Bruno Bertotti

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Bruno Bertotti (Mantua 1930 - Pavia 2018) was an Italian physicist, emeritus professor at the University of Pavia. He was one of the last students of Erwin Schrödinger. Bruno Bertotti was well known for his contributions to general relativity — particularly the Bertotti-Robinson electrovacuum, an exact solution of the Einstein field equation. He has also obtained a more accurate measurement of the parameter gamma of the parameterized post-Newtonian formalism, with the Cassini radioscience experiment.[1] The PPN gamma parameter measures the curvature of space in metric theories of gravity and it is equal to one in general relativity.[2]

More recent studies [3][4] revealed that the measured value of the PPN parameter gamma is affected by gravitomagnetic effect caused by the orbital motion of Sun around the barycenter of the solar system. The gravitomagnetic effect in the Cassini radioscience experiment was implicitly postulated by B. Berottti as having a pure general relativistic origin but its theoretical value has been never tested in the experiment which effectively makes the experimental uncertainty in the measured value of gamma actually larger (by a factor of 10) than that claimed by B. Bertotti and co-authors in Nature.

Bertotti was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1958-59.[5] In 2007 he was awarded the Italian Gold Medal of Merit in Science and Culture.[6] Among the last scholars in relativity from the University of Pavia, there are Alessandro Spallicci and Alberto Vecchio.


  1. ^ Bertotti, B.; Iess, L.; Tortora, P. (2003). "A test of general relativity using radio links with the Cassini spacecraft". Nature. 425 (6956): 374–376. Bibcode:2003Natur.425..374B. doi:10.1038/nature01997. PMID 14508481.
  2. ^ Bertotti, B.; Catenacci, R.; Dappiaggi, C. (2005). "Pseudospheres in geometry and physics: from Beltrami to De Sitter and beyond". arXiv:math.HO/0506395.
  3. ^ Kopeikin S.~M.; Polnarev A.~G.; Schaefer G.; Vlasov I. Yu. (2007). "Gravimagnetic effect of the barycentric motion of the Sun and determination of the post-Newtonian parameter γ in the Cassini experiment". Physics Letters A. 367 (4–5): 276–280. arXiv:gr-qc/0604060. Bibcode:2007PhLA..367..276K. doi:10.1016/j.physleta.2007.03.036.
  4. ^ Kopeikin S.~M. (2009). "Post-Newtonian limitations on measurement of the PPN parameters caused by motion of gravitating bodies". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 399 (3): 1539–1552. arXiv:0809.3433. Bibcode:2009MNRAS.399.1539K. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15387.x.
  5. ^ Institute for Advanced Study: A Community of Scholars
  6. ^ "Le onorificenze della Repubblica italiana". Presidenza della Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 28 March 2016.