Professor Carlo Rubbia

Nobel Laureate in Phisics, Member of the Advisory Board of Atomium Culture

Carlo Rubbia was born in Gorizia on 31st March 1934. He graduated in Physics at Scuola Normale of Pisa. In 1959 he obtained his PhD from Columbia University (USA).

Since 1961 he has been working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva. In 1976, he suggested adapting CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) to collide protons and antiprotons in the same ring and the world’s first antiproton factory was built. The collider started running in 1981 and, in early 1983, an international team of more than 100 physicists headed by Rubbia and known as the UA1 Collaboration, detected the intermediate vector bosons.

In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. From 1972 to 1989 Carlo Rubbia has held the Higgins Professorship of Physics at Harvard University. He was the President of Sincrotrone Trieste – Synchrotron Light Radiation Source (1986 -1994), the company in charge of building ELETTRA, one of the first third-generation synchrotron radiation sources in the
world, together with Berkeley and Grenoble.

During the 1990s Rubbia proposed the concept of an energy amplifier (ADS) – a novel and safe way of producing practically unlimited nuclear energy exploiting present-day accelerator technologies from natural thorium and depleted uranium. The energy resources potentially deriving from this technology, which is actively being studied worldwide, will be practically unlimited and non-proliferating.

During his term as President of ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment (1999-2005), he developed a novel method for concentrating solar power at high temperatures for energy production, known as the Archimedes Project, which is presently being developed by industry for commercial use.

From 2005 to 2009 he was the principal Scientific Adviser of the Spanish Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), since 2007 he was a member of the high-level Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change set up by EU’s President Barroso. In 2009 he was appointed Special Adviser for Energy to the Secretary General of ECLAC, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Since June 2010 he is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS e.V.) in Potsdam.

Carlo Rubbia has received numerous honours, amongst which, the Italian “Cavaliere di Gran Croce” in 1985, the French “Officier de la Légion d’Honneur” in 1989 and the Polish Order of Merit in 1993. He is a member of numerous academies and holds 30 honorary degrees. He is the author of more than 500 scientific papers.