- Carlo Rubbia
name = Carlo Rubbia
caption = Carlo Rubbia
March 31, 1934
Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Nobel Prize in Physicsin 1984
Carlo Rubbia (born on
March 31, 1934in Gorizia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy) is an Italian physicist at CERNwho won the Nobel Prize in Physicsin 1984, a prize he shared with Simon van der Meer.
Rubbia received a PhD doing
cosmic rayexperiments at Scuola Normale in Pisain 1959. He then went to the United Stateswhere he spent about one and a half years at Columbia Universityperforming experiments on the decay and the nuclear capture of muons. This was the first of a long series of experiments which Rubbia has performed in the field of Weak Interactions and which culminated in the Noble Prize-winning work at CERN.
In 1961 he moved back to
Europe, attracted by the newly founded CERN where he worked on experiments on the structure of weak interactions. CERN had just commissioned a new type of accelerator, the Intersecting Storage Rings, using counter-rotating beams of protons colliding against each other. Rubbia and his collaborators conducted experiments there, again studying the weak force. The main results in this field were the observation of the structure in the elastic scattering process and the first observation of the charmed baryons. These experiments were crucial in order to perfect the techniques needed later for the discovery of more exotic particles in a different type of particle collider.
Experimental Physics Career
Early in 1983 at CERN, an international team of more than 100 physicists headed by Rubbia detected the intermediate vector bosons, the
W and Z bosons, which had become a cornerstone of modern theories of elementary particle physics, long before they were observed by Rubbia and collaborators. They are believed to carry the weak force that causes radioactive decayin the atomic nucleusand controls the combustion of the Sun, just as photons, massless particles of light, carry the electromagnetic forcewhich causes most physical and biochemical reactions. It is also believed that the weak force has played a fundamental role in the nucleosynthesisof the elements, as studied in cosmologyand the big bang. These particles have a mass almost 100 times greater than the proton.
To achieve energies high enough to create these particles, Rubbia proposed, together with David Cline [Currently at
UCLA] and Peter McIntyre [Currently at Texas A&M University] , a radically new particle accelerator design. They proposed to use a beam of protonsand a beam of antiprotons, their antimattertwins, counter rotating in the vacuum pipe of the accelerator and colliding head-on. As a result, scientists had to develop a number of techniques for creating antiprotons. These techniques were developed with Simon van der Meer, with whom Rubbia shared the 1984 Nobel Prize for Physics.
In addition to the observation of the intermediate vector mesons, the CERN proton-antiproton collider dominated the scene of high energy physics from its first operation in 1981 until its close in 2002, when the
Tevatronat Fermilabtook over this role. An entirely new phenomenology of high energy collisions has resulted, in which strong interaction phenomena are dominated by the exchange of the quanta of the strong force, the gluons, particles which are similar to the intermediate vector bosons, although, like the photons, they are apparently massless. Instead, the W and Z particles are among the heaviest particles so far produced in a particle accelerator.
Together, these discoveries provide strong evidence that theoretical physicists are on the right track in their efforts to describe Nature at its most basic level through the so-called "Standard Model". The data on the intermediate vector bosons confirm the predictions included in the "electroweak" theory, which gained the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics to Steven Weinberg, Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam. The "electroweak" theory attempts to unite two of the four forces of Nature - the weak and the electromagnetic forces - under the same set of equations. It provides the basis for work on the long-standing dream of the theoretical physicists, a "unified field theory", encompassing also the strong force which binds together the atomic nucleus, and ultimately, gravity.
In 1970 Rubbia was appointed Higgins Professor of Physics at
Harvard University( Cambridge, Massachusetts), where he spent one semester per year, while continuing his reserch activities at CERN. In 1989, he was appointed Director-General of the CERN Laboratory.
Rubbia has also been one of the leaders in a collaboration effort deep in the
Gran Sasso Laboratory, designed to detect any sign of decay of the proton. The experiment seeks evidence that would disprove the conventional belief that matter is stable. The most widely accepted version of the unified field theories predicts that protons do not last forever, but gradually decay into energy after an average lifetime of at least 10^32 years. The same experiment, known as ICARUS and based on a new technique of electronic detection of ionizing events in ultra-pure liquid Argon, is aiming at the direct detection of the neutrinos emitted from the Sun, a first rudimentary neutrino telescope to explore neutrino signals of cosmic nature. This innovative detector is now operational at the University of Pavia, awaiting for its transfer to the Gran Sasso Laboratory, where it will start collecting data in 2008.
Prof. Rubbia further proposed the concept of an
energy amplifier– a novel and safe way of producing nuclear energy exploiting present-day accelerator technologies, which is actively being studied worldwide in order to incinerate high activity waste from accelerators, and produce energy from natural thoriumand depleted uranium. The energy resources potentially deriving from these fuels will be practically unlimited and comparable to those from Fusion.
His research activities are presently concentrated on the problem of energy supply for the future, with particular focus on the development of new technologies for renewable energy sources. During his term as President of ENEA (1999 - 2005) he has developed a novel method for concentrating solar power at high temperatures for energy production, known as the
Archimedes Project, which is presently being developed by industry for commercial use.
Carlo Rubbia is currently principal Scientific Adviser of
CIEMAT( Spain), Adviser of the Italian Minister of the Environment, Land and Sea and one of the members of the high-level Advisory Group on Climate Changeset up by EU's President Barroso in 2007.
List of Directors General of CERN
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9064313?query=rubbia&ct= Article on Carlo Rubbia from Encyclopedia Britannica]
* [http://nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/1984/rubbia-autobio.html Nobel prize Autobiography]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Carlo Rubbia — Carlo Rubbia, 2005 Carlo Rubbia Carlo Rubbia (* 31. März 1934 in Gorizia … Deutsch Wikipedia
Carlo Rubbia — Carlo Rubbia, 2005. Carlo Rubbia (31 mars 1934 à Gorizia, Frioul Vénétie julienne, Italie ) est un physicien italien. Il est colauréat avec Simon van der Meer du prix Nobel de physique de 1984 … Wikipédia en Français
Carlo Rubbia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Carlo Rubbia Carlo Rubbia (Gorizia, Italia 1934) es un físico y profesor universitario italiano galardonado con el Premio Nobel de Física del año 1984. Contenido … Wikipedia Español
Physiknobelpreis 1984: Simon van der Meer — Carlo Rubbia — Der Italiener und der Niederländer wurden für ihre Verdienste ausgezeichnet, die zur Entdeckung der Feldpartikel W und Z geführt haben. Biografien Simon van der Meer, * Den Haag (Niederlande) 24. 11. 1925; 1945 52 Studium der Technischen… … Universal-Lexikon
RUBBIA (C.) — RUBBIA Carlo (1934 ) Carlo Rubbia est né en 1934 à Gorizia, petite ville de l’Italie du Nord située non loin de la frontière slovène. Son père, ingénieur, dirigeait la compagnie locale de téléphone et sa mère était institutrice. Enfant, il se… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Rubbia — Carlo Rubbia Carlo Rubbia (* 31. März 1934 in Gorizia) ist ein italienischer Physiker. Rubbia erhielt 1984 zusammen mit Simon van der Meer den Physik Nobelpreis „für ihre maßgeblichen Beiträge bei dem großen Projekt, das zur Entdeckung der… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Rubbia, Carlo — (1934– ) A scientist from Gorizia, on the border with Slovenia, Carlo Rubbia won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1984. Agraduate of the elite Scuola Normale di Pisa (although he was unsuccessful in his original application and was admitted only… … Historical Dictionary of modern Italy
Rubbia — Carlo … Scientists
Rubbia — Rubbia, Carlo … Enciclopedia Universal
Rubbia, Carlo — ▪ Italian physicist born March 31, 1934, Gorizia, Italy Italian physicist who in 1984 shared with Simon van der Meer (Meer, Simon van der) the Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery of the massive, short lived subatomic W particle and Z… … Universalium