Carlo Rubbia was in a Milan cab, en route to Linate Airport last week and worrying about a possible Italian air-traffic controllers' strike. Suddenly the pop music on the taxi's radio was interrupted by a news bulletin: Rubbia and Simon van der Meer, his colleague at CERN, the great European nuclear research complex, had been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. At first the taxi driver did not believe his passenger's excited claims to be the man in the news. "But when I convinced him," Rubbia recalls, "he offered me a free...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!