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Carlo Rubbia

Carlo Rubbia was born in the small town of Gorizia, Italy, in 1934. After high school, he studied in the Faculty of Physics at the Scuola Normale in Pisa where he completed a thesis about cosmic ray experiments. In 1958, he went to the United States to widen his experience and to familiarize himself with particle accelerators.

Around 1960, he moved back to Europe, attracted by the newly founded CERN where he worked on experiments on the structure of weak interactions. In 1976, he suggested adapting CERN's Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) to collide protons and antiprotons in the same ring and the world's first antiproton factory was built. The collider started running in 1981 and, in January 1983, came the announcement, first from the UA1 detector, that W particles had been created. A couple of months later the even more elusive Z particless were also observed.

The following year, 1984, Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer shared the Nobel prize for physics, one of the shortest intervals ever between discovery and award.

Carlo Rubbia is currently professor at the University of Pavia, Italy and president of ENEA (Italian Instiute for Environmentally-safe Energy).

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