G9 Past and Present (and ICRA)

The Gruppo 9, or G9 for short, the relativistic astrophysics group in the Department of Physics (Fisica) of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" led by Remo Ruffini, started with his appointment to a chair of theoretical physics there in 1978, and lasted through his retirement in 2012 (though the G9 room still remains occupied by ICRA/ICRANet students and associates).

Richard Hanni was the first postdoc in 1978-79 followed by Robert ("dr bob") Jantzen in 1979-1980, both NATO fellow recipients, and Misao Sasaki (1979-1980). Early "laurea" members (before the Italian PhD program existed) in the first years of the group included Luigi Stella (1980) and Ignazio Ciufolini (1980). Bob and Ignazio were roomates at GR9 in Jena (1981). Bob and Luigi were later flatmates at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 1981-1982. Valeria Ferrari was the first "researcher" in the group, who had the group's first single vax DEC VT terminal to "vaxrom" in those early days before the PC revolution and the internet.

The golden years of G9 were the late 1980s to early 1990s when it grew into a large extended family of laurea and doctoral students and regular visitors (including bob), with some memorable group travel experiences. A contemporary development saw the establishment of the International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics (ICRA) by Remo Ruffini in 1985: same people, different funding source.

Among long term resident visitors were Song Doo-Jong (198?-198?) and Hyung Won Lee (1989-1993) from Korea. bob has shown up regularly every year since 1979. Vahe Gurzadyan had been another regular visitor since 1989.

Closely associated with the G9/ICRA activities has been the Specola Vaticana (Vatican Observatory) led by the director George Coyne who led the Specola into a new era starting at about the same time as Remo's Rome group (1978). 

ICRANet based in Pescara was born in 2005 with Remo as director for life.

[Suggestions? Contributions? Details about unknown people in photos.... in the G9 People List?]

g9alums.htm: 15-dec-2015 [©2007 dr bob enterprises]