The Life and Disappearance of Ettore Majorana


Ettore Majorana, taken sometime in the 1930s Public domain

Had his life had taken a different course, he may have become as widely known as Albert Einstein. In the 1930s, Majorana contributed to the field of quantum mechanics in ways that fundamentally shaped the field. And then he vanished.

Holly's Research:

  • BBC News. “Brian Cox explains quantum mechanics in 60 seconds.” YouTube. Sept. 23, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcfQkxwz4Oo
  • Orzel, Chad. “Six Things Everyone Should Know About Quantum Physics.” Forbes. July 8, 2015. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chadorzel/2015/07/08/six-things-everyone-should-know-about-quantum-physics/#2a1aa9307d46
  • Holstein, Barry R. “The mysterious disappearance of Ettore Majorana.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 2009. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/173/1/012019/pdf
  • Esposito, Salvatore. “The disappearance of Ettore Majorana: an analytic examination.” Contemporary Physics. March 4, 2010. https://www2.pv.infn.it/~fontana/download/lect/majo.pdf
  • Palma, Ester. “The Public Prosecutor: Ettore Majorana Alive in Veezuela Between 1955 and 1959.” Corriere Della Sera. Feb. 4, 2015. https://roma.corriere.it/notizie/cronaca/15_febbraio_04/procura-ettore-majorana-vivo-venezuela-il-1955-1959-d1a6aeda-ac7f-11e4-88df-4d6b5785fffa.shtml
  • Sarzanini, Fiorenza. “It's the face of Majorana, 10 equal points.” Corriere Della Sera. June 20, 2011. https://www.corriere.it/cultura/11_giugno_07/sarzanini-majorana-dieci-punti-uguali_aef0de96-90f0-11e0-9c7b-81ce3178052c.shtml
  • Recami, Erasmo. “MAJORANA, THE NEUTRON, AND THE NEUTRINO: SOME ELEMENTARY HISTORICAL MEMORIES.” Facolt`a di Ingegneria, Universit`a Statale di Bergamo, 24044–Dalmine (BG), Italy; INFN–Sezione di Milano, Milan, Italy; and DECOM, Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEEC), State University at Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil. Dec. 1, 2017. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1712.02209.pdf
  • Mantegna, Rosario Nunzio. “Majorana’s article on ‘The value of statistical laws in physics and social sciences.’” Proceedings of Science. From “Ettore Majorana's legacy and the Physics of the XXI century University of Catania, Italy 5-6 October, 2006.” https://pos.sissa.it/037/011/pdf
  • Magueijo, Joao. “A Brilliant Darkness: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age.” Basic Books. 2009.

Topics in this Podcast: 20th century, nuclear weapons, science history, history mysteries, suicide, mental health, Physics, European history, Italy