published in energy
Enrico Fermi in his Lab Italian nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was the first man to build an atomic reactor and split atomic nuclei by bombarding them with neutrons. He received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1938. He and his wife, who was Jewish, sailed from the awards ceremony in Stockholm directly to the U.S., to avoid the Fascists. He did his major work at the University of Chicago and became an advisor to the U.S. government.