Erio Tosatti, a co-founder and senior member of ICTP's Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics section, has been awarded the 2018 Enrico Fermi Prize by the Italian Physical Society (SIF), their highest honour.
Tosatti shares the prize with Federico Capasso of Harvard University and Lev Pitaevskii of the University of Trento for their “outstanding contributions in understanding the quantum properties of condensed matter".
SIF cited Tosatti's “fundamental theoretical contributions aimed to understand the optical properties of solids, in particular of surface and transport phenomena, even in extreme conditions of dimensional confinement, high temperature and pressure".
Established in 2001, on the occasion of the centenary of Enrico Fermi's birth, the award is given annually to one or more scientists whose discoveries have made outstanding contributions to physics.
"I am honored by the very ambitious Fermi Prize, moved by the consideration and support of many colleagues and friends, and flattered by the company of Federico Capasso and Lev Pitaevskii, scientists whose contributions are immortal," said Tosatti, who is also a professor emeritus at the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA).
He added, "I dedicate this recognition first of all to my family, who supported me and accompanied me at every step, to my nieces Chloe and Stella Ilce and their laughing eyes, to SISSA and ICTP where I worked and, last but not least, to my great and beloved masters and/or colleagues Laura Fini Grossi, Remo Randighieri, Franco Bassani, Phil Anderson, Paolo Budinich, Daniele Amati.”
Tosatti, a native of Modena, first arrived in Trieste in 1977. He founded SISSA's Condensed Matter Theory Sector and directed it for more than 30 years (from 1980 to 2014). He has held various positions, including that of ICTP Director ad interim (from 2002 to 2003). He has received several awards, including the Tate Medal for International Leadership in Physics from the American Institute of Physics (2005), and honors, including the appointment as Foreign Associate by the US National Academy of Sciences in 2011.
The award ceremony will take place on 17 September 2018 during the opening of the 104th National Congress of the Italian Physical Society in Arcavacata di Rende.