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Prof Frank Close at the National Museum

Event description

In the first of a series of events in collaboration with the National Museum of Scotland, we are delighted to host Prof. Frank Close as he describes his fascinating new biography of Bruno Maximovich Pontecorvo. When Bruno Pontecorvo fled to the USSR at the height of the Cold War in 1950, half way through his life, the British Government, MI5 and FBI tried to portray him as scientifically insignificant, and to imply that his disappearance posed no threat to the West. In reality Pontecorvo was already one of the leading experts in nuclear physics, and recently declassified papers reveal that a prime agenda of FBI and MI5 was to cover up their errors. During his time in the USSR he made major contributions to physics, and justified the sobriquet: "Mr Neutrino". Contrary to widespread speculation, the security authorities had no incriminating evidence against Pontecorvo, but recently released papers now reveal a reason for his sudden flight.

Frank Close is Professor of Particle Physics at Oxford. Besides a distinguished career as a research physicist, he is the author of several best-selling books on physics for the general public; he has won the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society Faraday Prize for public understanding of Physics, and science communication respectively. This lecture focusses on his latest book on the life of Bruno Pontecorvo. You can read the review of his book in the New York Review of Books.

The talk will be held at the newly refurbished National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh at 6:30pm. Tickets cost £6 (£5 for concessions). Please see the museum website for further information and tickets.

The Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics is pleased to provide free tickets for physics students at the University of Edinburgh (undergraduate, MSc or PhD). Free places will be reserved for the first 50 students to register at the link below. Registration has now closed. Other students wishing to attend the talk should present their university cards at the door.

Prof Frank Close at the National Museum


National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh


Key speakers