Enrico Fermi and Alfred Nobel

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

Enrico Fermi. Alfred Nobel. What is ironic about the link between the 2 entities?

First of all, they are not “entities”, they are people. Beyond that, it’s a matter of opinion…

Enrico Fermi won the 1938 Nobel Prize in physics. Nobel Prizes in physics were instituted by Alfred Nobel in 1895.

Both men have made contributions to weapons-making. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and was the mastermind behind turning Swedish steel company Bofors into a major weapons manufacturing concern; Enrico Fermi was one of the intellectual leaders of the Manhattan Project.

There are chemical elements named after both men (Fermium and Nobelium). Nobelium’s most stable isotope, No-259, decays to a Fermium isotope Fm-255 through alpha decay.

Enrico Fermi was born in Italy; Alfred Nobel died in Italy.

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