Giuseppe Caglioti

Professor emeritus of Politecnico di Milano


"Giuseppe Caglioti trained at the School of Edoardo Amaldi and graduated in Physics from Sapienza University of Rome in 1953. In 1955, he obtained the Diploma of the Specialisation Course in Nuclear Physics at Sapienza and in 1956 he obtained the Diploma of the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois, USA). From 1962 to 1971 he held institutional courses at the Universities of Pavia and Genoa. In 1970 he took up service at the Faculty of Engineering of Politecnico di Milano as Temporary Full  Professor. In 1973 he was appointed Full Professor of Solid State Physics at Politecnico di Milano. From 2000 to 2004, he led the Industrial Design Laboratory programme and the Aesthetics programme at the Faculty of Design of Politecnico di Milano. In the academic year 2005-2006 he led the multidisciplinary programme in Aesthetics - Scientific Components of Harmony and Beauty on behalf of the Doctoral School of Politecnico di Milano.

Professor Caglioti carried out various organisational and managerial activities: from 1965 to 1970 he was Director of Activities of CNEN at the Euratom Joint Research Centre in Ispra; during his 36-year career at Politecnico di Milano he was Head of the Institute of Nuclear Engineering, President of the Study Programme Board, Co-director of the Mathematical and Physics Seminar of Milan (State University and Politecnico di Milano) and Head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering. In 1986 he was appointed President of the Organising Committee of the events for the 125th anniversary of Politecnico di Milano's foundation. In 1990, in collaboration with the CNR, he organised the International Symposium on New Technologies and Art - Scientific Roots of Aesthetics. From 1990 to 1998, he was President of the Cultural and Leisure Activities at Politecnico di Milano. He oversaw the organisation and proceedings of various cultural and scientific events for the University. Professor Caglioti retired in 2006.

His research interests concerned various fields of Physics and Physics of Matter: sub-nuclear physics and related instrumentation, the structure of matter, physics of solids and liquids, diffraction and spectrometry of neutrons and related instrumentation, properties, behaviour and mechanical performance of materials, including structural ones. Since the 1980s, alongside the aforementioned activities, he has taken an increasing interest in an interdisciplinary sector for the review of the relationship between natural sciences and humanities. His research activity was initially carried out at the Institute of Physics at the University of Rome, in the period 1953-55, then at Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois) in 1956-1957 and finally at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.  (Chalk River, Ontario) in 1959. In  the period 1966-1970 he was occasionally at the State University of Stony Brook (N.Y., USA) and at the JRC Euratom of Ispra (as previously mentioned). In 1996 he was Visiting Professor at Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, N.Y., USA). He was author/co-author of about 130 publications in the fields of Physics, Engineering and Materials technology. Among the most significant results of his research in this field are: the optimisation of experimental methods of analysis of the structure of matter by diffraction and spectroscopy of thermal neutrons, the criteria he developed being still today a reference for researchers in this field; the structure of liquid zinc, bromine and gallium and the dynamics of atoms in crystals of lead and zinc; the correlations between the structure and dynamics of crystals on the atomic scale and mechanical properties of structural materials; the design and pre-prototyping of lightweight automobile wheels. In the field of interdisciplinary research on the relationship between natural sciences and humanities, Professor Caglioti has published three books and dozens of articles highlighting the primary role of symmetry and the breaking of symmetry in human works and activities. He has recently developed Musicolor, a new form of analogue visualisation of music also designed for the deaf.

Professor Caglioti has received various awards: the Physics Prize of the Italian Physical Society in 1963; the Gold Medal of the Accademia Nazionale dei XL in 1978; and the Gold Medal of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in 2005. He is currently a member of the Academic Council of the Academic Institute of Rome, of the Istituto Lombardo Academy of Sciences and Letters, of the CNISM (formerly the National Institute of Physics of Matter) and of the World Academy of Science and Art. He is a founding member and Vice-President of the Insubria Institute of Higher Studies - ‘Gerolamo Cardano’.

[extract from the 2007 nomination statement]