Emilio Gino Segrč (1905-1989)


Physicist of both Italian and American nationalities, winner of Physics Nobel Prize of 1959, together with Owen Chamberlain, for proving the existence of the antiproton, Segrč was born in Tivoli, a town near Rome, in February 1st 1905, and died in Lafayette, California, in April 22nd 1989.

Segrč entered the University of Rome in 1922 as engineering student, and than changed to Physics, being Enrico Fermi's first Ph.D. student. After the military service in the Italian army, returned to the University as assistant, and later as associate professor of Physics.

After moving to the United States, Segrč became researcher in the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory of the University of California. From 1943 to 1946 he led the Manhattan Project, in Los Alamos, working again with Fermi in developing the atomic bomb.

Segrč and Chamberlain proved the existence of the antiproton, in 1955, while trying to create antiprotons (protons with negative charge instead of the normal positive charge) in a powerful particle accelerator. This discovery represented an important step in determining the structure of matter and the origin of the Universe.