Segrè, Emilio

Segrè, Emilio,

1905–89, Italian-American physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Rome, 1928. Segrè was a professor at the Univ. of Rome (1932–36), a researcher at the Univ. of California, Berkeley (1936–43), and group leader in the Los Alamos Laboratory of the Manhattan Project (1943–46). In 1946 he returned to Berkeley, where he remained on the faculty until his retirement in 1972. Segrè and Owen ChamberlainChamberlain, Owen,
1920–2006, American physicist, b. San Francisco, Calif., Ph.D. Univ. of Chicago, 1948. He was on the faculty at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, from 1949 until his retirement in 1989, when he was named professor emeritus.
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 shared the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physics for producing and identifying the antiproton, a subatomic particle identical to the protonproton,
elementary particle having a single positive electrical charge and constituting the nucleus of the ordinary hydrogen atom. The positive charge of the nucleus of any atom is due to its protons.
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 but with a negative electrical charge. Their 1955 finding set the stage for the discovery of many additional antiparticlesantiparticle,
elementary particle corresponding to an ordinary particle such as the proton, neutron, or electron, but having the opposite electrical charge and magnetic moment.
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, and antiprotons have since become an integral part of high-energy physics experiments.
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Segrè, Emilio (Gino)

(1905–89) physicist; born in Tivoli, Italy. He discovered the slow neutron with Enrico Fermi at the University of Rome (1930–35), before moving to the University of Palermo (1935–38). A Jewish anti-Fascist, he left Mussolini's regime for the University of California: Berkeley (1938–72). There his work on synthesizing artificial atoms resulted in his isolation of fissionable plutonium (with Glenn Seaborg, 1940). After serving on the Manhattan Project (1943–46), Segrè discovered the antiproton (with Owen Chamberlain, 1955), for which the two shared the 1959 Nobel Prize in physics. Segrè continued his research in particle physics and worked to promote nuclear weapons bans.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.