John Stuart Bell: recollections of a great scientist and a great man

This contribution to the book in honour of J.S. Bell will probably differ from the remaining ones, in particular since only a part of it will be devoted to specific technical arguments. In fact I have considered appropriate to share with the community of physicists interested in the foundational problems of our best theory the repeated interactions I had with him in the last four years of his life, the deep discussions in which we have been involved in particular in connection with the elaboration of collapse theories and their interpretation, the contributions he gave to the development of this approach, both at a formal level, as well as championing it on repeated occasions. In brief, I intend to play here the role of  one of those lucky persons who became acquainted with him personally, who has exchanged important views with him, who has learned a lot from his deep insight and conceptual lucidity, and, last but not least, one whose scientific work has been appreciated by him.

Moreover, due to the fact that this book intends to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the derivation of the fundamental inequality which bears his name, I will also devote a small part of the text to recall  his clear cut views about the locality issue, views that I believe have not been grasped correctly by a remarkable part of the scientific community.  I will analyze this problem in quite general terms  at the end of the paper. Full text

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