Physics in Perspective

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 160-177

First online:

The Disappearance and Death of Ettore Majorana

  • Francesco GuerraAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, INFN, Section of Rome Email author 
  • , Nadia RobottiAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of Genova, INFN, Section of Genova

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At the end of March 1938, Ettore Majorana disappeared under still mysterious circumstances while he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Naples. We exploit new archival documents that provide evidence that without any doubt he was deceased before September 1939. These include documents pertaining to the foundation of a Fellowship in his name, announced on November 3, 1939, in the journal, The Missions of the Society of Jesus, and documents pertaining to the Police and Vatican inquires after his disappearance. We conclude by discussing the biographical sketch of Majorana that his uncle Giuseppe Majorana wrote before his death in 1940.


Ettore Majorana Salvatore Majorana Calatabiano Salvatore Majorana Quirino Majorana Giuseppe Majorana Fabio Majorana Gilberto Bernardini Giuseppe Bottai Father Ettore Caselli Enrico Fermi Giovanni Gentile, Jr. Benito Mussolini Oliviero Savini Nicci University of Palermo University of Naples The Society of Jesus Vatican State Bulletin of Inquires Frontier List history of physics