|Born||28 August 1916|
Lussingrande, Austro-Hungarian empire
|Died||14 November 2013 (aged 97)|
|Alma mater||University of Pisa|
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
|Institutions||International Centre for Theoretical Physics|
International School for Advanced Studies
|Doctoral advisor||Leonida Tonelli|
Paolo Budinich (28 August 1916 – 14 November 2013) was an Italian theoretical physicist. Born in Lussingrande to a family of sailors, he grew up and studied in Trieste, where the family resided and his father Antonio Budini taught in the local high school, which Paolo attended until 1934. He later began his studies at Università Degli Studi di Pisa graduating from the Scuola Normale Superiore in 1938, with a thesis written under the direction of Leonida Tonelli.
During the Second World War Budinich served as a Lieutenant on Navy submarines and an observer on Navy planes; in 1941 he was captured by the Royal Navy and became a prisoner of war, thus being transferred to England and then to the United States.
He was one of the first promoters of Trieste as a science resort at international level. In 1964 he founded in the city, together with Abdus Salam, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). In the same year he promoted the Advanced School of Physics, which in 1978 was upgraded to the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), the first Italian higher education institution providing doctoral degrees (besides the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa), and became its first director.
In his autobiography L'arcipelago delle meraviglie, published in 2000, Budinich pleads for a reunification between science and philosophy and suggests the superior capability of mathematics to explore unknown paths of scientific discovery. His main work, The Spinorial Chessboard, written together with the Polish mathematical physicist Andrzej Trautman, refers to Élie Cartan's conceptual foundation of spinor geometry and explores its applications to modern physics.
- Paolo Budinich, L'arcipelago delle meraviglie, Beit casa editrice, Trieste 2016, ISBN 978-88-95324-50-0.
- Paolo Budinich and Andrzej Trautman, The Spinorial Chessboard, Springer Verlag, Berlin-New York 1988, ISBN 9783540190783.