Laura Bassi was born in 1711 in Bologna, Italy. At age twenty, she was appointed Professor of physics at the University of Bologna. After her marriage to fellow academic Guiseppe Varetti in 1738, Bassi introduced Newtonian physics to her native country. She conducted classes from her home and set up a laboratory for her students. She was also a prolific author, publishing 28 articles on physics and hydraulics.
Laura Bassi was born in Bologna in 1711
Laura Bassi was born on 31 October 1711 and went on to become the first woman to teach physics in a European university. At the age of 20, she received her doctorate and defended a thesis on Newtonian physics before the archbishop of Bologna. Later, she became an honorary professor at the University of Bologna. Although she was not allowed to teach there, she taught public lectures and carried out experiments. At the age of twenty, she married fellow academic Guise Varetti and they had eight children.
She studied at the Bologna Academy of Sciences
Bassi’s appointment at the Bologna Academy of Sciences came amid some controversy. Many young male academics were waiting for their chance, and funding was always tight. In addition, some older male colleagues considered it indecent for a young woman to be in the middle of a debate with men. But Bassi persisted, and she eventually gained the support of the pope.
She was named to the Benedettini by Benedict XIV
In 1734, Pope Benedict XIV named Laura Bassi to the Benedettini. The appointment was a compromise between Bassi and the other members of the Order. Although Bassi did not hold any voting rights, she was expected to attend special functions.
She became a professor
Laura Bassi was a prominent scientist in eighteenth-century Europe. She was the second woman in Europe to receive a university degree, and she was the first woman to be given an official university teaching position. In 1776, she was named professor of experimental physics at the Academy of Sciences in Bologna. She was a prolific researcher and teacher in experimental physics.
She founded a laboratory
Laura Bassi started a laboratory in her home when she was 13 years old. She studied a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, physics, and hydrometry. She also taught other students and encouraged their research. She was a pioneer of scientific ideas in Italy. While her published works are limited, she was highly respected by the society of Bologna.
She was a patron of the pope
Laura Bassi, who was born in 1714, received little formal education, but she was privately tutored by her cousin. She studied Latin, philosophy, and mathematics. She also studied medicine under Gaetano Tacconi, a family physician and professor of medicine at the University of Bologna. She took interest in Newtonian science. Later, she met Prospero Lorenzini Lambertin, who became Archbishop of Bologna and Pope Benedict XIV.