petronzio1Roberto Petronzio, an outstanding theoretical physicist, Professor at the Tor Vergata University in Rome and President of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) from 2004 until 2011, has died.
As President of the INFN, Mr. Petronzio played a key role at a very delicate moment for the research agency. During a difficult period of reform, he succeeded in safeguarding our independence, autonomy and system of governance, characteristics which make the INFN unique in Italy and a centre of excellence that is recognised worldwide. Convinced of the need for a major international project to give new impetus to research in Italy and attract resources and talented young scientists from abroad, in recent years Mr. Petronzio was wholeheartedly committed to the SuperB project to build a new particle accelerator in the Italian region of Lazio. This project of great scientific importance was, however, unable to go ahead in Italy and is now being implemented in Japan using the original project design developed at the INFN's Frascati National aboratory. A physicist of international repute, Mr. Petronzio collaborated with CERN in Geneva, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute in Munich and Boston University. His scientific activity mainly concerned the fundamental principles and development of perturbative quantum chromodynamics, constraints on the value of the Higg's mass, unified theories and physics signals beyond the Standard Model. He, along with Nicola Cabibbo, made a fundamental contribution to developing the INFN’s APE super-calculators project. He published more than 190 scientific works and has been cited over 11 thousand times.