Rus Articles Journal

How Enrico Fermi opened for mankind a nuclear era?

On a wall of the building decaying from time in Chicago curious tourists can read an inscription on a memorial board: Here on December 2, 1942 the person for the first time carried out self-sustaining chain reaction and it laid the foundation to mastering the released atomic energy . And the Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi was this person.

Enrico was born on September 29, 1901 in Rome in a family of the railway employee. Surprising abilities at the boy were shown in the childhood when he struck teachers with knowledge of mathematics and physics. In 1918 he was admitted to the Higher normal school in Pisa (the name oddish for HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION), and then began to be engaged in parallel and at Pisa university. Soon he could already discuss as equals with university professors, and wrote diplomas at the same time in two HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS, and, chose for them the most difficult subjects connected with diffraction of X-rays and the theory of relativity. And in 1923 Fermi already considered the possibility of release of nuclear energy, a reasoning on this subject he stated in work Weight in the theory of relativity . And it on 23 - m to year of life!

Enrico was always distinguished by thirst of scientific knowledge. It specially goes to Germany to continue studying of theoretical physics at Max Born at the Goettingen university, then to Holland to deepen knowledge at Leiden university under the leadership of Paul Erenfest.

In 24 years Fermi is invited in the Florentine university to give lectures on mechanics and mathematical physics. At the same time young scientist is engaged itself much, conducting serious scientific researches. In 1926 he developed the new kind of statistical mechanics allowing to describe behavior of electrons that gave the chance better to understand conductivity of metals. His authority promptly grew in the scientific environment. In 27 years he headed department of theoretical physics at the Roman university, and in two years became the member of Royal academy of Italy.

In the thirties the mankind was on the threshold of new outstanding discoveries, Enrico Fermi who was engaged in profound studying of an atomic nucleus should make many of which. In 1933 it put forward the theory a beta - disintegration which allowed to explain the processes happening in an atomic nucleus. And in 1935 predicted existence of a new elementary particle pi - a mezon (peony).

In 1938 Fermi awarded the Nobel Prize on physics for proofs of existence of the new radioactive elements received at radiation by neutrons and the opening of the nuclear reactions caused by slow neutrons " connected with it;. Exactly thanks to it nuclear researches entered a new phase. Same year he decided to leave Italy where the fascism, in the USA gained strength. Columbia University offered the scientist a position of professor of physics.

In 1939 Fermi stated idea at which the American military right there grasped, he assumed a possibility of creation of atomic weapons on the basis of the chain reaction giving enormous allocation of energy. For continuation of the researches capable to give to America the weapon of unknown power, allocated to the scientist federal financing. You should not forget that officially Fermi had the status " at this time; the foreigner - the citizen of the hostile power . But in the Manhattan project created in 1942 to it charged to head research of chain reaction and receiving plutonium. Under its management at the Chicago university started creation of the first-ever nuclear reactor. Built it, by the way, under stands of university stadium.

Terms surprise, already on December 2, 1942 on the reactor the first-ever self-sustaining chain reaction was started. The Nobel laureate physicist John Kokroft told about this event subsequently: It was clear that Fermi opened a door in an atomic age . And it not just opened it, he widely opened this door, in 2,5 years (on July 16, 1945) in the USA atomic explosion was made, and in August the American atomic bombs incinerated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Perhaps, carrying out revenged Fermi for these explosions in which and he was involved. Its course of life was interrupted when it was only 53 years old. The scientist in Chicago died on November 30, 1954. Enrico Fermi was the outstanding scientist and not his fault, and trouble that in our cruel world discoveries are used often not for the mankind benefit. In memory of it 100 - y the element of periodic table opened in a year after death of the scientist was called fermium.