Luisa Bonolis

Visiting Scholar (Aug 2019-Jul 2021)


Luisa Bonolis joined the Research Program on the History of the Max Planck Society (GMPG) in 2016. She has a PhD in History of Science from Bari University, Italy (2009). Luisa’s research interests include high-energy astrophysics, evolution of cosmic-ray research, early developments of colliders in Europe, history of research on thermonuclear fusion, and oral history​. Her current projects focus on the emergence of relativistic astrophysics; astrophysics, astronomy and space sciences in the History of the Max Planck Society—her current project is entitled “Branching as a Strategy for Scientific Research and Innovation: the Transformation and Evolution from 1947 to 2002 of the Max Planck Institute for Physics into the Present Cluster of Institutes for Physics, Astrophysics, Extraterrestrial Physics, Plasma Physics and Gravitational Physics.”

Selected Publications

Bonolis, L. (2017). Stellar structure and compact objects before 1940: towards relativistic astrophysics. The European physical journal. H, 42(2), 311-393. doi:10.1140/epjh/e2017-80014-4.

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Lebowitz, J. L., & Bonolis, L. (2017). A life in statistical mechanics. Part 1: From Chedar in Taceva to Yeshiva University in New York. The European physical journal. H, 42(1), 1-21. doi:10.1140/epjh/e2017-80006-9.

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Blum, A. S., Bonolis, L., Lalli, R., & Renn, J. (2015). La relatività dopo la guerra. Le Scienze: Edizione Italiana di Scientific American, 567, 48-53.

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Bonolis, L. (2014). International scientific cooperation during the 1930s: Bruno Rossi and the development of the status of cosmic rays into a branch of physics. Annals of Science, 71(3), 355-409.

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Bonolis, L. (2014). From cosmic ray physics to cosmic ray astronomy: Bruno Rossi and the opening of new windows on the universe. Astroparticle Physics, 53, 67-85. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2013.05.008.

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Bonolis, L., Dionisi, C., & Robotti, N. (Eds.). (2014). The legacy of Bruno Pontecorvo: the man and the scientist. Bologna: Società italiana di Fisica.

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Di Castro, C., & Bonolis, L. (2014). The beginnings of theoretical condensed matter physics in Rome: a personal remembrance. The European Physical Journal H, 39(1), 3-36.

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A Century of General Relativity: 4—Social and Institutional Aspects of the Renaissance


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

The Emergence of Relativistic Astrophysics in the early 1960s (invited talk)

Prague. Symposium "Enduring Ideas, New Alliances: Social and Epistemic Factors in the Renaissance of General Relativity", 7th European Society for the History of Science Conference

The birth of research on nuclear fusion in Italy (invited talk)

Sapienza University, Rome. Thermonuclear fusion, Space exploration and frontier research in astrophysics: History and Obstacles. Department of Astronautical, Electrical and Energy Engineering.

From white dwarfs to Gravitational Collapse within Einstein’s Theory: The emergence of Relativistic Astrophysics (invited talk)

International Solvay Institutes, Bruxelles

From ‘Dark Stars’ to Gravitational Collapse within Einstein’s Theory: The Emergence of Relativistic Astrophysics (invited talk)

Harnack House, Berlin. A Century of General Relativity, November 30 - December 2, 2015

The Renaissance of General Relativity in Rome: Main actors, research programs and institutional structures. XIV Marcel Grossmann Meeting (invited talk)

Sapienza University, Rome

Bruno Maksimovich Pontecorvo. From slow neutrons with Enrico Fermi in Rome to neutrino oscillations in Dubna (invited talk)

DESY, Hamburg

Bruno Pontecorvo. Universality of Weak Interactions and Muon Decay. National Conference of the Italian Physical Society (invited talk)

International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste

Conference 100 Years Cosmic Rays. From Cosmic Ray Physics to Cosmic Ray Astronomy. Bruno Rossi and the Opening of New Windows on the Universe (invited talk)

Bad Saarow/Pieskow

The coming of abstract mathematics in the physics of 20th century (2003); Pauli and the mysteries of beta-decay, Fermi's theory of beta-decay (2004); Enrico Fermi and the Roman Physics School, Bruno Rossi and the electromagnetic cascade (2005); Einstein, Jordan, Dirac and the origins of QED (2006); Neutrinos. A history of puzzles and paradoxes (2007); From Mendel's laws to the discovery of the structure of DNA double helix (2008); The motion of Planets, order or chaos? The three-body problem, a challenge for celestial mechanics (2009); Physicists and Mathematicians in Goettingen. Amalie Emmy Noether and the birth of super-laws (2009); Lords of the cosmic rays: from earth laboratories to physics in space. A century of cosmic ray researches (2010); Physics and Group Theory. From Evariste Galois to Emmy Noether. From Noether's Theorems to the "Gruppenpest" in the new Quantum Mehanics (2013)

Courses at the annual Winter School on History of Physics organized by the Italian Association for Physics Teaching (A.I.F.)

Courses on History of Physics, Didactics of Physics and Laboratory

University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy