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Augusto Righi

Born: 27-Aug-1850
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: 8-Jun-1920
Location of death: Bologna, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Italy
Executive summary: Electromagnetic waves

Italian physicist Augusto Righi experimented with electromagnetism and solid-state physics, and conducted work that led to the development of wireless telegraphy -- radio. Intrigued by the findings of Heinrich Hertz, he investigated electromagnetic waves, and discovered that using smaller spheres on the exciters caused the production of shorter electromagnetic waves. He made mechanical improvements to Hertz's oscillator design, leading to more control over and consistency in the waves produced, and confirmed James Clerk Maxwell's electromagnetic theory of light. When Guglielmo Marconi, who later invented radio, was denied admission to the University of Bologna, Righi gave him permission to attend his lectures, use the University's library, and work in Righi's laboratory, where Marconi did some of his earliest experiments.

    University: BS Civil Engineering, University of Bologna (1872)
    Teacher: Physics, Bologna Technical Institute (1873-80)
    Professor: Physics, University of Palermo (1880-85)
    Professor: Physics, University of Padua (1885-89)
    Professor: Physics, University of Bologna (1889-1920)

    Hughes Medal 1905
    Matteucci Medal 1882
    Town Council of Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
    Asteroid Namesake 16766 Righi

Author of books:
Modern Theory of Physical Phenomena, Radio-Activity, Ions, Electrons (1904)

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