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Riccardo Levi-Setti

Riccardo Levi-Setti, (1927-2018) was professor emeritus of physics at the University of Chicago and past director of the Enrico Fermi Institute.

Levi-Setti saw his first trilobite fossil on a dig west of Chicago shortly after joining the university as a research associate in 1956. Trilobites would become his passion. Over the rest of his life he traveled around the world to dig, discovering two new species—one in Canada and one in Morocco. Many of his vast collection of trilobites has been donated to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago; others to the Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Center in Newfoundland; and a portion to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

He was a fellow of the American Physical Society. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Leonardo da Vinci Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science, the Steinberg Award of the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences, and the Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito—one of the highest awards of merit given by the Italian Republic. In addition to three books on trilobites, he also published two physics textbooks, Elementary Particles and Strongly Interacting Particles.


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