Oscar Sala

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Oscar Sala (born March 26, 1922 in Milan, Italy, d. January 2, 2010 in São Paulo, Brazil), Italian-Brazilian nuclear physicist and important scientific leader, Emeritus Professor of the Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,395,274 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and sorrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its lenght by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

São Paulo Municipality in Brazil

São Paulo is a municipality in the Southeast Region of Brazil. The metropolis is an alpha global city and the most populous city in Brazil, the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere, besides being the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. The municipality is also the Earth's 11th largest city proper by population. The city is the capital of the surrounding state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil. It exerts strong international influences in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment. The name of the city honors the Apostle, Saint Paul of Tarsus. The city's metropolitan area, the Greater São Paulo, ranks as the most populous in Brazil and the 12th most populous on Earth. The process of conurbation between the metropolitan areas located around the Greater São Paulo created the São Paulo Macrometropolis, a megalopolis with more than 30 million inhabitants, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.


Early life and education

Sala graduated in physics in 1943, at the then recently created University of São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil. The Department of Physics of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters was started with two imminent Italian physicists, Gleb Wataghin and Giuseppe Occhialini, who specialized in researching cosmic radiation. He was contemporary with a brilliant generation of young Brazilian physicians, such as César Lattes, José Leite Lopes, Mário Schenberg, Roberto Salmeron, Marcelo Damy de Souza Santos and Jayme Tiomno. While still a student, Oscar Sala started research work with the group. In 1945, Sala published with Wataghin an important paper on showers of penetrating nuclear particles.

Physics Study of the fundamental properties of matter and energy

Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.

University of São Paulo public state university in Brazil

The University of São Paulo is a public university in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is the largest Brazilian public university and the country's most prestigious educational institution, the best university in Ibero-America, and holds a high reputation among world universities, being ranked 100 worldwide in reputation by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. USP is involved in teaching, research and university extension in all areas of knowledge, offering a broad range of courses.

Gleb Wataghin Italian physicist

Gleb Vassielievich Wataghin was a Russian-Italian experimental physicist and a great scientific leader who gave a great impulse to the teaching and research on physics in two continents: in the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; and in the University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Career in academia

Soon after graduation, he was hired as a teaching assistant by the Chair of General and Experimental Physics, led by Prof. Marcelo Damy de Souza Santos. His entire scientific and teaching career was spent at the same institution, which later became the Institute of Physics. In this new capacity, Sala became head of the Department of Nuclear Physics (1970–1979 and 1983–1987).

In 1946 Oscar Sala received a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation and went to study in the U.S., first at the University of Illinois, and subsequently, in 1948, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. There, he participated in the development of electrostatic particle accelerators for use in nuclear physics research, the first devices to use pulsed beams for the study of nuclear reactions with rapid neutrons. Upon his return to Brazil, Sala was responsible for installing and coordinating research efforts based on a large electrostatic Van de Graaff generator. Later, he helped to build a pelletron at the University of São Paulo (the first in Latin America).

The Rockefeller Foundation is a private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. It was established by the six-generation Rockefeller family. The Foundation was started by Standard Oil owner John D. Rockefeller ("Senior"), along with his son John D. Rockefeller Jr. ("Junior"), and Senior's principal oil and gas business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, in New York State on May 14, 1913, when its charter was formally accepted by the New York State Legislature. Its stated mission is "promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world."

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Public university in Wisconsin, USA

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University also owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre (486 ha) arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the main campus.

As a scientific leader, Dr. Oscar Sala was one of the founders and a scientific director (1959–1965) with the Foundation for Support of Research of the State of São Paulo (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and president of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência). He was a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Academia Brasileira de Ciências), the Third World Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prof. Sala was a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists .

Selected bibliography

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