Laura Fermi

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Laura and Enrico Fermi at the Institute for Nuclear Studies, Los Alamos, 1954

Laura Capon Fermi (16 June 1907 – 26 December 1977) was an Italian, later American writer and political activist, and the wife of Nobel Prize physicist Enrico Fermi.

Laura Capon was born in Rome in 1907. Capon met Enrico Fermi while she was a student in general science at the University of Rome. The couple married in 1928.

They had two children: a daughter, Nella (1931–1995), and a son, Giulio (1936–1997), named after Enrico's older brother, who had died in 1915.

In 1938, the Fermis emigrated to the United States to escape the politics of the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini; Laura was Jewish. They traveled to Stockholm to receive Fermi's Nobel prize, and left from Stockholm for the United States. They were naturalized as Americans in 1944.

After Enrico died of stomach cancer in 1954, Laura became a writer and a peace activist. She published a book about her life with Enrico, Atoms in the Family, the same year he died. She herself died in 1977.

Published works[edit]

  • Atoms in the Family: My Life with Enrico Fermi (University of Chicago Press, 1954) ISBN 0-88318-524-5
  • "Atoms for the World: United States participation in the Conference on the Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy"(University of Chicago Press, 1957) ISBN 0-88318-524-5
  • "Mussolini" (University of Chicago Press, 1961)
  • "The Story of Atomic Energy" (Random House, 1961)
  • "Galileo and the Scientific Revolution" (with Gilberto Bernardini) (Basic Books, 1961) ISBN 0-486-43226-2
  • "Illustrious Immigrants: The Intellectual Migration from Europe 1930–41 (University of Chicago Press, 1968) ISBN 0-226-24378-8


Further reading[edit]

  • Lawrence Badash, J.O. Hirschfelder & H.P. Broida editors (1980) Reminiscences of Los Alamos 1943–1945 (Studies in the History of Modern Science), Springer, ISBN 90-277-1098-8.