Bruno Pontecorvo was the father of neutrino astronomy and a brilliant nuclear physicist who disappeared through the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War. He was first with an idea on how to find the ghostly neutrino, he proposed experiments that led to discovery of solar neutrinos, he realised that there is more than one variety of these enigmatic beasts and inspired the new science of neutrino astronomy. Yet, he never won a Nobel Prize, and this is partly because his time in the Soviet Union prevented him fulfilling his ideas. To this day, the mystery remains – why did he flee so suddenly, was he a brilliant spy as well as a physicist, and what secrets did he take with him to the Soviet Union? Prof. Frank Close of Oxford University tells the story, from his new book Half Life and reveals the role of the infamous traitor, Kim Philby in the affair.
The fifth IOP branch lecture of the 2015 series will be “Half-Life: Bruno Pontecorvo, physicist - and spy?” by returning speaker Prof Frank Close (June 2013, The Neutrino: The route to a new astronomy) and will take place on the 19th October in the William Penney Theatre at AWE’s Recreational Society. Tea/Coffee and Biscuits will be served from 7pm and the lecture will start at 7:30pm. The lecture is open to all, including children and non-members. Please email IOP.Lectures@awe.co.uk if you wish to attend so that the correct amount of refreshments can be arranged.
The theatre entrance can be found on
the A340 Basingstoke to Newbury road, just before the Heath End Roundabout at
Tadley. Do not use the main gate entrance; the correct gate is signposted as the West
Gate or ‘AWE Staff + Deliveries’ (picture of a lorry).