The father of nuclear and neutron physics, founder of scientific schools in Italy and the United States had been interested in mathematics and physics since childhood; when he was thirteen, he studied a geometry textbook and solved all the problems in it in three days. Then Fermi studied and taught, and also made several scientific discoveries along the way: he developed quantum statistics, which is now commonly called the Fermi-Dirac statistics, and the theory of beta decay, discovered artificial radioactivity. For his work on neutron physics he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1938.
Fermi went to get it and never returned to Italy – the fascist regime grew stronger there. From Columbia University, where he researched fission reactions, Fermi moved to Chicago in the spring of 1942, where he began to work on the study of nuclear chain reactions – the so-called “Manhattan Project.”
The experimental group headed by Fermi built the first nuclear reactor at the stadium and carried out a controlled self-sustaining chain reaction. Thus, the way for nuclear weapons was opened. And when Fermi was asked after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if his conscience was bothering him, he replied: “What does conscience have to do with it? It's just good physics.”
Fermi also invented the word “neutrino,” which means “little neutron" in Italian, later became the name of an elementary particle of the lepton class predicted by Pauli.