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PEOPLE

MAY 2016

10 YEARS AGO THE BIRTH
OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN INSTITUTE
FOR THEORETICAL PHYSICS
IN THE FIELD OF PARTICLE PHYSICS
Interview with Alberto Lerda, president of the INFN National Scientific Commission for theoretical physics and coordinator of the Galileo Galilei Institute (GGI) in Florence


The ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the GGI took place on 17th May, on the opening day of the national conference on theoretical physics, in the historic seat of the Institute, on the hill of Arcetri. In the same place, a symbolic one for physics and astronomy, are also the National Institute of Optics, the Astronomical Observatory and Villa Il Gioiello, Galileo Galilei's last home, and as such recognised as a "historic site" by the European Physical Society in 2013. We talked to Alberto Lerda, coordinator of the GGI, about the activities promoted by the Institute and also touched briefly on the new frontiers of theoretical physics, in light of the most recent discoveries.

 

The Galileo Galilei Institute was founded ten years ago, an original and unique project on the European landscape. Where did the idea come from?

The GGI was born from an intuition of Giuseppe Marchesini, at that time president of the National Scientific Committee of the INFN for theoretical physics, who recently passed away. Together with some colleagues in Florence, he promoted the idea of creating a centre within the INFN dedicated to the organization of workshops and conferences on theoretical physics of elementary particles, based on the model of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara in California, and located in the premises on the hill of Arcetri, ...

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NEWS

MAY 2016

INSTITUTIONS

JAPAN, MINISTER GIANNINI VISITS KEK LABORATORY

As part of the G7 Science & Technology Ministers’ meetings taking place in Japan, the Italian Minister of Education, University and Research, Stefania Giannini paid a visit to the KEK fundamental physics laboratory, in Tsukuba, where INFN ...

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NOMINATIONS

BRUNO QUARTA GENERAL DIRECTOR OF INFN

Bruno Quarta, an expert in public and private management with extensive and significant experience, first abroad and then in Italy, took office as the General Director of the INFN at the beginning of May. ...

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EVENTS

THE SOUTHERN NATIONAL LABORATORIES TURN 40

Forty years ago, the Southern National Laboratories (LNS) of the INFN were set up in Sicily, Catania. This centre of excellence of Italian physics is currently engaged in major international projects - including the KM3NeT underwater observatory for ...

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AWARDS

BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE: 3 MILLION DOLLARS FOR GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

The selection committee for the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics has awarded this year’s special prize to the LIGO and VIRGO collaborations - in which Italy is taking part with the INFN - and to the founders of the ...

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FOCUS ON


ACCELERATORS TO STUDY ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION

Originating from fundamental research, accelerator physics has developed technologies and skills that are currently used in fields that have a direct impact on society such as medicine, health, the environment and the study and conservation of cultural heritage. Physicists at the Laboratory of nuclear techniques for the Environment and Cultural Heritage (LABEC - INFN) in Florence, in collaboration with the INFN divisions of Genoa and Milan, are exploiting the knowledge and technologies developed in accelerator physics to study particulate pollution and analyse its composition. To identify the sources of pollution and develop appropriate pollution control methods, it is in fact essential to determine not only the concentrations of particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere, but also its composition: PM is the mixture of particles, suspended in the atmosphere, that have an impact on the environment and climate, and that can be very harmful to the respiratory system. Accelerators are machines capable of generating particle beams and of launching them at very high speeds, close to the speed of light, against another particle beam or a particular fixed target. In this second case, the products of these collisions can be analysed in order to determine the composition of the bombarded samples with great precision. This same principle is used to study the composition of atmospheric particulate. The sample to be analysed is hit with a beam of accelerated charged particles. From the interaction of the beam with the sample-target, which produces for example X- and gamma rays, it is possible to identify and measure the elements in the particulate. ...

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INFORMATION


cover image:

Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) at LABEC

 

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