Bernardo Dessau: a physicist, a scientist, and a teacher.

An extraordinary human and scientific history within the wonders and tragedies of the Short Twentieth Century.

  • Date: 24 February 2023 from 11:30 to 13:00

  • Event location: Aula A - Department of Physics and Astronomy - Via Irnerio 46, Bologna

  • Access Details: Free admission

Emma Dessau Goitein, Portrait of Bernardo Dessau, Department of Physics and Astronomy "A. Righi" collection

*This seminar will be held in Italian*


Prof. Giovanni Carlotti

The seminar traces the human and scientific life of this scientist of German origins and Jewish tradition. He was the assistant of professor Augusto Righi, in Bologna, and then a professor in Perugia since 1904. His popularity as a scientific disseminator, his contribution to the development of Italian physics and the CNR, and his discoveries on atomic physics, quantum mechanics, and telecommunication, make him a person of great interest.

Unfortunately, his scientific successes were accompanied by discrimination due to his German origins (during the First World War) and his being Jewish (racial laws and the Second World War).


The seminar will try to do justice to an underestimated scientist, who died in 1949 and wanted the following inscription on his grave: "Bernardo Dessau. Physicist, scientist, teacher."