During the three years of studies the PhD students are required to attend all the general seminars held at the Department of Physics. They can be exempted if the seminars overlap one of the courses inserted in the Study Plan or is scheduled in conjunction with an authorized research trip of the student. In case of absence for an exceptional circumstance, the PhD students are required to justify themselves with an email addressed to the secretary office. Moreover, all the PhD students are required to attend the seminars held by the PhD students of the second and third years.

Seminar Series - From PhD students to PhD students

With a bi-weekly seminar series students from all physics programs and all cycles at La Sapienza University are coming together to experience interdisciplinary exchange in a scientific environment and strengthen the young research community. Short 20 minutes presentations at introductory levels explained by students should give the attendees an overview on the broad research in Physics and Physics related areas at La Sapienza. We intend to create a community amongst all students in an interdisciplinary environment. Any physics related PhD students are welcome to attend. More information to every event can be found on the official infn calendar: If you are interested to receive notifications on the seminars or other events organized through this community, please subscribe to our mailing list. We are looking forward to seeing you in one of our events and hope you might consider also being one of our upcoming speakers.
Extracting primordial non-Gaussianity from large scale structures, non-perturbatively - Angelo Esposito, Dipartimento di Fisica, Sapienza Universita' di Roma
One of the longest-standing questions in modern cosmology concerns the mechanism that sets the initial conditions for the evolution of matter in the Universe. In particular, what is the physics underlying the initial inflationary epoch? Or, more radically, did inflation take place or not? To answer this question, one typically relies on observational data for fluctuations that are small enough to be described by standard cosmological perturbation theory. Nonetheless, data outside the perturbative regime are very abundant and precisely measured, but usually discarded because hard to model. It would be ideal to have a tool able to take advantage of this data. In light of this, I will discuss how to robustly extract information about the inflationary mechanism, and the non-Gaussianity it generates, using non-perturbative methods. I will start with an introduction to standard cosmological perturbation theory, with emphasis on its regime of applicability. Then, I will introduce the main tool: the consistency relations for large-scale structures. These are non-perturbative identities applicable to cosmological correlators. Finally, I will show how they can be used to extract the amplitude of local primordial non-Gaussianity from those non-linear data to which perturbation theory does not apply.
A First Glimpse Of Webb's Revolution For Our Understanding Of Galaxy Formation - Roberto Maiolino (University of Cambridge)
The successful launch, deployment and commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope has opened a new era in astronomy and astrophysics. Indeed, in some infrared spectral bands, Webb’s sensitivity is up to three orders of magnitude higher than previous facilities. Such a huge leap in sensitivity has happened very rarely in the history of astronomy and, even more broadly, in the history of science. The first observations released by this fantastic observatory have not disappointed, by delivering several unexpected results. I will give an overview of the early, exciting Webb’s findings by focusing on the new results on distant galaxies. I will show that some of these discoveries are drastically changing our understanding of galaxy formation in the early Universe and of their subsequent evolution across the cosmic epochs.
Sloppy models, differential geometry, and why science works - James Sethna (Cornell University)
Models of systems biology, climate change, ecology, complex instruments, and macroeconomics have parameters that are hard or impossible to measure directly. If we fit these unknown parameters, fiddling with them until they agree with past experiments, how much can we trust their predictions? We have found that predictions can be made despite huge uncertainties in the parameters – many parameter combinations are mostly unimportant to the collective behavior. We will use ideas and methods from differential geometry and approximation theory to explain sloppiness as a ‘hyperribbon’ structure of the manifold of possible model predictions. We show that physics theories are also sloppy – that sloppiness may be the underlying reason why the world is comprehensible. We will present new methods for visualizing this model manifold for probabilistic systems – such as the space of possible universes as measured by the cosmic microwave background radiation.
Seminars 2° year - Doctorate in Physics – 36° cycle
The seminars will be presented in blended mode via Google Meet. Each talk must be attended by the presenting PhD student, the thesis director, and the representatives of the Board of the session. Electronic presentation/participation is also possible.
The James Webb Space Telescope: the revolution is coming. - Prof. Adriano Fontana (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma)
The recently launched James Webb Space Telescope represents a groundbreaking revolution in our capability to study the Universe. With an IR sensitivity 10-1000 times and a spatial resolution 3-7 times better than its predecessors HST and Spitzer, JWST will deliver rest-frame optical imaging and spectroscopic data of thousands of galaxies soon after the Big Bang, of stellar populations in the core of nearby galaxies, of nascent planetary systems in our Galaxy. In this talk I will briefly summarise the motivations for building this telescope and a few examples of the major discoveries that we expect from its first observations. I will also describe the science programs in which the team in Rome (at the INAF Rome Observatory and at La Sapienza) are involved. I will conclude by briefly mentionioning the synergies with other forthcoming space missions (e.g. Euclid) and ground-based future telescopes like ELT.
The statistical physics of flocks and swarms - Irene Rosana Giardina (Sapienza università di Roma)
Flocks and swarms represent iconic examples of living active matter, where motile interacting individuals give rise to emergent global patterns. Despite the great complexity of their biological components, these groups obey robust statistical laws and can be described within a statistical physics approach. In this talk I will review our current understanding of these systems. Using experimental evidence and theoretical modelling I will show how conservation laws, interactions and motility combine together leading to non-trivial dynamics and out-of-equilibrium features on the large scale. Our analysis explains the mechanistic origin of efficient collective behaviour in living groups and unveils new challenges in the statistical physics of active systems.
from 11 to 15/10/2020
The seminars will be presented in blended mode via Google Meet ( Due to the capacity of Sala Lauree, each talk can be attended by the PhD student who is presenting, the Director of the thesis, the Adivsors of the session Board. It is also possible to present/participate online.
Fondazione Sapienza – Tomassoni Chisesi Physics Prize - Seminars of the two winners for the year 2020
To honour the memory of Mrs. Caterina Tomassoni and Dr. Felice Pietro Chisesi, the prize is awarded to recognize and encourage outstanding achievements in physics. The prize will be assigned without regard for the nationality of the awardee or the geographical site at which the work was accomplished. Since 2013, the awards were unified into a single premium. A prize titled "Caterina Tomassoni and Felice Pietro Chisesi Prize" is presented each year on April, at Sapienza University of Rome. The prize consists of Euro 40,000, of an allowance for travel to the awarding ceremony, and of a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient.
Kinetics-Based Drug Discovery for Protein Misfolding Diseases by Michele Vendruscolo (University of Cambridge)
General Seminars - Chisesi- Tomassoni Prize The phenomenon of protein misfolding and aggregation is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. A central role in these conditions is played by protein misfolded oligomers, which are among the most cytotoxic products resulting from the process of aggregation. It has been very challenging, however, to target these oligomers with therapeutic compounds, because of their dynamic and transient nature. To overcome this problem, I will describe a kinetic-based approach, which enables the discovery and systematic optimization of compounds that reduce the number of oligomers produced during an aggregation reaction. I will illustrate this strategy for the amyloid beta peptide, which is closely linked to Alzheimer's disease. As this strategy is general, it can be applied to oligomers of any protein in drug discovery programmes. Join Zoom Meeting

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma