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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Bruno Rossi (1908-1993) was an Italian physicist.

Rossi was a promising young scientist when his career was redirected by politics. Not long after graduating from the University of Bologna, he was forced to leave the country. Rossi’s Jewish faith made him the target of new Italian racial laws imposed as a result of the country’s alliance with Nazi Germany.

After being exiled from Italy, Rossi journeyed to Denmark and England before eventually reuniting with Enrico Fermi, another ousted Italian physicist, in the United States. He stayed with Fermi in Chicago for a few months before beginning a professorship at Cornell University.

Rossi’s time at Cornell came to end in 1943 when he was invited by Hans Bethe to join him at Los Alamos to help work on the Manhattan Project. Rossi leapt at the opportunity and, with Hans Staub, became the leader of the diagnostic “Detector Group.” Perhaps the most important task accomplished by the group was the development of equipment to record gamma radiation at the Trinity test site.

After the war, Rossi became a professor at MIT, where he would remain for several decades.

Bruno Rossi's Timeline
1905 Apr 13th Born in Venice, Italy.
1931 Received a laurea from the University of Bologna.
1938 Pressured to leave Italy because of new Italian racial laws.
1943 Jul Moved to Los Alamos to begin working on the Manhattan Project.
1946 Feb Began teaching at MIT.
1993 Nov 21st Died in Cambridge, MA.

Bruno Rossi

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