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The divided life of Bruno Pontecorvo—physicist or spy

An extract from a new tale of spooks and scientists

By Frank Close  

Bruno Pontecorvo, right, with his fellow physicist Carlo Franzinetti

The following is an extract from “Half Life, the divided life of Bruno Pontecorvo” the new book by the Oxford University physicist Frank Close, published by Oneworld. Pontecorvo was a prodigiously gifted physicist who, before the Second World War, worked with Enrico Fermi on the phenomenon of “slow neutrons”, work of fundamental significance in advancing the scientific understanding of matter. Pontecorvo went on to become an outstanding scientist in his own right, and during…

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