Emilio Pagiola (1937–2011)

CERN physicist Emilio Pagiola passed away on 22 February, following a long illness.


After a beginning as a theorist in Padua, Emilio’s career as an experimental physicist started in early 1966 at CERN, in the Track Chamber Division. He made outstanding contributions to CERN physics, by participating in several bubble chamber experiments and providing sophisticated software tools for their analysis.

Later, he became a respected computer expert, a "technology junkie", as described by Gillies & Cailliau in their book "How the Web was born". His contributions were countless. He was one of the first to recognize and exploit the possibilities of interactive graphics as an analysis tool and, in particular, he was the first to bring the NeXT computer to CERN, a crucial tool in the development of the World Wide Web.

Emilio was an individualist, sometimes impatient with bureaucratic constraints. His many friends, from around the world, always valued his unconventional intelligence, energy and vast knowledge, which ranged from science to history, politics to finance. His passion for music was legendary.

Even with his illness, Emilio continued to come to CERN, meeting with his friends, and offering them, as always, new ideas and new points of view: toujours égal à lui même!

With his passing, CERN loses one of the people who have made it a centre of excellence. He will be sorely missed.

Our thoughts are with his wife Maria, his sons Stefano, Federico, and their families, knowing that their loss is irreplacable.

His friends and colleagues


Madame Maria Pagiola et sa famille remercient vivement tous les amis et collègues d’Emilio Pagiola, qui ont pris part à leur deuil.