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Augusto Righi

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Augusto Righi (1850-1920)

1920 Obituary [1]

AUGUSTO RIGHI was born at Bologna on the 27th August, 1850, and was educated in that city.

He was appointed, in 1871, assistant in the physics department of the University of Bologna, and two years later succeeded Paccinotti as head of the Physics Laboratory at the Bologna Technical Institute.

Subsequently he became, in 1880, Professor at the University of Palermo, and in 1885 at Padua University.

In 1899 he returned to his native city on being appointed Professor of Physics at Bologna University, a position which he held until his death on the 8th June, 1920.

He was a member of numerous Italian Societies and of the principal foreign scientific Societies, and on three occasions was President of the Royal Academy of Sciences. He also served as President of the Italian Physical Society.

He was considered to be Italy's leading physicist, and most of the scientific Societies of his country at various times awarded him important prizes, among others the King's Prize for Physics of the Accademia dei Lincei. He also received in 1905 the Hughes Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of London, of which he was elected a Foreign Member in 1907. In recognition of his high scientific attainments the Italian Government in 1905 nominated him a Senator of the Italian Parliament.

He was the author of numerous papers and works on magnetism, electricity, and light, several of which have been translated into other languages. Among the papers may be mentioned those on the subject of electric waves, previous to the development of wireless telegraphy. This work placed Righi in the front rank of pioneers in connection with conduction in gases. Among his more recent work may be mentioned his investigations on the conduction of gases in a magnetic field. His published works include " A Modern Theory of Physical Phenomena."

He was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution in 1917.

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