It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of our dear friend and colleague Angelo Baracca (June 25, 1939–July 25, 2023).
Angelo was a professor of physics and history of physics at the University of Florence, devoting himself to the study of nuclear technology—both civil and military—its structure and history. Though his expertise lay in high-energy physics, statistical mechanics, and the foundations of quantum mechanics, his interests focused on the history and social responsibility of science. Angelo was a lifelong political activist, involved in numerous campaigns for ecology, anti-war, and nuclear disarmament.
Together with members of Department I, Angelo developed a lasting collaboration with the Faculty of Physics in Havana, Cuba, and as part of this collaboration reconstructed the entire history of the development of physics in Cuba since the early 1800s (The History of Physics in Cuba). He also made many contributions to the Institute’s preprint series, for example on the history of physics in 20th-century Cuba
(Preprint 491), and most recently a comprehensive reconstruction of the connections between the formation of the entrepreneurial class, the related social and cultural changes, and consequent breakthroughs introduced to industrial society
A staunch activist to the last, and despite his progressive illness, Angelo actively participated in protests against Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine by working with the Pressenza news agency and Peacelink. He will be greatly missed.
More on his remarkable achievements can be read here.