European Researchers' Night 2020 Poster

European researchers’ night 2020

Since 2005, at the end of September, thousands of researchers have stormed the streets of hundreds of European cities during the European Researchers Night. During these nights the researchers explained their work, they told their stories, they shared their life with the general public in an informal and easy context, focusing on the fun that can come from doing science. 

This year the Researchers Night is a little different. This year the event is scheduled for the 27 of November 2020, instead of September. Additionally the event has been changed to be followed remotely from your home.

Even if this gathering will be virtual the Night will be characterized by experiment, live demonstrations, visits, conference, seminars, etcetera. All of this will be accessible through the web page:

INFN will participate with 5 virtual spaces named: “c’è nebbia e nebbia”, “boccino d’oro o di latte”, “i raggi cosmici polari”, “intelligenza artificiale per la fisica delle alte energie”, and “curiosità della fisica e della natura”. Many INFN researches will be also available for the scientific speed-date, a private conversation between scientists and the interested people.

Photo Prof. Masatoshi Koshiba and Prof. Giorgio Giacomelli

In memoriam of Professor Masatoshi Koshiba

Prof. Masatoshi Koshiba passed away on November 12th, 2020. He was awarded a Nobel prize in 2002. For his outstanding contribution to the study of astrophysical neutrinos and on a proposal from Prof. Giorgio Giacomelli, who shares a long-lasting bond of friendship and fruitful scientific collaboration with Prof. Koshiba, he received a Laurea ad honorem in Astronomy from our University, on June 17th 2005.

Photo of honorary degree ceremony to Prof. Masatoshi Koshiba

We wish to remember him with the same esteem and  affection that marked his relationship with our research groups.

Photo Prof. Masatoshi Koshiba with honorary degree in Astronomy





Photo of the electronic card readout and the result of the measurements obtained

ALICE TOF back operational

The hadron collider LHC ended its second period of data taking at the end of 2018 after a successful three-year run (2015:2018 Run 2). Since then, during the shutdown of the world largest particle accelerator several important upgrade of the accelerator complex and of the detectors have been carried out. Obviously also these operations were slowed down by the pandemic due to Sars-Cov-2 virus and consequent restrictions.

The time of flight (TOF) detector of the ALICE experiment has been built under leadership of ALICE group in Bologna. Since July the TOF ALICE group completed upgrades of the readout electronics. They included the production of a new readout card, designed by INFN Bologna, that houses high-speed optical links.

The TOF detector was gradually turned on during Summer. After many commissioning operations, the group has completed this week a first data taking observing the time-of-flight of the muons. These are particles produced by the interaction of cosmic rays with the atmosphere nuclei and able to cross two opposite modules of the TOF at a distance of around 8 meters. In the figure it is reported the difference between the time-of-flight measured and the expected one, based on the distance between the two channels hit on the detector.

At the LHC particle beams (and collisions) are foreseen to restart only since February 2020. During commissioning phase it is standard practice to use these particles coming from cosmic rays. Among the many sub-systems in ALICE currently completing their upgrade programme, the TOF is the first detector, with upgraded electronics, already restarting such measures, finally observing again particles inside the detector!

The TOF team was able to perform the measurement controlling remotely all the operations, with personnel connected from Bologna and CERN offices, or from private homes, but no presence was required at the experimental site in Saint-Genis-Pouilly where the ALICE experiment is.

Event observation figure of the XENON1T Dark Matter experiment at LNGS

Observation of Excess Events in the XENON1T Dark Matter Experiment @LNGS

Scientists from the international XENON collaboration announced today that data from their XENON1T, the world’s most sensitive dark matter experiment, show a surprising excess of events. The scientists do not claim to have found dark matter. Instead, they say to have observed an unexpected rate of events, the source of which is not yet fully understood. The signature of the excess is similar to what might result from a tiny residual amount of tritium (a hydrogen atom with one proton and two neutrons), but could also be a sign of something more exciting—such as the existence of a new particle known as the solar axion or the indication of previously unknown properties of neutrinos.

Poster of Division assignments pocker for important positions

INFN Bologna Division assignments poker

2019 ends with as many as four researchers from our Section who will soon take on particularly important positions.
Double success in the n_TOF experiment: two Section associates, Alberto Mengoni and Cristian Massimi, were eected respectively Spokesperson and INFN National Manager.
Marco Selvi has been appointed member of the SPS and PS Committee of CERN.
Roberto Spighi is the new Physics Coordinator of the FOOT experiment.

Published Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Experiment N_TOF on the cover of the European Physical Journal A (July 2019)

Standard cross sections

Experiment N_TOF on the cover of the European Physical Journal A (July 2019)A small group of cross sections of neutron-induced nuclear reactions are known as “standards” and are known with great precision and accuracy. Standards play a key role in the measurement of neutron-induced cross sections, and in particular in the design of neutron detectors. In experimental measurements, in fact, the cross sections are not determined in absolute terms, but are obtained relative to a standard cross section. For this reason, particular attention is paid to the continuous improvement of the knowledge of the standards (angular distributions of the reaction products, energy region in which these reactions are considered standard) and to the reduction of uncertainties.
At the facility for neutron flight times n_TOF at CERN, the cross sections of the 3 standards 235U (n, f), 6Li (n, 3H) 4He and 10B (n, 4He) were measured for the first time simultaneously 7Li in a wide energy range. The detection apparatus was designed and built by INFN and consists of a stack of solid state detectors and targets of uranium, lithium and boron, placed directly on the neutron beam (as seen in the figure).
As a rule, the results of the precision measurements do not reserve particular surprises, in this case an interesting deviation from the data in the literature was observed for the cross section of 235U (n, f) in the neutron energy range accidents between 10 and 30 keV.
The details of the experiment and the results were published in the European Physical Journal A. The article was selected for the cover of the July issue of EPJ A.

Published Monday, October 14th 2019
Contacts at the INFN Section of Bologna:
Cristian Massimi and Gianni Vannini

The article:

DUNE experiment logo and Journal of Instrumentation magazine cover

New appointments at the Bologna Division

Two other colleagues from the Division take on new positions

During the DUNE Institutional Board meeting in May, Laura Patrizii was elected member of the experiment's "Spokesperson Advisory Committee"; Carla Sbarra has become Editor of the prestigious "Journal of Instrumentation" magazine, a point of reference for the community of physicists involved in the development of detectors and electronics for Particle and Astroparticle Physics.

Theory Postdoctoral Position 2020

String and Gauge Theories:
String Phenomenology and Exact Results

The ideal candidate is supposed to work in a cross-fertilisation area of string and gauge theories. In more details they should have experience of exact/non-perturbative methodologies in string and gauge theories and/or an expertise in string phenomenology and string cosmology. Preference will be given to candidates with a background which can bridge between these two research activities.

Research Groups:              ST&FI                  GAST

Link to application procedure (Bando)

Photo of the school of the Physics Olympics 2020 edition

The School of Excellence for the Physics Olympics as a guest in the Argenta Valleys (2020 EDITION)

The Summer School of preparation for the Physics Olympics, which involves 30 students of third and fourth upper school class of Emilia Romagna and Marche Regions, this year will take place at the Campotto di Argenta hostel from 31 August to 5 September.

The residential school “OliFis ER-Marche”, organized by the Bologna section of the Association for the Teaching of Physics (AIF) and by the Giuseppe Occhialini Foundation of Pesaro, has been involved for 12 years in the first preparatory phase for the prestigious appointment of the International Olympics.

of Physics, a competition that every year sees the participation of over 400 students from around 90 countries and which in 2021 will take place in Lithuania.

The daily lessons, given by expert teachers of secondary school, will cover the most important topics of physics and will be enriched by various cultural activities.

The program of events begins on Tuesday evening 1 September at 9 pm at the hostel with a free-admission popular conference entitled “Theory of Chaos and Fluid Dynamics” by Daniele Simeoni, a young researcher from the University of Ferrara and ‘National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). An evening to explain in a simple way the concepts, often present in nature, of chaos and turbulence and to explain how these concepts are the field of study of a new figure of physicist, the computational physicist.

Wednesday 2 September in the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to visit the Legnaro National Laboratories, one of the four INFN national laboratories. Accompanied by the researchers of this important international center, the students will be able to see some accelerators, some experimental equipment and technological laboratories used for studies in nuclear physics and interdisciplinary physics.

“Discovering radioactivity” is the title of the chat that Virginia Strati will engage in with the public on Thursday 3 September at 9 pm at the Campotto hostel. With the eyes of a young scientist from the University of Ferrara and INFN, she will talk about this natural physical phenomenon whose technological applications have led to extraordinary improvements in the quality of life of humanity.

The program of initiatives that accompanies the intense study of the students of the Summer School will end with the evening of Friday 4 September at 9.15 pm at the Consorzio Factory Grisù in Ferrara, where Federico Benuzzi’s “Dreamy Physics” will be staged, the show of highly successful physics and juggling which over the years has become the symbol of the OLIFIS ER Marche School.

Contribute to the 2020 edition of OliFis ER-Marche: the Ferrara section of the INFN, the University of Ferrara, the Scientific Degree Plan – Physics class of the University of Bologna and the University of Modena – Reggio Emilia, the University of Bologna, the Bologna section of the INFN, the Physics and School association as well as MARPOSS SpA, Bonfiglioli Group, and Zanichelli Editore.

The School takes place under the patronage of the Emilia Romagna Region, the Marche Regional Council, the Municipality of Argenta and the Municipality of Ferrara.

More information:

Figura sul millesimo articolo scientifico di CMS inviato alla rivista Physical Review Letters

CMS reaches 1000

On Friday 19 June 2020, researchers from the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters the thousandth scientific article obtained by the Collaboration. CMS is the first experiment in the history of high energy physics to reach this impressive milestone, all the more surprising if one thinks that it was obtained using only a modest fraction of the data that is expected to be produced by the LHC. The accelerator, in fact, will run for another two decades and the data collected should increase by about a factor of 20 when the LHC moves to a new phase called the high luminosity LHC.
“A thousand of very high-quality scientific papers in a decade is an amazing result, a testimony of the rich physics spectrum provided by the LHC data, the versatility of our experiment and the ingenuity and dedication of our collaborators,”, said CMS Collaboration spokesperson Roberto Carlin. A demonstration of how single last generation “multipurpose” experiments are able to obtain a great deal of new results in many different physics sectors, like Higgs boson physics, stringent tests on the predictions of the Standard Model, search for new particles and signals of “non-standard” physics, heavy quark physics, Quark-Gluon plasma formation. Only a few years ago, they would have required dedicated experiments to be obtained.
In the thousandth article, the CMS Collaboration reports the first experimental observation of events containing three weak vector bosons, ie of the WWW, ZWW, WZZ and ZZZ type. These are very rare events, but essential to test the validity of the Standard Model, which requires them. The statistical significance of the signal relating to the combined production of three weak bosons is 5.7 standard deviations and the corresponding measured cross section is in excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction.

For more informations