Gianfranceschi e la divulgazione della relatività in Italia


Davide Pietrini (Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo")


Giuseppe Gianfranceschi is well-known as President of Pontificia Accademia dei Nuovi Lincei, first Director of Radio Vaticana and for his criticism of theory of relativity. In spite of his antirelativism, Gianfranceschi had an important role in the introduction and in the discussion of the Einstein’s theory in Italian milieu. Many documents to reconstruct his scientific activity are kept within the Fondo Gianfranceschi of Historical Archive of Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome. Among the numerous papers, the Fondo contains a handwritten lecture Sulla elettrodinamica dei corpi in movimento, which was one of the first attempts to popularize special relativity in Italy, and an unpublished correspondence between Gianfranceschi and Tullio Levi-Civita, that concerns the gravitational equations and the interpretation of cosmological constant as ether. In this paper first of all I put Gianfranceschi’s divulgation activity about relativity in context, then I describe the establishment and the contents of Fondo Gianfranceschi and at the end I transcribe the lecture and the correspondence with Levi-Civita.

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