For years I have wanted to visit my grandfather’s lab on Via Panisperna in Rome. Events transpired to make the first visit today, on the anniversary of Enrico Fermi’s birth 110 years ago.
It was here where he taught quantum mechanics, gathering some of Italy’s brightest rising stars around him; and where, with the collaboration of these same students, he did his Nobel Prize winning work bombarding elements with slow neutrons. The tools and methods they used to explore radioactivity back in the 1930’s were rustic to say the least.
In this little 6 min video: tour of building now under construction – in three years will reopen as Centro Fermi, including radioactive? goldfish pond and a toast to Enrico. Enjoy!
UPDATE: Oct 7, 2011 – Thanks to Mark Haney! for cleaning up the sound and adding Respighi track to the Via Panisperna Enrico Fermi video (Mark’s comment below).