On Sunday, December 9 Riccardo Giacconi passed away. He was the father of X-ray astronomy and Nobel Prize in physics in 2002 for his contributions in that field. In 1962 Riccardo Giacconi discovered the first extraterrestrial X-ray source, named Scorpius X-1. In 1970 he oversaw the launch of NASA’s Uhuru satellite, the first specialized in X-ray astronomy, followed in the following decades by increasingly sophisticated stellites such as the Einstein Observatory (HEAO-2) in 1978, designed while Giacconi was director of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, to NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in 1999.
Richard Phillips Feynman was born on May 11, 1918 in New York, USA. Richard Feynman developed the mathematical tools that allowed him to arrive at quantum electrodynamics, the theory for which in 1965 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics. Over the years he received a number of national and international awards up to the National Medal of Science in 1979.
Richard Feynman died on February 15, 1988, leaving a considerable legacy in the scientific field for his contributions and also as a popularizer. In the following years he was remembered in various ways with tributes, biographies, new editions of his autobiographical works and much more.
A collaboration between the American University of Princeton and the Israeli Hebrew University of Jerusalem allowed to put on line over 80,000 pages of documents written by Albert Einstein in the Digital Einstein project. The documents correspond to a set of paper books published in recent years by the Princeton University Press.
That’s not the only project that aims to make all the writings of the great scientist available. In recent years the University of Jerusalem created the “Einstein Archives Online”. Both projects are carried out with the collaboration of CalTech and include not only scientific papers but also letters and other personal writings.
Carlo Rubbia was born on March 31, 1934 in Gorizia, Italy. As a physicist, he carried out a lot of research at CERN, where he discovered the W and Z bosons, which earned him the Nobel Prize for physics. He’s still active with various projects that go from pure physics to alternative energy.
Yesterday Frederick Sanger died. He was a British biochemist described by many as one of a fathers of genetics and one of the greatest scientists in the world and not only of his generation. Born in 1918, he received two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry: one in 1958 and one in 1980.