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Enrico Fermi

Datum narození: 29. září 1901
Datum úmrtí: 28. listopad 1954

Enrico Fermi byl italský fyzik známý svými výzkumy jaderných reakcí, kvantové teorie, částicové fyziky a statistické mechaniky. Jako jeden z mála fyziků se zabýval výzkumem jak teoretickým tak i experimentálním. Zkoumal vlastnosti beta- a gama- záření. Podílel se na vývoji prvního jaderného reaktoru Chicago Pile-1. Podal několik patentů v oblasti využití jaderné energie a byl oceněn Nobelovou cenou za práci o indukované radioaktivitě. Bývá označován jako jeden z „otců“ atomové bomby. Je také autorem tzv. Fermiho paradoxu, který si klade otázku kolik je ve vesmíru inteligentních mimozemských civilizací.


„Kdybych si dokázal zapamatovat názvy všech těchto částic, byl bych botanik.“ 1954

„Before I came here, I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused -- but on a higher level.“


„There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery“

„If I could remember the names of these particles, I would have been a botanist.“

„Whatever Nature has in store for mankind, unpleasant as it may be, men must accept, for ignorance is never better than knowledge.“

„When asked what characteristics Nobel prize winning physicists had in common ؛ I cannot think of a single one, not even intelligence“

„The fact that no limits exist to the destructiveness of this weapon [the 'Super', i. e. the hydrogen bomb] makes its very existence and the knowledge of its construction a danger to humanity as a whole. It is necessarily an evil thing considered in any light. For these reasons, we believe it important for the President of the United States to tell the American public and the world what we think is wrong on fundamental ethical principles to initiate the development of such a weapon.“

„Such a weapon goes far beyond any military objective and enters the range of very great natural catastrophes. By its very nature it cannot be confined to a military objective but becomes a weapon which in practical effect is almost one of genocide“


„One might be led to question whether the scientists acted wisely in presenting the statesmen of the world with this appalling problem. Actually there was no choice. Once basic knowledge is acquired, any attempt at preventing its fruition would be as futile as hoping to stop the earth from revolving around the sun.“ Collected Papers of Enrico Fermi: The United States, 1939-54

„It is clear that the use of such a weapon cannot be justified on any ethical ground which gives a human being a certain individuality and dignity even if he happens to be a resident of an enemy country.“

„The fact that no limits exist to the destructiveness of this weapon makes its very existence and the knowledge of its construction a danger to humanity as a whole. It is necessarily an evil thing considered in any light.“

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