Gabriele Veneziano m Photographed by Betsy Devine (2007) (*)

Gabriele Veneziano (b. 1942) is a theoretical physicist and one of the "fathers of string theory". Of Italian origin, he was born in 1942 in Florence. While he worked at CERN in 1968, he discovered that the Euler Beta function used as a scattering amplitude, the so-called Veneziano amplitude, has many features that are useful to explain physical properties of strongly interacting particles. Nowadays, this amplitude is interpreted as the scattering amplitude for four open string tachyons.

Veneziano's work led to intense activities aimed at explaining strong nuclear interactions based on a field theory of strings with a length scale of fermi (a fermi is one million billionth of a metre). Later quantum chromodynamics was developed which could neatly account for strong interactions. This led to a loss of interest in string theories. Later in 1980s there was a revival of interest in string theories.

More recently, Veneziano worked in string cosmology. Veneziano currently holds the chair of Elementary Particles, Gravitation and Cosmology at the College of France.

Society Memberships

* Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Turin: since 1994

* Member of the Lincei National Academy: since 1996

* Member of the French Academy of Sciences: since 2002


* I. Ya. Pomeranchuk Prize, Moscow: 1999
* Gold medal della Repubblica Italiana come Benemerito della Cultura: 2000
* Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, from the American Physical Society: 2004
* Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Physical Society: 2005
* Albert Einstein Medal: 2006
* Oskar Klein Medal: 2007
* Commendatore al merito della Repubblica Italiana: 2007

* Witten was mentioned in the comic Ex Machina.

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