The Science of Existence (44-10-1) Ettore Majorana

 Ettore Majorana

Italian physicist Ettore Majorana first proposed the existence of neutrons. Enrico Fermi urged him to write an article on it. Majorana demurred, considering his own work banal. The credit was instead given to James Chadwick, who won a Nobel prize for it.

In 1937, Majorana discovered a hitherto unknown solution to the equations from which quantum particles are deduced. Out of it came a prediction for an exotic fermion, initially thought as perhaps a type of neutrino: the Majorana.

On 27 March 1938, Majorana took a boat trip from Palermo to Naples. He disappeared. His body was never found.

Majorana had emptied his bank account prior to the trip. 2 days before he left, Majorana wrote a note to the Director of the Naples Physics Institute, apologizing for the inconvenience that his disappearance would cause.