Pontecorvo, Bruno

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pontecorvo, Bruno


(in Russian, Bruno Maksimovich Pontekorvo). Born Aug. 22, 1913, in Pisa, Italy. Soviet physicist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1964; corresponding member, 1958). Member of the CPSU since 1955.

After graduating from the University of Rome, Pontecorvo first worked there in E. Fermi’s group and later at the Radium Institute in Paris. In the period 1940–50 he worked in the USA, Canada, and Great Britain. In 1950, Pontecorvo moved to the USSR. That same year he joined the staff of the Institute of Nuclear Problems of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Since 1956 he has been working at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. His main works deal with the moderation of neutrons and their capture by nuclei, nuclear isomerism, the physics of weak interactions, the physics of the neutrino, and astrophysics. Pontecorvo proposed the method of neutron logging for prospecting for oil and a method of neutrino detection used in the study of the sun. He proposed the use of neutrino beams from accelerators to investigate the fundamental properties of neutrinos.

Pontecorvo received the Lenin Prize in 1963 and the State Prize of the USSR in 1954. He has also been awarded two Orders of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.


Aleksandrov, A. P. “Bruno Pontekorvo (K 60-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia).” Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1973, vol. III, issue 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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