Živeti fiziko in zmožnost čuditi se

V zadnji številki Cern Courier je objavljen odličen članek z naslovom "Life in physics and the crucial sense of wonder", v katerem nobelovec Leon Lederman opiše nekaj prigod iz svojega življenja, med drugim o srečanju z Albertom Einsteinom, pa tudi o vplivu, ki ga je imel nanj Gilberto Bernardini, znan italijanski fizik kozmičnih delcev. Prav zabavna je prigoda, kako je Lederman kot podiplomski študent prvič srečal Bernardinija

I had been assigned a lab on the 10th floor of the Pupin Physics Building where I had been given the job of making a cloud chamber work.[...] I returned to the lab to find a janitor mopping the wire-strewn floor and singing an Italian operatic tune. As I entered, the guy shouted something in Italian and offered a handshake.

I said, "Okay, but be careful. The wires are carrying a high current and your wet mop may produce a short circuit." He stared cluelessly and, in total disgust, I walked out in the hall to wait for the guy to leave.

In the hall, there was the department chairman. "We have a new, dumb janitor, huh?" I sai.[...] "That's no janitor, dummy, that's Professor Gilberto Bernardini, a world-famous Italian cosmic-ray expert whom I invited to spend a year here to help you in your research."

Prispevek je sicer poln še ostalih zanimivih prigod. V pokušino le še ta odsek
Gilberto warned me about what happened next. Some years into my Columbia career, I was on the night shift of an experiment. It was 3 a.m.; I had checked that all the apparatus was working when one computer began to beep out of tune. I tuned it to scan the data and – there it was, the most spectacularly beautiful track I had ever seen. What I was seeing was a muon entering from a thin metal plate and passing through 10 more plates. A muon! The only explanation was that a neutrino had generated this track – a muon neutrino! Its implications dawned on me – two neutrinos – this would change how we taught physics; this would make headlines from Scotland to Argentina… My palms were wet, my breathing became difficult. I tested everything, but only confirmed the discovery.

Za to odkritje je potem Lederman l. 1988 tudi prejel Nobelovo nagrado.