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Marcello Giorgi (1939–2019)

Marcelo Giorgi
(Image: CERN)

Marcello Giorgi, one of the first members of the CERN–Trieste High-Energy Group, passed away on 1 May. In the 1960s, Giorgi worked on several experiments at CERN, first at the PS, and then, as soon as the SPS started operation, on the WA6 experiment. Later, in the 1980s, he participated in a series of experiments that the Trieste group performed at LEAR. Giorgi also spent a sabbatical as a CERN Research Associate, after which, fascinated by the nucleon-spin crisis, he moved with the Trieste group to the DIS experiments with the high-energy muon beam: first the SMC and later the COMPASS experiment.

In time, his interests gradually drifted from particle physics to the history of physics and epistemology. He was the driving force behind the organisation of many conferences on “Conceptual tools to understand nature” held in Trieste in the 1990s. As a professor, he was an excellent teacher, highly appreciated by the many students who graduated under his guidance over the course of his long career.

Giorgi was a generous person, with an open character, well known at CERN and in the physicist community. A real sportsman, all his life he practiced mountaineering and climbing, and scaled Mont Blanc with Arne Lundby in the 1970s. Prior to this, he had chosen to join the alpine corps for his military service. In the following years, he continued to attend refresher training sessions with the corps, attaining the rank of senior officer. Needless to say, he was extremely proud of the white eagle feather on his alpine hat. Mountaineering was not his only love: he also loved cycling and boxing. As a welterweight, he even fought a few times, before turning to promoting the sport, always stressing the educational merits of the discipline.

A man of great culture, he had a remarkable memory. He had a great sense of humour and his friends always greatly enjoyed the stories he would tell when we would gather around a table at the end of a day. We will deeply miss him.