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Enrico Fermi, one of the foremost experimental and theoretical physicists of the 20th century, was born #OTD in 1901. Now estimate how many other physicists were born on that day.
Image: New York Public Library
Fermi was only 21 when he completed his PhD at Pisa, and after a few years abroad working with Born and Ehrenfest he became a lecturer at Florence. It was there that he worked out the statistics of a collection of particles satisfying Pauli's exclusion principle.
Fundamental particles like leptons and quarks, as well as composite particles like protons and neutrons, satisfy these Fermi-Dirac statistics (Dirac obtained the same results a few months after Fermi). For this reason, we refer to this broad class of particles as Fermions.
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