Copyright © Luisa Bonolis 2009-2015 All Rights Reserved

Luisa Bonolis

Research Interests

  1. Punti elenco Between 1996 and 2015, I collected long oral history interviews with leading figures of the 20th-century Italian physics, many of which have been prepared for publication and are featured in the volumes Fisici italiani del tempo presente. Storie di vita e di pensiero (Italian Physicists of the present time. Stories of life and thought) (edited by  L.B. and M.G. Melchionni – Marsilio, Venice, 2003), and Maestri e allievi nella fisica italiana del Novecento (Masters and Pupils in the Italian Physics of the 20th Century) (edited by L. B., pp. 650, 20 authors, Pavia 2008).

  2. Punti elenco A special series of interviews were used in part in the documentary film Bruno Touschek and the Art of Physics (with director Enrico Agapito).

  3. Punti elenco During 2006–2009 I collaborated with the Physics Department of Pisa University at the realization of an oral history project interviewing Elio Fabri, Italo Mannelli, Carlo Bemporad, Erseo Polacco, Luciano Bertanza, Giorgio Bellettini, Lorenzo Foà, Adalberto Giazotto. The interviews have been published in the volume Storie di Uomini e Quarks (edited by L. B. and C. Bemporad, SIF 2012)

  4. Punti elenco During the period 2001–2009, I worked at retrieving and depositing in Italian archives personal papers and manuscripts of Italian physicists who operated during the period 1930s to 1970s such as Giovanni Polvani and Carlo Salvetti. I collected in particular books and papers which belonged to Giovanni Gentile jr (son of the well known philosoper Giovanni Gentile), and prepared a complete catalogue depositing all the material in the Archives of the Physics Department of Rome University Sapienza.

  5. Punti elenco Particularly interested in emphasizing the importance of Italian physicists in the scientific culture and history of the 20th century, I have always worked in the direction of writing essays on the scientific work of personalities such as Enrico Fermi, Bruno Rossi, Giovanni Gentile Jr, Ettore Majorana, Bruno Pontecorvo, Bruno Touschek, Edoardo Amaldi, Enrico Persico.

  6. Punti elenco The research work underlying the Ph.D. dissertation (Bruno Rossi and Cosmic Rays: from Earth Laboratories to Physics in Space) was focused on a very detailed analysis of Bruno Rossi’s scientific work during the period ranging from the end of the 1920s to the beginning of the 1960s. The research was mainly based on Bruno Rossi Papers preserved in the Archives of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as on oral history interviews. Following this work I published many articles on specific issues related to Bruno Rossi’s life and science.

  7. Punti elenco My work has also dealt with aspects of the history of internationalism of physics during the 20th century. On this issue I organized with M. Leone and N. Robotti the Symposium Internationalism of physics during the 1920s and 1930s: formation of a European research network and its impact in the development and dissemination of the European scientific culture within the IV International Conference of the European Society for the History of Science (Barcelona, 18-20 November 2010). The research project carried out at Deutsches Museum Archives during the period January–June 2011 was focused on Arnold Sommerfeld’s correspondence and his relationships with Italian scientists. An article on Bruno Rossi and international cooperation during the 1930s has focused on the role of theoretical discussions and of the exchange of knowledge about experimental practices for the early development of cosmic ray physics during the 1930s (International scientific cooperation during the 1930s. Bruno Rossi and the development of the status of cosmic rays into a branch of physics, Annals of Science 71(3) (2014) 355-409).

  8. Punti elenco  Since 2003 I worked at a reconstruction of Bruno Touschek’s life and sciences, and particularly of his role in the birth and development of the first electron-positron collider AdA in Frascati National Laboratories. During the last years this activity has been carried out in collaboration with Giulia Pancheri, with whom I shared the 2011 Prize for the History of Physics of the Italian Physical Society. At the moment we are aiming at a detailed reconstruction regarding Bruno Touschek’s involvement in Widerøe’s betatron project as well as with the Italian-French collaboration on AdA during the period 1962-1964. We are now preparing a volume with unpublished correspondence and original drawings.

  9. Punti elenco The article “La nascita e gli sviluppi della ricerca sui plasmi e sulla fusione nucleare in Italia” (The birth and development of research on plasma and nuclear fusion in Italy) [MIT (LNS) Report HEP 11/01 (December 15, 2010) and Analysis 3-4 (2010) 27-44)] written in collaboration with Franca Magistrelli, one of the pioneers of fusion research in Italy, was followed by a more detailed reconstruction of the birth and early research activity of the “Laboratorio Gas Ionizzati” during the period 1957–1960. The long essay “Edoardo Amaldi, Enrico Persico e la nascita delle ricerche sulla fusione in Italia” (Edoardo Amaldi, Enrico Persico and the birth of fusion research in Italy) resulting from this further research activity is based on unpublished documents and correspondence preserved in Edoardo Amaldi and Enrico Persico archives at Physics Department of Sapienza University in Rome. For this work I have been awarded the 2011 Edoardo Amaldi Prize for the History of Physics. An upgraded version has been published in the volume Il sogno di Prometeo (Barbieri 2012).

  10. Punti elenco  Between 2012 and 2013 I was involved in a research project on the life and science of Bruno Pontecorvo, funded by the National Institute for Nuclear Physics,  Sapienza University of Rome, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) and International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste. An international conference has been organized and the proceedings have been published in the volume Bruno Pontecorvo. The man and the scientist (L. Bonolis, C. Dionisi and N. Robotti eds. SIF 2014)

  11. Punti elenco  My research activity at Max Planck Istitute for the History of Science (Berlin, Department I) is at the moment focused on the emergence of relativistic astrophysics within the Renaissance of General Relativity during the 1950s and 1960s.

Max Ernst, Forêt, 1927

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Wolfgang Pauli

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