milano interneIstituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Sezione di Milano

The INFN in Milan: its first 70 years


SIFOn June 7th, 2022, Milan celebrated with its two Sections, State University and Bicocca, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) in the city.

The celebration took place in the historic setting of the Chiostro dei Pesci and Sala degli Affreschi of the Humanitarian Society, to mark the significance of culture, in its various forms from physics to art, to the city’s progress. The event coincided with the opening of the sixtieth edition of the Salone del Mobile: the theme of the Fuorisalone, a parallel event, was "Between Space and Time", perfectly in line with INFN activities: we like to think that this was a good wish from Milan for the institute's birthday!

About 200 people participated in the event, the President and the Executive Board of the INFN, the Directors of the INFN structures, the representatives of the Universities that host the two Milanese sections and Anna Scavuzzo, Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Education of the Municipality of Milan.

The ceremony aimed to retrace the decades of INFN activities in Milan. The story was entrusted to the authoritative voices of various “institutional” Milanese colleagues: their contributions, rich in science and real life, are available on the event page.

Leonardo Gariboldi helped us to introduce their interventions, presenting a historical perspective of the INFN foundation in the Milan of the period.

To follow, in a round table moderated by Marco Cattaneo, Director of the journal Le Scienze, physicist and graduate of Milan, the testimonies of those who have been in the INFN in Milan “almost from the start”: Ettore Fiorini, Gianpaolo Bellini and Luciano Mandelli.

Tonino Pullia, Puccio Bellotti and Pietro Negri, who have achieved so much for the Milanese INFN and the Gran Sasso National Laboratories, were remembered with affection and esteem.

After the "wise old men", the "young lions": in a second round table, with a very lively tempo, led again by Cattaneo, the younger colleagues “chatted” with President Antonio Zoccoli presenting their experience, airing their problems and their hopes for the future.

The INFN would not be the institute of excellence that we know today without the presence and the precious contribution of technicians and administrators.

To give voice to those who make the Sections and live them every day, a video of "interview pills" had been created, which was projected and dedicated mainly to the Technical and Administrative staff.

The party ended with a jam session involving two colleagues as musicians, saxophonist Oliviero Cremonesi from Milano Bicocca and bassist Carlo Ligi from the National Laboratories of Frascati, accompanied by some friends.

We thus highlighted how the INFN contaminates and allows itself to be contaminated by other languages and other communities. A concrete example of "dissemination".

There was also the traditional cutting of the birthday cake and a toast with a "bang" of good wishes for the next 70 years.