Escape from the podium

  After shaking hands with the elderly King of Sweden, the Italian Enrico Fermi took the box from the king. There are three things in the box: the Nobel Prize medal, the certificate and the envelope.

  At this moment, the winner of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics is the one that is not eye-catching. Because he knows, “There must be a bonus in it.”

  The importance of this money is unbelievable by Pearl, the famous American writer and Nobel laureate in literature. However, Fermi didn’t have too much time to think too much, and thousands of thoughts were overwhelmed by applause and congratulations from all around.

  Also 16 years before the need for applause and congratulations, the 21-year-old young man suffered from the shackles and loneliness that others could not imagine.

  In July 1922, Fermi completed his doctoral thesis on X-ray experimental work. When the defense was answered, the young people were screaming, and the 11 responding members in front of them were either confused or directly yawned. At the end of the defense, none of those wearing black robes wearing a square scarf came forward to shake hands or congratulate. His only consolation was that the paper ended with a high score, but somehow the school did not follow the usual practice of publishing Fermi’s doctoral thesis.

  Fortunately, Senator Corbino has a preference for Fermi. Under the favor of this politician, Fermi received a faculty position at the University of Rome. When the Mussolini regime decided to establish the Italian Academy, the highest academic institution in Italy, the 27-year-old Fermi became the only physicist among the academicians under the recommendation of Corbino.

  The academician’s status gave Fermi a considerable salary. He couldn’t help but sigh at his wife. “Money always runs to those who don’t look for it. I didn’t go looking for it, but it came by myself.” For those who have been short of money, money can give He feels safe.

  But he was very disgusted with the academician dress that symbolizes identity, but only once on the day of the establishment of the college. On that day, just at home, there was a painter. Fermi asked his wife to close all the doors facing the corridor. He would wear a dress to avoid being seen.

  He is also disgusted with the various slogans and slogans of fascism. On the way to Florence with the physics professor Broz, watching the bizarre slogans along the way that “Mussolini is always right”, Fermi sang a slogan and said loudly: “nonsense! Nonsense” !”

  At the same time, Fermi’s esoteric theory on nuclear radiation and radioactive particles was also considered “nonsense”. In 1934, he sent the paper to Nature, and the other party refused to publish it. Although this theory became one of his major contributions to physics, few people understood it at the time.

  Young people who are not understood decide to temporarily shift their energy from theoretical physics to experimental physics. In the laboratory, Fermi constantly uses neutrons to strike various elements. When they hit the last element of uranium on the periodic table of elements, they found that uranium has a very strong reaction and emits more than just an element.

  This is undoubtedly a major discovery, Fermi is naturally happy, but the more happy person is obviously Corpino. Just as Fermi cautiously stated that he would further test the experiment, Corbino could not wait to announce the results of the Fermi experimental group at the Academy’s results conference.

  In the eyes of the fascist regime, Fermi’s discovery was “a great victory for fascism in the field of culture”. The various media mastered by fascism began to admit this achievement, and claimed that it “reaffirmed once again that under the leadership of fascism, Italy, like the past, can become a mentor and physics discovery of physicists all over the world in all aspects. Pioneer.”

  The ugly report made Fermi feel guilty. The wife who slept late at night, for the first time since she was married, was shaken by Fermi. The husband told her in a sad tone that “my reputation has become a problem.”

  But what is more problematic is their future and life. Because the first anti-Semitic laws were passed, and Fermi’s wife, Gabon, was Jewish.

  On November 10, 1938, the Fermi couple had to wait for a call from Stockholm at 6 pm, based on prior telephone notifications.

  When it was 6 o’clock, it was not the phone ringing, but the sound of the broadcaster’s hard and cold sound. The other party read out the second batch of decrees on ethnic policy. The decree restricts the activities of Jews and reduces their citizenship. This means that Mrs. Fermi and a few friends will be affected by this decree.

  At the height of the family’s chills, the telephone bell finally rang. “The Swedish Academy of Sciences decided to award this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics to Professor Fermi.”

  The idea of ​​fleeing from Italy has already sprouted in the heart of Professor Fermi, but there is no cost, because the Italian government stipulates that people who go abroad can only bring a certain amount of cash. Just at this time, the Nobel Prize gave Fermi a chance to escape.

  A month later, Fermi boarded the Nobel Prize podium. This time, the Italian media did not make a big blow, only reported the news of Fermi’s award in three lines. Then he accused him of sin, and he was not guilty of fascist salute to the Swedish king.

  These allegations have no meaning for Fermi. Using this bonus, Fermi fled directly to the United States and presided over the construction of the world’s first atomic reactor, a decisive step in the manufacture of atomic bombs.

  Later, Fermi told her daughter, “I believe that the envelope is the most important of the three things.” It is also this “most important” thing that has made the life of this fugitive brilliant.