Born in Rome, physicist Giorgio Baresi is a typical university professor in the old days: messy hair, a somewhat messy table, and a real curiosity in the other, especially if the other comes from a culture like Brazil, a country in which he has a lot. Admired because of forró’s dance style, and by writers such as João Guimarães Rosa.
At the age of seventy-three, Parisi just won the Nobel Prize in Physics along with two climatologistsSeokuro Manabe of Japanese descent, 90, and Klaus Haselmann, 89 of Germany.
In addition to the gold medal, half of the €986,000 prize – about 6.2 million Brazilian reais – will go to the Italian, while the rest will be shared between Manebe and Haselman.
Parisi stated in a video interview with BBC News Brasil: “I never expected to get two awards with two climates. The Nobel Prize shows that physics and climate are two different things, but there is any relationship between them.” “Planet Earth is a complex system, perhaps much more complex than we know it precisely because it thinks of everything within it. The whole evolution of the world, the ecosystems, is a complex system.”
Complex systems and atmospheric chaos have been research topics for Paris since the late 1970s, and decades of study and some discoveries have earned the scientist a Nobel Prize, the Swedish Academy noted. “There is nothing more wonderful than finding order in the midst of chaos,” he says.
a Italy So far, after counting all the fields, 21 Nobel Prizes have been awarded – Baresi was the sixth Italian physicist to receive this distinction, demonstrating the strength of the discipline in the country. Professor at Sapienza University in Rome, Vice-President – after serving as President for a few years – of the Academia Nacional dei Lincei, which has existed since the early 17th century and is responsible for promoting science, and Researcher at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Rome, Italy.
The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Siokoro Manabe, Klaus Hesselmann and Giorgio Baresi
Interested in Brazil, the country that has never set foot, Giorgio Baresi regrets the state of the epidemic, the government Jair Bolsonaro And the frequent news of increasing poverty.
Read key excerpts from the interview:
BBC News Brazil – The Academy awarded a. With the Nobel Prize for “discovery of the interaction between turbulence and fluctuations in physical systems from the atomic scale to the planetary scale”. How is this explained?
Giorgio Baresi – The first thing to understand is that in nature there are complex systems. The world, and we ourselves, are surrounded by these systems. (…)
If I take a dog, for example, you can tell me something about him: what he does at that moment, if he eats, if he plays, if he sleeps. He can do a lot. Then, through external intervention, it can completely change: someone makes a noise and this dog gets scared and begins to jump. The complex system shows that the dog, which I describe on a behavioral level, is made up of many things, cells, and organs such as the liver and brain, and these organs can be diseased, some of which have thousands of cell phones. These are the systems that cause a ripple effect.
BBC News Brasil – In other words, it can be anything, with many implications.
Paris – Salt crystal is not a complex system. Or a glass of water, because they are all made from the same corn. But almost everything we have around us is a complex system. The point is that physics, for a long time, has been interested in the study of infinitely small things, atoms, or other substances. Then I looked at infinity, the stars, the galaxies, the universe, the cosmic scale.
The other frontiers of physics are complex systems, but we’re still far from understanding everything. That’s why I was awarded the Nobel Prize, because the work I’ve been doing since the late 1970s is putting these complex systems into physics.
Physics is very different from other disciplines: Physics attempts to simplify or study the world in a simplified way.
Example: Galileo Galilei, when he began to study the motion of cannon bombs falling on Pisa, neglected the effect of atmospheric friction. There was a simplified method. The great success of physics since Galileo has been to make great simplifications and then remove them. Fifty years after the Galileo system was used, physics began to take into account objects moving through the atmosphere through friction.
Studying complex systems is difficult precisely because it is not simple. If you simplify a complex system, it becomes simple, no longer complex. I started doing studies on complex systems, but many other researchers have also promoted and dedicated themselves to these studies.
BBC News Brazil – What is the relationship between a complex system and climate? This was stated in the Nobel Prize.
Paris – I try to guess. Planet Earth is a complex system, perhaps more complex than we know, precisely because it thinks of everything within itself. Weather is not easy. Earth’s major glaciers, in the past, are events in which the Earth’s temperature drops suddenly, changing from a state of heat to a state of extreme cold. This is because the Earth, however, can be essentially in two different states, cold or heat. There can be many situations.
I have done studies on ice. The basic idea of the prize motive, of assembling myself with two climatologists, shows that physics and climate are two different things, but that there is some relationship between the two. I must say that I did not expect to get an award with the climate.
The complex view of the universe reaches the planetary scale. The whole evolution of the world, ecosystems, is a complex system, one within the other. Then there is the quantitative study of the planet which, in another idea, is based on climatology, for the characters who built the first detailed models of the planet’s climate, dividing it into groups. They wanted to reward innovation that unites seemingly different things.
One of the main things is that the ocean absorbs a lot of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity, but from what part of the ocean? Going to the cold or warm part of the ocean? These are the basic problems of the current research. Getting into these details, the mixture of water that goes to the surface, or to the depths of the sea, is very complicated.
The Nobel Prize in Physics goes to discoveries that help understand global warming
BBC News Brazil – A. He said he’s dealing with chaos. Is it the chaos of complex systems or is there something bigger, almost philosophical?
Paris – Chaos means unpredictability. The movement of the Earth in relation to the Moon, or in relation to the Sun, is quite a certain movement. We can make predictions about the next eclipse with great accuracy. We know that scientists in the past knew how to do this very well.
The idea of chaos, at least from a scientific point of view, are movements that cannot be easily predicted. If we forecast the weather in two or three days, we can correct it with high probability. In 20 days, for example, it won’t be an easy task, and we usually don’t do it right. It is something that moves unexpectedly within a certain range. This, in the atmosphere, we call the chaotic system.
There is nothing more wonderful than finding order in chaos. From particles to nervous systems, to the components that make up a piece of glass, there are systems whose bases are not all yet discovered, and my job is to try to find them.
The word “chaos” entered physics in the 1960s, the best example being the pool table. It is a classic example of anarchic system. In first and second play, you can predict where the ball will stand in successive games. But after step three, four, etc., it becomes unpredictable.
The word chaos is clearly suggestive. In many environments it has another meaning. But from a technical and scientific point of view, this unpredictability is not absolute. We cannot predict the weather at such a long distance, but we are convinced that next year it will not snow in Manaus. Or we know, for example, that in summer it will be hotter than in winter.
BBC News Brazil – The Italian School of Physics is recognized worldwide, along with other colleagues who have already been awarded the Nobel Prize. What makes a great school?
Paris – In order to have good physicists, you must have good physics students. And in order to have good students in Physics, it is necessary for good students to enroll in Physics.
Italy in the past had great physicists, such as Eduardo Amaldi (1908-1989), who had a very important dialogue between physics and politics. For years, physics was one of the best disciplines funded by the Italian state, which allowed the studies and experiments necessary for its development to be carried out.
And we also had a lot of competent people, foreigners, who came to Italy in World War I (1914-1918), and after World War II (1939-45), who brought a lot of innovation. One of them was the Russian Gleb Watagin (1899-1986), who was also a professor at the University of São Paulo. It was a luxury to have Wattagen here. He returned to Italy after the war, after a period in Brazil. He was fundamental to Italian physics, and still has a lot of international knowledge. The country ended up creating an environment conducive to the study of physics.
BBC News Brazil – A. She is a respected forró dancer. How did this relationship with Brazilian culture begin?
Paris – For a while, until 2004 or 2005, the last thing in the world that caught my eye was dancing. But I approached him casually, in the gym I attended, from Greek dances. It’s hard to say, but I can decently dance a series of Greek balls and folk dances. Greece is a very rich country, it is a country with hundreds of different dances.
Then I happened to come across an advertisement to learn forró university here near the university (Sapienza, Rome). I didn’t understand anything, I thought it was a lesson forró for university students and professors. Nobody really knows about things…
Then I learned it was forró style (laughs). And I was very interested. It is a very friendly environment. It is not just a creative dance, but the common sense of people going to class creates a very interesting atmosphere. Dancing is a social event.
BBC News Brazil – What kind of forró attract you the most?
Paris – I know the difference between forró pé de Serra and forró university. The bait, when I was introduced to the style, was forró university, but soon after we started dancing on the mountainside, which is quite different. I know the so-called electronic forró is in fashion, but it didn’t work in Italy. I know something about Brazilian music and culture. I like the more traditional style, like the songs of Louise Gonzaga.
BBC News Brazil – A. Have you ever visited Brazil
Paris – Unfortunately not yet, I need to meet him. I was with my family once, in 2009. But just before I left, there was that horrific accident with an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic. My family was scared and we gave up on the trip. I was very sorry. I have to go to Minas Gerais. I read Grande Serão: Veredas by Guimarães Rosa, a beautiful book. I really wanted to go to Minas Gerais, the secluded lands described in the book. This is one of the best books of the twentieth century, a book that was well known in Italy fifty years ago, but it has started to fade in recent years, people don’t know it anymore, which is a shame. I hope it is still a book that is read in Brazil.
BBC News Brazil – A. Do you follow the Brazilian news?
Paris – Yes, I know the Brazilian situation very well. I deeply regret the election of Jair Bolsonaro. (…) And I feel very sorry for the situation of the epidemic, the increase in poverty… (…) Having Bolsonaro as president during the epidemic was one of the worst things that could happen to Brazil. I really hope he gets fired.
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