Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Giuseppe Mussardo, professor of theoretical physics at  SISSA - Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati - is making a documentary on the extraordinary story of the nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo, with the help of Luisa Bonolis, who is an expert on the historical parts of Pontecorvo's life, and Diego Cenetiempo, the movie director.

The INFN (Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics), SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) and ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics) are the scientific Institutions that are providing the funds for the project. But you can also support it!!

"On September 1, 1950, at the dawn of the Cold War, the nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo suddenly disappeared. His defection created a real political earthquake in Europe and in the USA: Pontecorvo was in fact a scientist known around the world for his expertise in the very delicate area of nuclear research. The story of his disappearance is one of the most fascinating mysteries of the cold war and the atomic era, with many questions still unanswered: if for someone he was a spy who revealed important atomic secrets to the Russians, for others he was a loyal socialist, who decided to join the USSR for the purpose of serving science with peaceful research on the secrets of Nature.
The movie aims to present the singular figure of this scientist, whose scientific adventure began with Enrico Fermi in Rome in the early 1930s and moved on making him one of the world experts of nuclear physics and a visionary scientist in the field of weak interactions and neutrino physics.
Born on 22nd of September 1913 in a Jewish family in Pisa, brother of the famous biologist Guido and the movie director Gillo, Bruno Pontecorvo’s life was strongly interlaced with 20th century history and the development of particle physics.
He fled fascist Italy to join in 1938 the group of Frédéric Joliot-Curie in Paris and, when the II World War broke in, he moved to the USA miraculously escaping on a bicycle from Paris occupied by the Nazis troops,. There, he got employed in oil companies in Oklahoma and, after the war, he firstly joined the nuclear program in Canada and later in England.
His defection to the URSS in 1950 was a turning point of his life. He worked until his death in Dubna, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, focusing all his energies to the studies of high energy particles and, in particular, of the most elusive particle, the neutrino. In all his life, Pontecorvo was always at the frontiers of science, often being much ahead of his time for his scientific ideas, which were constantly related to fundamental phenomena. He had exceptional scientific intuitions, which went hand in hand with his brilliant qualities as an experimental physicist; his experiments and their design were always masterpieces. For these reasons Bruno Pontecorvo is an extraordinary ideal for present and future generations of physicists."

Follow the project on the website of the Pilgrim Film production, in the dedicated page:
Visit also their  Vimeo channel:
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