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Prof. P. Blaserna

Nature volume 101, page 287 (13 June 1918) | Download Citation



OF the life and work of Prof. Pietro Blaserna, who died at Rome on February 26, an interesting account is now contributed by Prof. Cantone to the Atti dei Lincei, xxvii., (i) 7. Prof. Blaserna was born on February 29, 1836, at Aquileja, near Gorizia, and attended school at the latter place, afterwards proceeding to Vienna, where, after he had completed his degree course, he assisted in the physical department. Being thus a native of the scene of recent conflicts between Italy and Austria, he was entirely Italian in his sympathies, and, after studying in Paris under Regnault, he obtained a chair of physics, first at Palermo, and then at Rome. Here he devoted his main efforts to teaching and organisation, and succeeded in building up a school of physicists of which Italy has every reason to be proud. Instead of giving most of his time to researches, which might have necessitated his maintaining an attitude of exclusiveness towards elementary students, Prof. Blaserna endeavoured to make his classes popular, and thus to disseminate a scientific spirit in Italy. At Rome the laboratory of practical physics was originally in a church building, but was removed in 1881 to the Istituto di Panisperma. A weekly colloquium was instituted at an early stage, and the names of Alfonso Sella, Eugenio Beltrami, and Vito Volterra are among those who derived inspiration from him.

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