Giorgio Parisi vince il premio Italgas nel 1993
Winner for Physics
Giorgio Parisi was born in Rome in 1948 and graduated in Physics at the University of Rome in 1970, under the direction of Nicola Cabibbo. From 1971 to 1981 he worked at the Frascati National Laboratories. In this period he worked also at some scientific Institutions abroad: Columbia University (1973-1974), Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (1976-1977), Ecole Normale Superieure (1977-1978). In 1981 he became full professor at the University of Rome where he had at first the chair of Institutions of Theoretical Physics and now the chair of Quantum Theories. Professor Parisi received the Feltrinelli Prize for Physics from the Academy of Lincei in 1987 and the Boltzmann Medal for thermodynamics and statistical mechanics from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics in 1992.
He is corresponding member of the Academy of Lincei since 1987 and foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences from 1992. The scientific and research activity of Professor Parisi concerns in particular elementary particles physics, phase transitions theory and statistical mechanics, mathematical physics and strings theory, disordered systems (spin glass and complex systems), neuronal circuits and theoretical immunology, computer theory for the evaluation of hadronic mass spectrum, statistical physics of non-equilibrium systems.
The most important contribution by Professor Parisi belongs to statistical mechanics and concerns his spin glass theory. He established the statistical and thermodynamical properties of these systems, which are characterized by disordered interactions among their elementary components. Spin glasses represent the prototype of all amorphous systems. In 1979 his work leaded to the mathematical solution of the simplest of such systems, that is the system in which every component can interact with all the others. This solution represents the reference point for the study of amorphous systems. Professor Parisi showed that the phase transitions in amorphous systems are characterized by an order parameter which is not simply a number, as in the simplest systems (for example the magnetization in ferromagnets), but a measure of probability defined in the interval [0,1]. Parisi's solution of spin glasses is the result of a wonderful combination of a deep physical and mathematical analysis. The difficulty of the problem is in the fact that in the amorphous systems it does not exist a clear tendence of the difference parts to draw up in order to minimize the energy: the minimization of the energy between a couple of elements increases the energy of other couples. This characteristic is called "whipping" and is common to many applied problems in the field of optimization. The applications of the methods developed by Professor Parisi and his school showed the depth and the importance of these discoveries and opened one of the most original and useful way of thinking - of which Professor Parisi is the certain leader - in the study of a wide class of complex systems.
For his relevant contributions given to the development of fundamental and applied physics in several research fields the Prize Committee unanimously awarded Professor Giorgio Parisi the 1993 Italgas Prize for Physics.
Il solo libro di divulgazione cientifica pubblicato da Giorgio Parisi è: "La cchiave, la luce, l'ubriaco" - Di Renzo Editore