Dannie Heineman Prize to Francesco Calogero

Sabato, 3 Novembre, 2018

Francesco Calogero, who has been associated throughout his adult life with our department, now as Emeritus Professor, will share, with the American Bill Sutherland and the French Michel Gaudin, the prestigious 2019 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics “for profound contributions to the field of exactly solvable models in statistical mechanics and many body physics, in particular the construction of the widely studied Gaudin magnet and the Calogero-Sutherland, Shastry-Sutherland, and Calogero-Moser models”.
The Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics is an award given each year since 1959 jointly by the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics. Francesco Calogero is the tenth italian scientist to be awarded such an important price: before him, Tullio Regge (1964), Giancarlo Wick (1967), Sergio Fubini (1968), Bruno Zumino (1988), Gabriele Veneziano (2004), Giorgio Parisi (2005), Sergio Ferrara (2006), Carlo Becchi (2009), and Gianni Jona Lasinio (2012). All that shows once more the excellence of the italian tradition in theoretical and mathematical physics.

An important role in the study of nonlinear phenomena comes from the discovery of exactly solvable models, and Francesco Calogero concentrated most of his research activities on nonlinear (partial differential, ordinary differential, functional, etc...) equations treatable by exact methods. His most relevant contribution, the one for which he received the above prize, is the introduction and solution of the one-dimensional non-relativistic quantum many-body problem with a two-body potential proportional to the inverse square of the interparticle distance, possibly immersed in an external harmonic oscillator potential confining the particles. This model (and its classical version, subsequently shown to be completely integrable by J. Moser), universally known as the Calogero-Moser model, turns out to be one of the most ubiquitus nonlinear models, with several applications in physics, mathematical physics, and pure mathematics, and has significantly influenced major developments of exact methods to treat nonlinear phenomena since then. We mention, in particular, a significant generalization of the Calogero-Moser model, due to Francesco Calogero, to the case of elliptic two-body interactions, requiring the introduction of a novel exactly solvable nonlinear functional equation, and opening an important chapter in the theory of integrable nonlinear functional equations. 
 
Francesco Calogero is not only a first class scientist, he is also an example of committed intellectual. Deeply involved in arms control, disarmament and conflict resolution, he published more than 400 articles on these topics, and co-authored and co-edited several books on these subjects (a production almost as prolific as the scientific one!). In particular, he co-edited with M. Goldberger and S. P. Kapitza the book “Verification”, simultaneously published in 1991 in English in the USA and in Russian in the Soviet Union: this topic is generally the most contention matter in disarmament negotiations. Each chapter of this book, covering nuclear, chemical, biological weapons and all types of conventional armaments, was co-authored by eminent and competent authors on opposing sides of the cold-war divide; having (for the first time!) such a feature, it fostered and significantly influenced the important subsequent breakthroughs in arms control and disarmament. Francesco Calogero also served as Secretary General of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs in the period 1989-1997 and, in this capacity, he organized more than 50 international conferences throughout the world, and accepted the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize jointly awarded to Joseph Rotblat and to Pugwash.

 

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma