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Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics

In the Nuclear and Subnuclear physics research, we study the fundamental interactions of elementary particles and nuclei properties through experiments carried out at large national and international laboratories. The research field can be divided into three research areas: sub-nuclear physics (where the characteristics of fundamental particles and forces of mediators are studied in experiments with very high energy accelerators), nuclear physics (where the nuclear properties and the quark-gluon plasma are studied in experiments with accelerators) and astroparticle physics (where aspects of nuclear or subnuclear physics are studied observing events of cosmic origin). The activities conducted cover all the life stages of large experiments, that nowadays cover a time span of about 10-15 years: research and development of new devices for particle detection, design of experiments through feasibility studies and Monte Carlo simulations of the processes under investigation, implementation, testing and calibration of tools, data taking, analysis and publication of the results. All the researches in this sector have the direct support of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN, National Institute of Nuclear Physics) which, thanks to the local Bologna section and the CNAF center, provides laboratories, detectors, instrumentation, computing power, funding and technical and research staff.

 

Subnuclear physics

ATLAS Experiment: G. Alberghi (Teacher), L. Bellagamba (INFN), S. Biondi (Ph.D. stud), D. Boscherini (INFN), A. Bruni (INFN), G. Bruni (INFN), M. Bruschi (INFN), G. Cabras (Ph.D. stud), G. D’Amen (Ph.D. stud), S De Castro (Assist. Prof.), F. Fabbri (Ph.D. stud), L. Fabbri (Assist. Prof.), M. Franchini (Postdoc), A. Gabrielli (Assist. Prof.), B. Giacobbe (INFN), N. Giangiacomi (PhD stud), F. Lasagni (Postdoc), A. Mengarelli (Postdoc), M. Negrini (INFN), A. Polini (INFN), L. Rinaldi (Fixed Term Researcher), M. Romano (INFN), C. Sbarra (INFN), N. Semprini-Cesari (Full Prof.), A. Sidoti (INFN), M. Sioli (Assoc. Prof.), R. Spighi (INFN), G. Ucchielli (Ph.D. stud), S. Valentinetti (Postdoc), M. Villa (Full Prof.), C. Vittori (Ph.D. stud), A. Zoccoli (Full Prof.)

CMS Experiment: G. Abbiendi (INFN), C. Battilana (Postdoc), D. Bonacorsi (Assoc. Prof.), L. Borgonovi (bors), S. Braibant (Assoc. Prof.), L. Brigliadori (Teacher), R. Campanini (Assoc. Prof.), P. Capiluppi (Full Prof.), A. Castro (Assoc. Prof.), FR. Cavallo (INFN), SS Chhibra (bors), C. Ciocca (Teacher), M. Cuffiani (Assoc. Prof.), GM. Dallavalle (INFN), F. Fabbri (INFN), A. Fanfani (Assoc. Prof.), D. Fasanella (Postdoc), P. Giacomelli (INFN), L. Guiducci (Fixed Term Researcher), S. Marcellini (INFN), A. Montanari (INFN), A. Perrotta (INFN), T. Rovelli (Assist. Prof.), G.P. Siroli (Assist. Prof.), N. Tosi (INFN)

These are large general-purpose experiments at the LHC accelerator, aimed at the study of the standard model of fundamental interactions, the search for the Higgs boson and verification of theories beyond the standard model (SUSY, extra dimensions, strings, etc.). Proton-proton collisions with center of mass energies up to 13 TeV and lead-lead collisions with energies up to 2.76 TeV in binary nucleon-nucleon interactions are studied.

Physics of the Standard Model: The Standard Model (SM) of particle physics is a theory that describes the elementary particles such as quarks, leptons and gauge bosons, and their interactions (electromagnetic, weak and strong). To date, the validity of the SM has been confirmed by all the subnuclear physics experiments. At the LHC it is possible to test the predictions of this theory at energies never achieved before.

Physics of the top quark: the top quark is the heaviest quark in the SM and was observed for the first time at Fermilab in 1995. Due to the high collision energy at the LHC the top quark is produced in abundance, allowing precision studies on its properties, on the single-top production processes, on the t-tbar production or on their production in association with other particles such as the t-tbar-Higgs channel.

Search for the Higgs boson: the Higgs boson, discovered by ATLAS and CMS in the summer of 2012, is a field of intense studies on its production and decay modes. In the standard model it plays a key role in establishing particle masses through the spontaneous breaking of the electroweak symmetry. Several different production and decay modes are studied locally.

Detector upgrade activities: in addition to the data analyses and data taking in progress, there is an intense experimental activity on designing and realizing the upgraded detectors, so that they are able to withstand the high luminosity planned for 2018 and later.

Funding: INFN, UniBo, ERC.

LHC-B Experiment: F. Betti (PhD Stud, A. Carbone (Assist. Prof.), F. Ferrari (Ph.D. stud), D. Galli (Assoc. Prof.), U. Marconi (INFN), C. Patrigni (External assist. Prof.), S. Perazzini (INFN), VM Vagnoni (INFN), S. Zucchelli (Assoc. Prof.)

This is an experiment on the LHC accelerator devoted to the study of hadrons with heavy quarks. The main goal of the experiment is the study of CP symmetry violation in the decays of the B0 meson, observed for the first time in 2004 in the BaBar and Belle experiments. These studies benefit from a statistics much higher than that available in previous experiments performed on e+e- colliders and have access to CP violating channels not possible on other machines. The local group is actively involved in the offline calculation, taking care of the monitoring and management of computing resources of the Italian LHCb Collaboration, in the online computing tasks, and in the level zero trigger.

Funding: INFN, UniBo.

 

Ship Experiment L. Bellagamba (INFN), D. Bonacorsi (Assoc. Prof.), M. Bruschi (INFN), GM Dallavalle (INFN), L. Fabbri (Assist. Prof.), B. Giacobbe (INFN), A. Montanari (INFN), T. Rovelli (Assist. Prof.), M. Villa (Full Prof.)

It is an experiment, still in the design phase to search for long-lived neutral particles foreseen in some models and candidate to be a possible explanation for dark matter. The experiment, which will look heavy neutral leptons, photons and dark PNGB produced in the decays of D mesons, is in the planning stage at CERN and will be placed downstream of a beam dump where an intense beam of protons will stopped. The Bologna group is involved in the electronics for the electromagnetic calorimeter and in the muon detector of the experiment.

Funding: INFN.

 

 

Nuclear Physics

ALICE Experiment: A. Alici (Fixed Term Researcher), A. Antonioli (INFN), S. Arcelli (Assoc. Prof.), M. Basile (Full Prof.), F. Bellini (Postdoc), F. Carnesecchi (Ph.D. stud), L. Cifarelli (Full Prof.), F. Cindolo (INFN), M. Colocci (Postdoc), B. Guerzoni (Postdoc), D. Hatzifotiadou (INFN), N. Jacazio (PhD stud), R. Nania (INFN), A. Pesci (INFN), R. Preghenella (INFN), E. Scapparone (INFN), G. Scioli (Assoc. Prof.), W. Crispin (INFN), C. Zampolli (INFN)

It is an LHC experiment devoted to the study of the physics of nuclear matter under extreme energy densities, where, through ultrarelativistic lead-lead collisions, it is expected the formation of a new state of matter, the quark-gluon plasma. The existence and the properties of such state are critical for the understanding of confinement in QCD theory. The Bologna group has designed and realized the time of flight system (TOF), which is essential for the correct identification of charged particles, using a new type of detectors (MRPC). The charged particle identification is an essential tool in several analyses. Within the Bologna Group, a study on new sensor types  (SiPM, MCP, UFSD) is in progress and targeted to measure their time resolution performance. In these studies, the standard front-end readout electronics of the ALICE TOF, having an intrinsic resolution of 20 ps, is used in the tests.

Funding: INFN, Unibo, Centro Fermi.

 

FOOT: G. Bruni (INFN), M. Franchini (Postdoc), G. Sartorelli (Full Prof.), M. Selvi (INFN), R. Spighi (INFN), M. Villa (Full Prof), A. Zoccoli (Full Prof).

The FOOT (FragmentatiOn Of Target) experiment aims to perform the measurement of fragmentation cross section of p, carbon and oxygen on carbon and oxygen at low and threshold energies.  This information is needed in hadrotherapic studies, in order to control the non intended damage of  healthy tissue and to maximize the efficacy of oncologic treatment with ions. The investigation is performed using an inverse kinematic strategy. This means that instead of using a beam of protons as a projectile, a beam of heavy tissue -like ions (O and C) with the same energy per nucleon would be used against a proton target. The final goal is to measure the heavy fragment (Z>3) cross section with maximum uncertainty of 5% and the fragment energy spectrum with an energy resolution of the order of 1-2 MeV/u.

Funding: INFN, Unibo

 

n-TOF: G. Clai (ENEA), S. Lo Meo (ENEA), C. Massimi (Fixed Term Researcher), G. Vannini (PAM)

Experiment devoted to the measurement of cross sections of neutrons in nuclei using the time-of-flight technique. The large neutron energy range investigated, from meV to GeV, allows to perform measurements in several interesting areas as nuclear astrophysics (heavy elements nucleosynthesis, Big Bang nucleosynthesis), nuclear techniques (accelerator driven reactors, nuclear waste transmutation, IV generation reactors, fusion reactors), nuclear medicine (neutron capture therapies) and nuclear structure studies (nuclear levels, fission barriers). The neutron source is extremely intense and allows to perform in parallel experiments in two different experimental halls. The first is at 20m from the source and is dedicated to radioactive targets and the second, at 185m, is devoted to high energy resolution measurements.

Funding: INFN, Unibo.

 

NUCL-EX: M. Bruno (Assoc. Prof.), G. Clai (ENEA), L. Morelli (Postdoc), G. Vannini (PAM)

Experiment dedicated to the study of the dynamics and thermodynamics of hot and excited nuclear systems. Through ion-ion collisions, they study the liquid-gas state transition of nuclear systems, the formation of hot nuclear systems, the effects of isospin, reaction mechanisms in peripheral and semi-peripheral collisions, fission and its competition with the almost fission as well as aspects of nuclear viscosity.

Funding: INFN, Unibo.

 

Astroparticle Physics

AMS: A. Contin (Full Prof.), G. Levi (Assist. Prof.), N. Masi (Postdoc)

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) is a large acceptance particle detector designed to operate in space in order to measure cosmic ray fluxes for many years. The detector was installed, as part of the scientific program, on board of the International Space Station (ISS) Alpha, flying in low orbit (about 400 km) around the Earth. With this experiment in space it is intended to extend the knowledge of the primary cosmic rays, both in composition and in energy distribution, two characteristics that can be difficult to study with ground-based systems. The data analysis is in progress.

Funding: INFN, Unibo.

 

Cuore: G. Bari (INFN), N. Moggi (Fixed Term Researcher), S. Zucchelli (Assoc. Prof.)

CUORE (Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events) is the latest of a series of experiments using criogenic techniques for the detection of rare events, in particular the neutrinoless double beta decay (0nbb)  of 130Te. The experiment is in the realization phase at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory (INFN). The existence of the 0nbb decay mode could prove that the leptonic number is not conserved and therefore there is not a fundamental symmetry behind it, as assumed in the Standard Model. The neutrinoless double beta decay observation could help to understand the neutrino nature (Dirac or Majorana type), could help to set stringent limits on theirs mass and could support cosmologic theories that consider the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe as due to neutrino interactions.

Funding: INFN, Unibo.

 

EUCLID: T. Chiarusi (INFN), F. Finelli (Assist Prof.), F. Fornari (Ph.D. stud), A. Margiotta (Assoc. Prof.), N. Mauri (Postdoc), L. Patrizii (INFN), G. Sirri (INFN), M. Spurio (Assoc. Prof.), M. Tenti (Postdoc), A. Tronconi (INFN), L. Valenziano (INAF).

Euclid is an ESA mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe. The mission will investigate the distance-redshift relationship and the evolution of cosmic structures by measuring shapes and redshifts of galaxies and clusters of galaxies out to redshifts ~2, or equivalently to a look-back time of 10 billion years. In this way, Euclid will cover the entire period over which dark energy played a significant role in accelerating the expansion.

Funding: ESA, INFN, Unibo.

 

KM3: T. Chiarusi (INFN), F. Fornari (Ph.D. stud), LA Fusco (Ph.D. stud), M. Manzali (Postdoc), A. Margiotta (Assoc. Prof.), C. Pellegrino (Ph.D. stud), N. Pinardi (Assoc. Prof.), M. Spurio (Assoc. Prof.), M. Zavatarelli (Assoc. Prof.)

Experiment devoted to the observation of astrophysical neutrinos of high energy produced by galactic sources or extragalactic. It is a Cherenkov effect telescope made by an array of photomultipliers towers installed to depths of 3500 m off the coast of Sicily (Capo Passero).

Funding: INFN, Unibo.

LVD: P. Antonioli (INFN), G. Bari (INFN), M. Garbini (Fixed Term Researcher), G. Sartorelli (Full Prof.), M. Selvi (INFN)

Experiment, carried out at the INFN Gran Sasso laboratory, devoted to the detection of neutrinos. It can detect neutrinos from stellar collapses that occur in our galaxy or in the Magellanic Clouds, but is also be employed for the study of other astrophysical phenomena by identifying events of penetrating muons.

Funding: INFN, Unibo, Centro Fermi.

NU_AT_FNAL: S. Bertolucci (Full prof), N. Mauri (Postdoc), N. Moggi (Fixed term Researcher), L. Pasqualini (PhD stud), L. Patrizii (INFN), G. Sirri (INFN), M. Tenti (Postdoc)

The subatomic particles called neutrinos are among the most elusive and weakly interacting particles discovered up to now. To study them very large detectors have been build in a variety of environments: underground, underwater, and at the South Pole. The FNAL has a diversified strategy to study neutrinos properties, like the neutrino oscillations with different sources and different detectors. The group will contribute to the design and realization of the DUNE experiment there.

Funding: INFN, Unibo.

 

XENON: P. Di Gangi (Postdoc), M. Garbini (Fixed Term Researcher), FV. Massoli (Postdoc), G. Sartorelli (Full Prof.), M. Selvi (INFN)

The experiment, carried out in the Gran Sasso Laboratories, is aimed at finding an interesting class of particles called WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) candidates to be the main constituents of the dark matter in the universe. The main detector consists of a liquid xenon Time-Projection-Chamber (TPC), where the WIMPs can interact and therefore be observed. The experiment reached the highest world sensitivity in this research. Data collection and analysis are ongoing.

Funding: INFN, Unibo, Centro Fermi.

Contacts

Andrea Alici

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1009

Sergio Bertolucci

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

Silvia Arcelli

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1103

Daniele Bonacorsi

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

Sylvie Braibant

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 2095083

Paolo Capiluppi

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5243

Angelo Carbone

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1071

Andrea Castro

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5129

fax: +39 051 20 9 5297

Luisa Cifarelli

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1073

Andrea Contin

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 0544 937333

tel: +39 051 20 9 1131

fax: +39 0544 937411

Marco Cuffiani

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5239

Stefano De Castro

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1055

Roberto Donà

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1041

Laura Fabbri

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1040

Alessandra Fanfani

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5244

Alessandro Gabrielli

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5052

fax: +39 051 20 9 5297

Domenico Galli

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1027

tel: +41 227673755

Luigi Guiducci

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5240

Giuseppe Levi

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5081

Annarita Margiotta

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5226

Cristian Massimi

Junior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1079

Lorenzo Rinaldi

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1072

Tiziano Rovelli

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5256

Gabriella Sartorelli

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1062

Gilda Scioli

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1060

Nicola Semprini Cesari

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5254

Maximiliano Sioli

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5245

Gian Piero Siroli

Assistant professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5240

Maurizio Spurio

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5248

Mauro Villa

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1064

Antonio Zoccoli

Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

Via Irnerio 46

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 1025

Stefano Zucchelli

Associate Professor

Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - DIFA

Viale Berti Pichat 6/2

Bologna (BO)

tel: +39 051 20 9 5204