Miguel Virasoro, Argentine physicist and director, from 1995 to 2002, of the International Center for Theoretical Physics “Abdus Salam” – ICTP of Trieste, died at the age of 81. Virasoro, born in Buenos Aires, was internationally known for his research in theoretical physics and mathematical physics.
Graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1962, he left South America after the Noche de los Bastones Largos, the violent eviction by the Argentine federal police, on July 29, 1966, of students and teachers who had occupied five academic faculties of the University of Buenos Aires to claim its autonomy from the military government of General Juan Carlos Onganía.
The Argentine physicist moved to Italy in 1977 where, in addition to the ICTP, he had collaborations and friendships at the International School of Advanced Studies – SISSA, also in Trieste, also spent research and teaching periods at the University of Turin and Rome. “La Sapienza”, where he taught for 30 years. He was currently professor emeritus at the Instituto de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina.
Virasoro was known for his studies on string theory and for the development of infinite dimensional Lie algebras; with Giorgio Parisi, president of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and Marc Mézard, director of the École norma supérieure in Paris, he made a great contribution to statistical mechanics, and to the study of “spin glasses” in infinite dimensions. In 2020 he was awarded the ICTP Dirac Medal, sharing the award with André Neveu of the University of Montpellier and Pierre Ramond of the University of Florida, “for their pioneering contributions to the initiation and formulation of string theory that introduced new bosonic and fermionic symmetries in physics “.