- Category : 1905-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Maya 1
Italian experimental physicist who made major contributions to particle physics and the study of cosmic rays. A 1927 graduate of the University of Bologna, he became interested in cosmic rays. To study them, he invented an improved electronic coincidence circuit, and travelled to Eritrea to conduct experiments that showed that cosmic ray intensity from the West was significantly larger than that from the East.
Forced to emigrate in October 1938 due to the Italian Racial Laws, Rossi moved to Denmark where he worked with Niels Bohr. He then moved to Britain, where he worked with Patrick Blackett at the University of Manchester. Finally he went to the United States, where he worked with Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago, and later at Cornell University. Rossi stayed in the United States, and became an American Citizen.
During World War II, Rossi worked on radar at the MIT Radiation Laboratory, and he played a pivotal role in the Manhattan Project, heading the group at the Los Alamos Laboratory that carried out the RaLa Experiments. After the war, he was recruited by Jerrold Zacharias at MIT, where Rossi continued his pre-war research into cosmic rays.
In the 1960s, he pioneered X-ray astronomy and space plasma physics. His instrumentation on Explorer 10 detected the magnetopause, and he initiated the rocket experiments that discovered Scorpius X-1, the first extra-solar source of X-rays.
Rossi retired from MIT in 1970. From 1974 to 1980 he taught at the University of Palermo. In retirement he wrote a number of monographs, and a 1990 autobiography, Moments in the Life of a Scientist, which was published by Cambridge University Press. He died from a cardiac arrest at his home in Cambridge on 21 November 1993, aged 88.