Appointed as a member of the Executive Board of INFN by the INFN Board of Directors, during the meeting of 25 September 2019, from 1 November Chiara Meroni took office, relinquishing her position as director of the INFN Milan division, a role she has held since May 2012. The position of director also involved the management of an important laboratory, the LASA (Laboratory for Accelerators and Applied Superconductivity), which is an integral part of the INFN Milan division. LASA contributes to the experiments at CERN, DESY and Fermilab, with the development of cutting-edge technologies and important industrial collaborations.
Married with three children, Chiara Meroni has held positions of scientific and managerial responsibility since the beginning of her career. As an INFN director of research, she has been involved in elementary particle physics research in the context of international collaborations at CERN, where she carried out research in the field of semiconductor, strip and silicon pixel tracking detectors. She is currently working on the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. In the past, Meroni was the national coordinator of the European AIDA project for the implementation of infrastructures for the R&D of detectors for future experiments, a position she continued to hold in the subsequent development of the project, AIDA2020.
We asked her to tell us what currently emerges from the comparison between the two perspectives of the Institute, the local one, as division director, and the national one, as a member of the Executive Board, giving us an assessment of the experience acquired and the vision that will guide her in the near future.
You have been following the strategic development of research at INFN for several years, as director of the Milan division. Which direction did the division take in the years under your management?
The INFN division of Milan focuses on several key scientific lines, integrated in university life and representative of all INFN scientific committees. During my years as director, I tried to give value to the LASA laboratory and to the accelerator physics school, which are historical contributions of the Milan
It stems from the research in fundamental physics to respond to an experimental need: to have large amounts of argon available for the search for dark matter with the DarkSide experiment at the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratories. But in the future it could also be used for the distillation of other isotopes increasingly used in medicine, both in advanced diagnostics and in cancer therapy, and also in environmental and agricultural sciences. This is ...
A new analysis of the data collected by the Planck satellite has been published by Nature Astronomy, which could question some fundamental assumptions of our current vision of the Universe. The study, conducted by an international team led by a research team from the Sapienza University of ...
On 8 and 9 November in Bari, at the premises of the Polytechnic, the study days of INFN’s 2020-2022 Three-Year Plan were held, which this year featured the opening address by the Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, Francesco Boccia. The Three-Year Plan is the event dedicated to the analysis, proposal and discussion of the scientific and other ...
1200 students throughout Italy explored environmental radioactivity: this is what happened on 7 November, the anniversary of the birth of Maria Skłodowska Curie, in more than 50 Italian high schools, on Radon Day, a day organised by the project for the dissemination of scientific culture, RadioLab, which aims to raise the awareness of students and the general public on environmental radioactivity issues. ...
On 16 November in Malargue, Argentina, the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Pierre Auger Observatory was celebrated. Auger, which owes its name to the discoverer of cosmic ray showers, is the largest observatory in the world for the study of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, consisting of a network of detectors distributed over a territory thirty times the size of the city of Florence (3,000 square kilometres). Located on the plateau of the Pampa Amarilla, at an altitude of 1400 metres, the observatory is managed by an international collaboration of more than 400 scientists from 17 different countries, in which Italy participates with groups from various universities, the INFN divisions and universities of Catania, Lecce, Milan, Naples, Rome Tor Vergata and Turin, the Gran Sasso National Laboratories and the INAF facilities of Palermo and Turin. During its twenty years of activity, the Auger Observatory has made an important contribution to the physics of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, from confirmation of the significant reduction in the intensity of the cosmic rays flow for energies above 30 EeV (exa-electronvolt) to the recent verification of the extragalactic nature of the highest energy cosmic rays. ...
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Eleonora Cossi, Francesca Mazzotta, Francesca Scianitti, Antonella Varaschin
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