This book presents in full the work of the Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana and explains its impacts, which are still being felt. It opens with a contribution by A. Zichichi that considers in depth the scientific genius of Majorana. This introductory chapter is followed, in chronological order, by the eleven scientific papers by this great scientist, in most cases translated into English for the first time. Each paper is accompanied by a comment from an expert in the field in question. Although very few in number, Majorana's papers constitute a heritage of undeniable value and extraordinary scientific meaning, since they laid the foundations for research fields that remain topical today. With this in mind, two additional contributions on ongoing developments in these research fields are included: one on neutrino physics and the other on Majorana fermions in condensed matter. The volume closes with a note on Majorana's life until his ill-fated disappearance.
This book provides a fascinating insight into the life and scientific work of Laura Bassi, the first female member of the influential Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna and also the first woman to be appointed a university professor in physics, or universal philosophy as it was then termed. The book describes Laura Bassi's research activities and achievements, explaining the influence of Newton, her role in promoting Newtonian experimental physics in Bologna, and her work as an experimentalist, including on electricity. Much attention is paid to the context in which Bassi developed her career. The very considerable difficulties faced by a woman surrounded by male university teachers and members of the Academy are discussed, casting light on the constraints that led Bassi to set up the first experimental physics laboratory in her home, complete with the many instruments required for experimentation and private teaching. The aim is to provide a rounded and well-documented account of the scientific endeavors and achievements of a too often overlooked scientist who struggled to overcome the prejudices of her age.