the institute

The legacy of Enrico Fermi. The challenges of the future

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the organization


CREF promotes original and high-impact lines of research, based on physical methods, but with a strong interdisciplinary character and in relation to the main problems of the modern knowledge society.

Principal Research Lines
Individual research areas
History of Physics
Research staff

third mission

The CREF was born with a dual soul: a research centre and a historical museum. Its aim is to preserve and disseminate the memory of Enrico Fermi and to promote the dissemination and communication of scientific culture.

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the institute


The Enrico Fermi Historical Physics Museum and Study and Research Centre (CREF) is located in the building that housed the historic Royal Institute of Physics in the 1930s, where Enrico Fermi and a group of young physicists carried out the first experiments on neutron-induced radioactivity, fundamental for the future development of nuclear energy. It was here that the history of physics and the entire twentieth century was written.

A new research facility

In 1999, to honour the historical memory of the place, Parliament unanimously approved a law to create a new research institution, the “Historical Museum of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Study and Research Centre”, under the supervision of the Ministry of the University.

From November 2019, with the official handover of the restored building, the real operational, scientific and museum phase of the CREF will begin.


A double mission

The mission of the organisation is, therefore, twofold:

  • Developing a modern historical physics museum dedicated to Fermi’s scientific legacy it aims to ensure the widespread dissemination and communication of his life and discoveries. The Museum’s activities also include various types of initiatives for the dissemination and promotion of scientific culture aimed at a wide and varied audience, with particular attention to schools and universities;
  • In the spirit that characterised Enrico Fermi’s activities, it aims to develop original and powerful lines of research based on physics methods but with a strong interdisciplinary character.
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