Carlo Rubbia was born in Gorizia, Italy, on 31st March 1934. He graduated at Scuola Normale in Pisa, where he completed his University education with a thesis on Cosmic Ray Experiments. He has been working at CERN since 1961. In 1976, he suggested adapting CERN's Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) to collide protons and antiprotons in the same ring and the world's first antiproton factory was built. The collider started running in 1981 and, in early 1983, an international team of more than 100 physicists headed by Rubbia and known as the UA1 Collaboration, detected the intermediate vector bosons. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Carlo Rubbia has served as Director-General of CERN from January 1989 till December 1993.
From 1970 to December 1988 Rubbia has spent one semester per year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was Higgins Professor of Physics.
From 1986 to 1994 he has been the President of Sincrotrone Trieste (Synchrotron Light Radiation Source).
From 1999 to 2005 he has been President of ENEA (Italian National Agency for Energy and the Environment)
Rubbia has also been one of the leaders in a collaboration effort based in the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory designed to detect any sign of decay of the proton. The experiment seeks evidence that would disprove the conventional belief whereby matter is stable. The experiment, known as ICARUS and based on a new technique of electronic detection of ionizing events in ultra-pure liquid Argon, is aiming at the direct detection of the neutrinos emitted from the Sun, a first rudimentary neutrino telescope to explore neutrino signals of cosmic nature.
More recently he proposed the concept of an Energy Amplifier – a novel and safe way of producing nuclear energy exploiting present-day accelerator technologies, which is actively being studied world-wide in order to incinerate high activity waste from accelerators and to produce energy from natural thorium. The energy resources potentially deriving from these fuels will be practically unlimited and comparable to those from Fusion.
His research activities are presently concentrated on the problem of energy supply for the future, with particular focus on the development of new technologies for renewable energy sources. During his term as president of ENEA he has developed a novel method for concentrating solar power at high temperatures for energy production, known as the Archimedes project, which is presently being devloped by industry for commercial use.
Prof. Rubbia is principal Scientific Adviser of CIEMAT (Spain), Adviser of the Italian Minister of the Environment, Land and Sea and one of the members of the Advisory Group on Climate Change set up by EU's President Barroso.