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Biography

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy, on September 29, 1901, to Alberto Fermi. Since his early ages in his life Fermi was really passionate about Physics, and used to study and enjoy it with his brother Giulio. His mom was able to create a pressure cooker by herself. after the death of his brother Giulio, Fermi was really down and in order to distract himself he started his deep scientific studies and as his wife narrates, he read two books of physics so passionately that he did not even realize that they were both in Latin.

At the age of 17, Fermi applied to the University of Pisa, and the essay that he wrote in order to be accepted in the university was so well done that his professor told him that he could have used that essay also in an exam for a doctoral degree. During his career in college he conducted many physics experiments and he had reached such a high level of knowledge in nuclear physics that the Director of the Physics department in the University of Pisa asked him if he wanted to teach a couple of seminars in the university. In 1922 Fermi, while studying at the university of Pisa, published his first main work in the Italian journal I raccolti dell' Academia dei Lincei entitled "On the phenomena that happen close to the line of time", where he introduces for the first time the so-called " Fermi Coordinates".
After graduating from the University of Pisa, Enrico Fermi started to teach at the University of Rome nuclear physics. At the University of Rome Fermi made a lot of good friends with who he was able to conduct many experiments and spend a lot of time in the labaratory trying to find something new about nuclear physics. In 1938 Enrico Fermi had to leave Italy with his family and transfer to the United States, where he began working at Columbia University, where he was able to meet famous scientist and conduct experiments on nuclear fission.

Scientific Discoveries
During their time in Rome, Fermi made important contributions to many practical and theoretical aspects of physics. These include the theory of beta decay, later referred to as the theory of the "weak interaction" with the inclusion of the neutrino postulated in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli, and the discovery of slow neutrons, which was to prove pivotal for the working of nuclear reactors.
At the University of Rome, Fermi and his group of scientist bombarded every single element in the periodic table with neutrons, and they slightly missed nuclear fission when they bombarded uranium with neutrons. Fermi is not only well known for his scientific discoveries, but he is also famous for the way he used to operate calculations and experiments. Fermi used to start from the simplest equation possible and try to use to solve complicated problems that he deemed worth pursuing. Enrico Fermi was also the first scientist to notice that the most famous equation created by Einstein E=mc^2 contained a mass of nuclear energy that could be exploited. At the University of Chicago he studied the chain-reaction process with his group of scientist. and he was able to control a chain-reaction process, in fact he was able to slow it down and accelerated whenever he wanted to.
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Atomic BombEnrico Fermi was present at the moment that the bomb was built with all the scientists in Manhattan, and he played a key role in the creation of it.
While Fermi was experimenting, he discovered another element, plutonium. Finally, on December 2, 1942, in a secret laboratory under the football field at the University of Chicago, Fermi witnessed and controlled nuclear fission. Enrico Fermi won a Nobel prize for the discovery of nuclear fission, and many institutes, scholarships and awards are named in honor of all the discoveries and experiments he conducted during his life.
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Sources:
http://library.thinkquest.org/5847/fermi.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Fermi

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1938/fermi-bio.html

http://gk12.rice.edu/trs/science/Atom/man.htm