The idea that prompted the creation of the Historical Museum of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Study and Research Center (CREF) was to bring the famous building of Via Panisperna where Enrico Fermi and his group – ” the boys from via Panisperna” – back to science. The aim is to honor the memory of this group and of their fundamental discoveries that have made a crucial contribution to modern physics.
CREF aims to pursue two different but complementary objectives. On the one hand, the museum dedicated to the scientific heritage of Fermi offers a wide dissemination and communication of his life and his discoveries. The museum activity also includes different types of initiatives for the dissemination of scientific culture to a wide audience, including schools and universities. On the other hand, CREF has its own scientific activity oriented towards the present and the future, with a nucleus of particularly original and innovative research projects precisely in the spirit that has characterized Enrico Fermi’s activities.
The CREF was established by the Law no. 62 of March 15, 1999. During a first period, the strategies of the CREF and its organizational structure were defined, but the actual activities did not start as the Via Panisperna building underwent to a long phase of restructuring, which ended at the end of 2019. The particular location of the headquarters within the Viminale complex (the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs) has also made the process of reconversion to a scientific institution long and complex, a process not yet fully completed. Starting from November 2019, with the official delivery of the new headquarters, almost totally restored, the properly operational, scientific and museum phase began.