Gabriele Veneziano

Gabriele Veneziano

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Gabriele Veneziano, born in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

), is an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 theoretical physicist
Theoretical physics
Theoretical physics is a branch of physics which employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena...

 and the founder of string theory
String theory
String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. It is a contender for a theory of everything , a manner of describing the known fundamental forces and matter in a mathematically complete system...

. . Has spent most of his scientific activities at CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

 in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 2004 he holds the Chair of Elementary Particles, Gravitation and Cosmology at the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

 in Paris.

Background


Gabriele Veneziano was born in Florence, Italy where he graduated (Italian Laurea) in Theoretical Physics under the direction of Professor Raoul Gatto. He pursued his doctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science
Weizmann Institute of Science
The Weizmann Institute of Science , known as Machon Weizmann, is a university and research institute in Rehovot, Israel. It differs from other Israeli universities in that it offers only graduate and post-graduate studies in the sciences....

 in Rehovot, Israel and obtained his Ph.D. in 1967 under the supervision of Hector Rubinstein. During his stay in Israel and his early years at MIT, he collaborated with Marco Ademollo (a professor in Florence) Miguel Virasoro
Miguel Angel Virasoro
Miguel Angel Virasoro is an Argentine physicist who did most of his work in Italy. The Virasoro algebra is named after him. Together with Giorgio Parisi and Marc Mezard he discovered the...

. andSergio Fubini
Sergio Fubini
Sergio Fubini was an Italian theoretical physicist. He was one of the pioneers of string theory. Politically he engaged himself actively for peace in the Middle East.- Biography :...

.

Between 1968 and 1972 he worked at MIT and CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

. In 1972 he became Amos de Shalit Professor of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science and in 1976 he accepted a position in the Theory Division at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland where he worked for more than 30 years. He currently holds the chair of Elementary Particle
Elementary particle
In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle not known to have substructure; that is, it is not known to be made up of smaller particles. If an elementary particle truly has no substructure, then it is one of the basic building blocks of the universe from which...

s, Gravitation
Gravitation
Gravitation, or gravity, is a natural phenomenon by which physical bodies attract with a force proportional to their mass. Gravitation is most familiar as the agent that gives weight to objects with mass and causes them to fall to the ground when dropped...

 and Cosmology
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

 at the College of France in Paris, France.

Research


The rudiments of string theory were first formulated in 1968, when Veneziano discovered a string picture could describe the interaction of strongly interacting particles. Veneziano discovered that the Euler
Leonhard Euler
Leonhard Euler was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist. He made important discoveries in fields as diverse as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion...

 Beta function, interpreted as a scattering amplitude
Scattering amplitude
In quantum physics, the scattering amplitude is the amplitude of the outgoing spherical wave relative to the incoming plane wave in the stationary-state scattering process...

, has many of the features needed to explain the physical properties of strongly interacting particles. This amplitude, known as the Veneziano amplitude
Veneziano amplitude
In theoretical physics, the Veneziano amplitude refers to the discovery made in 1968 by Italian theoretical physicist Gabriele Veneziano that the Euler beta function, when interpreted as a scattering amplitude, has many of the features needed to explain the physical properties of strongly...

, is interpreted as the scattering amplitude for four open string tachyon
Tachyon
A tachyon is a hypothetical subatomic particle that always moves faster than light. In the language of special relativity, a tachyon would be a particle with space-like four-momentum and imaginary proper time. A tachyon would be constrained to the space-like portion of the energy-momentum graph...

s. In retrospect this work is now considered the founding of string theory
String theory
String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. It is a contender for a theory of everything , a manner of describing the known fundamental forces and matter in a mathematically complete system...

 although at the time it was not apparent the string picture would lead to a new theory of quantum gravity.

Veneziano's work led to intense research to try to explain the strong force by a field theory of strings about one fermi in length. The rise of quantum chromodynamics
Quantum chromodynamics
In theoretical physics, quantum chromodynamics is a theory of the strong interaction , a fundamental force describing the interactions of the quarks and gluons making up hadrons . It is the study of the SU Yang–Mills theory of color-charged fermions...

, a rival explanation of the strong force, led to a temporary loss of interest in string theories until the 1980s when interest was revived.

In 1991, he published a paper that shows how an inflationary cosmological model can be obtained from string theory, thus opening the door to a description of pre-big bang scenarios
String cosmology
String cosmology is a relatively new field that tries to apply equations of string theory to solve the questions of early cosmology. A related area of study is brane cosmology ....

.

Society Memberships

  • National Academy of Sciences of Turin (1994);
  • Lincei National Academy (1996);
  • French Academy of Sciences
    French Academy of Sciences
    The French Academy of Sciences is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research...

     (2002).

Awards

  • I. Ya. Pomeranchuk Prize, Moscow
    Moscow
    Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

    , 1999
  • Gold medal della Repubblica Italiana come Benemerito della Cultura, 2000
  • Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics is an award given each year since 1959 jointly by the American Physical Society and American Institute of Physics. It is established by the Heineman Foundation in honour of Dannie Heineman...

    , from the American Physical Society
    American Physical Society
    The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20...

    , 2004
  • Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Physical Society, 2005
  • Albert Einstein Medal
    Albert Einstein Medal
    The Albert Einstein Medal is an award presented by the Albert Einstein Society in Bern. First given in 1979, the award is presented to people who have "rendered outstanding services" in connection with Albert Einstein each year.- Recipients :...

    , Albert Einstein Institute, Bern, Switzerland, 2006
  • Oskar Klein Medal, 2007
  • Commendatore al merito della Repubblica Italiana, 2007
  • James Joyce Award
    James Joyce Award
    The James Joyce Award is an award given by the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin for those who have achieved outstanding success in their given field...

    , University College Dublin, 2009
  • Felice Pietro Chisesi and Caterina Tomassoni Prize, 2009