The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to the Italian Giorgio Parisi “for his innovative contributions to the understanding of complex physical systems”. More specifically, “for the discovery of the interaction between disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from the atomic level to the planetary scale”. Together with him, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm also honored 89-year-old German Klaus Hasselmann and 90-year-old Japanese Syukuro Manabe who were recognized for their research on climate models and global warming.
Born in Rome in 1948, graduated in physics at Sapienza University of Rome, Parisi was a researcher at the INFN National Laboratories of Frascati, attended Columbia University in New York, the Institut des Hautes E’tudes Scientifiques in Bures- sur-Yvettes and the Ecole Normale Supèrieure of Paris (1977-1978).
Author of four books and over six hundred scientific articles on particle physics, fluid dynamics, statistical mechanics and neutral networks, Parisi is a theoretical physicist at the Sapienza University of Rome and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn) and vice president of the Academy of the Lincei.
So far 20 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Italians since the origins of the prize. Of the 20 awards, 12 are scientific ones and of these 5 those for Physics, 6 for Medicine and one for Chemistry. Among the 20 awarded women only two: Grazia Deledda, for Literature in 1926, and Rita Levi Montalcini, for Medicine 60 years later, in 1986. The last Nobel Prize to a researcher born in Italy is that of 2007 to Mario Capecchi, active in the USA, but to go back to an Italian researcher who carried out most of the work in Italy, we must go back to 62 years ago, to the Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded in 1959 to Giulio Natta.