Enrico Fermi, a child of a large family, was born in Rome on September 29, 1901. Enrico was the son of Albert Fermi and Ida de Gattis Fermi, his father. Enrico was encouraged to learn early by his mother’s love for education. Fermi was probably motivated to study physics because of a family tragedy that left him very traumatized. Enrico was just 14 years old when Giulio, his older brother, died unexpectedly. Enrico was devastated and distraught. His parents consoled Enrico and encouraged him to learn and educate. Enrico Fermi wrote that Enrico discovered a few physics textbooks written more than 50 years ago. Enrico Fermi did science and math experiments as a teenager and throughout his adulthood. One of the most interesting experiments they did was to determine the density and water supply in Rome. Enrico was awarded a scholarship at the Scuola Normale Superiore University (Pisa) in 1918. His compelling essay on his entrance was enough to get him into the doctoral program. He graduated in 1922 with high honors.
Enrico Fermi, a Roman Jewish nobleman, married Enrico Fermi in 1928. Laura Capon was the name of this woman. Their son Giulio was named for Enrico’s older brother. Nella was their only child. Fermi was elected Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Rome. Fermi was the first to discover that nuclear transformation could be occurring in all elements. He divided uranium, which was one of the elements’ most important atoms. This work resulted in the discovery of slower neutrons. This led to nuclear fission. Enrico was first to receive a major award when he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1938. Fermi and his family were able to survive without this award. Recent anti-Jewish laws were passed in Italy. This put Fermi’s family at risk. They would then be safe sheltered in America thanks to this award. Enrico Fermi, now a Columbia University professor of physics in New York, was able to live safely in America. Enrico learned that uranium neutralons can be used to create fissionable uranium. He also discovered that they could cause other uranium molecules to break apart, thus triggering an enormous chain reaction that would give off huge amounts. These experiments resulted in the first controlled nuclear reaction that was conducted in Chicago on December 2, 1942. Fermi served as the Manhattan Project’s high-ranking leader during World War Two. The Manhattan Project consisted of many highly educated scientists and mathematicians who were tasked with creating an atomic weapon. Enrico Fermi, his wife, and their children became legal citizens of the United States in 1944.
The Manhattan Project’s total research and development bill was approximately 2 billion dollars. Over 120,000 Americans were employed in the Manhattan Project. Secrecy was essential in this endeavor to create an atomic weapon. The war would have taken a different turn if the Nazi Germans or Japanese had learned about the weapon. Winston Churchill was also adamant that the Soviet Union’s only ally, Josef Stalin, would remain in the dark. A small group of scientists from the 120,000 workers was able to reveal the purpose and methods of the bomb’s construction and intended uses in order for America to keep the secret. Klaus Fuchs, a Soviet spy who was not aware of the plan by the Axis powers, managed to penetrate the circle of scientists. The Trinity bomb site near Alamogordo was used to test the first nuclear bomb. The nuclear bomb fell at dawn from a thin tower of 100 feet. The outcome was unanticipated.
Nobody could have imagined what would follow the explosion. The morning sky was lit up by a blinding flash that could be seen for 200 miles. The Manhattan Project, ushistory.org: A mushroom cloud was 40,000 feet high and blowing out windows from homes 100 miles away. After the mushroom cloud fell to earth, it left behind a half-mile-wide crater which transformed sand and glass into sand. To conceal the fact that the atomic explosion was actually created, a cover-up story was constructed. This cover-up claimed that an ammunition depot exploded in a desert.
Enrico was nominated to the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission after World War II. The idea of a hydrogen-bomb was discussed by the committee in October 1949. Fermi was astonished by this idea and later contributed an addendum to committee’s report critiquing the development. Enrico went to Los Alamos (New Mexico) to investigate why Truman ordered the bomb’s development.
Enrico Fermi was infected with stomach cancer in 1954. His final months were spent in Chicago. On November 28, 1954, Enrico Fermi died peacefully at his Chicago home.