Exoplanets and the Search for a Second Earth

The study of exoplanets seeks answers to such fundamental questions as: How do planetary systems form? How unique is our own solar system? How common are habitable planets and what are the conditions needed for advanced life to form on them? To date, astronomers have discovered over 5000 exoplanets. Whereas early efforts focused merely on detections, we are now in an era where we can characterise exoplanets in terms of their mass, radius, internal structure, and atmospheric composition. In my talk I will give an overview of what we have learned about exoplanets so far. I also will give an outlook for the prospects of finding a "second Earth".

Friday, 12th May 2023, 14:30

The Swampland Program and the Quantum Gravity Imprint at Low Energies

Consistency with Quantum Gravity can impose non-trivial constraints at low energies that we are only now starting to discover. These are known as Swampland constraints, and are motivated by String Theory and Black Hole physics. They can provide new guiding principles to construct beyond standard models of Particle Physics and Cosmology. In this talk, I will review the most important Swampland constraints and some of their phenomenological implications.

Friday, 24th March 2023, 14:30

Symmetry meets AI

Artificial Intelligence, especially its branch of Deep Learning, is a disruptive technology whose implications we are just starting to fathom. Due to its impressive successes, AI is somehow regarded as a magical blackbox, able to surpass human ability in an inexplicable way. We, theoretical physicists, do not like blackboxes and enjoy breaking things. So in this talk I am going to start breaking one of these boxes and watch an AI learn the presence of symmetries when no information on symmetry was provided. It isn't magic, but it is the AI doing its best to perform a task and finding the smartest route to success. Once we have learned the inner workings of the AI, we are going to use it to develop an algorithm which inspects artistic works and assigns a degree of symmetry to them. This is one step towards a much broader aim of understanding the inner workings of AI, like developing new ways of learning or controlling for the presence of unethical biases.

Friday, 10th February 2023, 14:30, Aula Magna and Online

Event generators as precision tools for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

During the ongoing third physics run, the Large Hadron Collider will more than double the amount of highly energetic collisions data previously recorded. This will result in a sensible reduction of some of the associated experimental uncertainties, challenging the theoretical predictions to keep up at a similar level. Controlling theoretical uncertainties at this level of precision requires a detailed understanding of strong and electroweak interactions at high energies and the ability to incorporate state-of-the-art theoretical calculations into the simulations of collision events, which are the ultimate tools that allow the comparison of theoretical predictions with experimental data. In this talk I will review the latest steps in the development of precise event generators, focusing in particular on the inclusion of higher-order QCD corrections in the GENEVA Monte Carlo, whose aim is to incorporate the three theoretical tools used for precise phenomenology (fixed-order, resummation and parton showers) into a single framework. I will also discuss how the precision reached by these tools might be beneficial both when new particles are discovered, e.g. to carry out precise measurements of their properties in order to establish their nature, but also as alternative avenues to direct searches.

Friday, 16th December 2022, 14:30


Entanglement was defined by Schrodinger the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, and indeed it represents one of the most peculiar properties of quantum systems. After having been the source of a long debate among theorists interested in the foundations of quantum mechanics, in the last decades a sequence of experiments, in particular with photons, led, on the one hand, to test the validity of standard quantum mechanics with respect to alternative theories (Bell inequalities) and, on the other hand, paved the way to new technologies, the so-called second quantum revolution. This line of research was awarded this year with the assignment of Nobel prize to Aspect, Clauser and Zeilinger. In this talk, I will describe what entanglement is and present the main experiments that contributed to this fascinating line of research in quantum optics.

Friday, 18th November 2022, 14:00

Analytic conformal bootstrap

In this talk I will introduce a symmetry based method to study conformal field theories. In particular I will describe a framework to find analytic solutions for observables in conformal field theories. I will end the talk with an application of this analytic method to a class of theories.

Friday, 14th October 2022, ore 14:00