Prof. Rene Ong, Prof. James Rosenzweig, Prof. David Saltzberg, and Prof. Jean Turner.

1-434 PAB