Rodolfo Bonifacio has died aged 76 on November 1st, 2016.
Rodolfo graduated in 1964 at the University of Milan, where he became full professor in 1981.
Rodolfo is well known in quantum optics for having developed the theory of optical bistability together with Luigi Lugiato and, together with Tito Arecchi, the so-called Maxwell-Bloch equations for the evolution of a two-level atom in an optical resonator.
Rodolfo and Giuliano Preparata also studied the spontaneous emission from a collection of two-level systems interacting with the quantised electromagnetic field, showing for the first time the coherence of the emitted radiation.
Rodolfo received the Michelson Medal in 1987 and the Einstein Medal in 1994. He taught quantum mechanics to many generations of students, trying to be (using his own words) “vigorous” rather than “rigourous” and putting an emphasis on the applicative aspects of the theory.
He was instrumental to the development of the Applied Quantum Mechanics group at the beginning of the century, tenaciously insisting to have new positions for the emerging field of quantum information processing.
Thanks Rodolfo, R. I. P.