10. Ettore Majorana (1906 – probably dead after 1959)

Italian theoretical physicist who studied neutrino masses, electrically neutral subatomic particles that are created in nuclear reactions. Majorana wrote six key papers on atomic and molecular physics, and three on nuclear physics or the properties of elementary particles -his major scientific contribution. His last paper was written in 1937 on Fermi’s urging, after four years of not publishing because of poor health.

He disappeared suddenly under mysterious circumstances while going by ship from Palermo to Naples. The Majorana equation and the Majorana fermions are named after him. In 2006, the Majorana Prize was established in his memory.

Reference: Encyclopedia.com, http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2830902777.html

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