List of PhD theses available


Title Subject category Typology Supervisor Description
Development of a simulation code for design and optimization of bunch-by-bunch feedback systems dedicated to circular lepton accelerators Accelerator Physics /
Andrea Ghigo This thesis is suitable for candidates having an interest in theoretical accelerator physics and willing to use and develop computing models to simulate beam dynamics in particle accelerator colliders, in particular in electron-positron machines.
Development of a real time bunch-by-bunch feedback system based on FPGA technology aimed at stabilizing beam motion in circular lepton accelerators Accelerator Physics /
Andrea Ghigo This thesis is intended for candidates interested in hardware development, firmware and software design, better if already aware of FPGA components and coding.
Beam dynamics in present and future circular lepton colliders Accelerator Physics /
Andrea Ghigo The proposed PhD thesis aims at studying beam dynamics and its interplay with beam-beam interaction for the DAFNE configuration based on the Crab Waist collision scheme.
The purpose of this work is twofold: to push DAFNE luminosity to its ultimate limit, and achieve a detailed comprehension of the collider limiting factors.
The experimental studies undertaken at the Frascati φ-factory will be of primary interest for all the other communities working at the design of future colliders based on the Crab Waist approach.
Start to End Simulations for the FEL plasma driven experiment at EUPRAXIA Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Ultra-cold high brightness photo-injector design for Quantum FEL experiments Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Advanced THz radiation sources Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Advanced plasma diagnostics tools Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Characterization and optimization of auto-injection acceleration of electrons Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Design and test of high gradient accelerating structures at EuSPARC Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Design and test of a C-band photo-injector for high brilliance beams Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Synchronization systems at femto-second level for LWFA Accelerator Physics /
Massimo Ferrario
Development of micro-pattern gas detectors with μ-RWELL technology for the high-luminosity upgrade of experiments at the LHC Tracking detectors Giovanni Bencivenni Muon detectors in experiments at the LHC represent a challenge for Phase 2 upgrades. The Frascati group is developing a technology based on micro-pattern detectors at high granularity and with a simplified construction. The thesis will deal with R&D and beam test of μ-RWELL devices.
Research and development of single-photon cryogenic detectors operating in the 15 GHz band for searches of axions and axion-like particles Single-photon counters Claudio Gatti Microwave-cavity experiments for the search of galactic axions with mass of tens of μeV may reach the highest sensitivity using single photon counters. Transition edge sensors (TES) and qubits are two of the possible solutions considered for the QUAX experiment. The activity will consist in the design, test and characterization of a single photon counter coupled to a resonant cavity in a cryogenic environment and in presence of strong magnetic field.
Laboratory-based X-ray spectroscopy Material science Antonella Balerna X ray spectroscopy (XAFS) is an efficient probe of atomic structure. The thesis will deal with the realization of a laboratory system capable of performing hard X-ray radiography in transmission, without the need of complex “fine focus”, “high flux” configurations.
Time resolved experiments combining techniques and ultra-fast radiation sources Material science Emanuele Pace Radiation from FEL or lasers opens new frontiers in the study of sub-atomic dynamical process, especially in simple organic and inorganic samples. The work will consist in development of high time resolution detectors for synchrotron radiation at DAFNE, to be used as ultra-fast radiation sources in material science and in the study of a large spectrum of interdisciplinary context.
A study of metallic coatings to enhance e.m. properties of RF structures for the future accelerators: FELs and high energy colliders Material science Claudio Marcelli The work will consist in creating better RF accelerating structures through the study of new materials and new coatings. Morphological studies (SEM, FIB, etc…), structural (XAS) and macroscopic analyses on metallic samples with dedicated coatings (oxides, nanotubes, etc…) will be performed in ad-hoc RF cavities.
Infrared spectroscopy applied to the study of blood culture
Biophysics Mariangela Cestelli Guidi Measurements with high throughput screening techniques, development of models of multivariate data analysis, feasibility study of devices to be used in health centers.
Search for invisible decays of a dark force mediator boson through the observation of single photon events in KLOE-2 Particle Physics /
Data analysis

S. Giovannella

The activity will focus, on the detector side, on setting up, monitoring and measuring the performance of a dedicated single photon trigger in KLOE-2 apparatus. On the analysis side, pre-selection of interesting events, usage of all the possible tools to reject the physics and machine background and, finally, signal isolation and exclusion limits calculation (or discovery significance) will be required.
Precision measurement of the π0 radiative width at KLOE-2 Particle Physics /
Data analysis

C. Bloise

The KLOE-2 experiment is taking data at DAFNE. More than three out of five fb-1 have been recorded to date. A tagger system for the detection of final-state leptons from γ-γ processes, e+e → e+e γ*γ*→e+e X, was installed on DAFNE and continuously operated since the very beginning of the data taking campaign, in November 2014. Per-cent precision in the π0 radiative width measurement is the target for testing very fundamental predictions of QCD in the low-energy regime, and can be achieved with KLOE-2 removing background from data at the φ-resonance firstly exploiting the tagger system.
Search for “Dark Photon” using positron on target collision at DAFNE (PADME) Particle Physics /

P. Gianotti

Astronomical and cosmological observations show the existence of non-ordinary forms of matter: “dark matter”. The PADME experiment at DAFNE aims at detecting signals of light dark matter particles making the positron beam of the DAFNE complex interacting with a thin nuclear target. The thesis work consists in the development of the Montecarlo simulation and tracking software of the experimental apparatus.
Development of a beam tracking system for the “Dark Photon” PADME experiment Particle Physics /

E. Spiriti

The PADME experiment aims to look for signals of light dark photons produced following the annihilation of positrons on a thin carbon target. The tracking with high precision and efficiency of the beam is fundamental for the success of the experiment and for that reason it is foreseen to realize a monitoring system with silicon pixel detectors. The thesis work consists in the development and construction of thin pixel silicon detectors to be placed inside and/or close to the vacuum chamber of the experiment and in the development of the data acquisition and analysis software of these detectors.
Test of new physics beyond the Standard Model at the NA62 experiment at CERN Particle Physics Data analysis

T. Spadaro

The thesis work foresees feasibility studies and analyses of data collected in 2016 and 2017 for new physics searches within NA62, an experiment at CERN SPS. The main goal of the experiment is the measurement of the rare decay rate of K+ in a charged pion and a neutrino-antineutrino pair. This physics case, together with a series of studies regarding the search of particles of the “hidden” sector (candidates or mediators of dark matter), showed sensitivity to possible new physics contributions and tests regions of the parameter’s space (masses of mediators, couplings) accessible at LHC. The NA62/LNF group is involved in this field and collaborate with different groups in Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Mainz and CERN.

Lepton universality test through of the study of semi-tauonic decays of heavy hadrons at LHCb Particle Physics Data analysis

M. Rotondo

In this thesis work we propose to study semitauonic decays Bs → Ds(*,**) τ ν, which give a complementary information to channels already studied. With the statistics of data already collected at LHCb it is possible to realize a significant test of possible contributions beyond the Standard Model. The thesis work foresees periods at CERN for data taking, results presentation and discussion.
Study of rare decays at LHCb to search for hints of new physics beyond the Standard Model Particle Physics Data analysis

B. Sciascia

The recent observation of the Bs → μ+μ decay, performed with a joint analysis of the LHCb and CMS experiments, is certainly one of the most important results achieved at the LHC that allowed to set stringent limits to many Standard Model extensions, like supersymmetric ones. The goal of this thesis work is to push further this research and in particular to measure the ratio of the branching fractions of Bd → μ+μ and Bs → μ+μ  decays; this ratio is precisely predicted by the Standard Model and any violation of this prediction would represent an experimental evidence of new physics beyond the Standard Model. The thesis work foresees periods at CERN for data taking, results presentation and discussion.

Study and development of an internal target for LHC for the LHCb experiment Particle Physics Instrumental

P. Di Nezza

The realization of an internal target, possibly polarized, to be installed at the LHC, within the LHCb collaboration, offers the possibility to have the first collider at the highest reached energy able to operate with gaseous target. This perspective will open an unexplored scenario either in the development of the needed technology and in the possible physics measurements that will regard the polarized structure of the proton, the angular momentum of gluons, Cold Nuclear Matter phenomena and the physics at high x-Bjorken. All these are relevant for the search of particles Beyond Standard Model. The thesis work foresees periods at CERN for prototypes development, data taking, results presentation and discussion.
Trigger algorithms development for rare decays at LHCb Particle Physics Data analysis

P. De Simone

The upgrade of the LHCb experiment will allow to reach luminosities of the order of 2×1033 cm-2s-1 and beyond, with data readout frequencies of 40 MHz and a fully software trigger. This poses interesting perspectives for the search of rare decays like i.e. D0 → μ+μ and Ks → μ+μ, which are extremely sensitive to possible contributions beyond the Standard Model. The detection and unambiguous identification of muons is one of the fundamental aspects for the success of this experimental program. The conditions foreseen for the LHCb upgrade are challenging, due to the significant increase of the particle fluxes on the muon detector which represent mainly a background to reject at trigger level. The thesis work foresees the study and the development of novel and fast algorithms for the muon selection to be applied during the last phases of the present data taking with the aim to search for rare events with muons in the final state.

Investigation of Quark Gluon Plasma at LHCb Particle Physics Data analysis

P. Di Nezza

The Quantum Chromo Dynamics (QCD), one of the major fundamental theories of physics, shows still unresolved aspects. The realization in laboratory of the Quark Gluon Plasma allows to re-create matter in the conditions of the Primordial Universe opening the possibility to study QCD, its evolution and the processes of hadrons formation. LHCb is the most innovative detector for this kind of physics thanks to its acceptance, to the possibility to reconstruct particles with very low momentum transfer and the full Particle Identification capability. For the first time, it will be possible to access a kinematic region not accessible by the other LHC experiments, in particular in the field of heavy quarks, quarkonia and open flavor to perform pioneering measurements. Furthermore, for pA collisions, the measurements of gluon shadowing will be fundamental for the future colliders like the EIC. The thesis work foresees periods at CERN for data taking, discussion and presentation of the results.
Construction of a new tracking detector, based on the CGEM technology, for the BESIII experiment Particle Physics Instrumental/
Data analysis

M. Bertani

The BESIII experiment, installed at the BEPCII accelerator of the laboratory IHEP of Beijing, performs studies on charmed mesons, measurements of form factors of mesons and baryons with and without strageness, measurements in general of multihadronic production, and searches for new hadronic states. At LNF is under construction a new internal tracking system, based on the CGEM (Cylindrical Gas Electron Multiplier) technology, that during 2018 will substitute the internal drift chamber of the BESIII apparatus. The thesis work foresees a part of data analysis to study ψ(3686) meson decays together or in alternative to an instrumental part of work on the CGEM detector
Strangeness physics: the first measurement of the kaonic deuterium exotic atoms transitions at the DAFNE Collider (SIDDHARTA-2) Nuclear physics /
Instrumental/Data analysis

C. Curceanu

The PhD student will participate to the preparation and installation of the SIDDHARTA-2 experimental apparatus on the Frascati electron-positron collider DAFNE. SIDDHARTA-2 will measure, for the first time, kaonic-deuterium transitions with novel solid state detectors (Silicon Drift Detector). The results of SIDDHARTA-2 will have implications in the particle and nuclear physics fields and in astrophysics (is there strangeness in the neutron stars?), including the interpretation of the gravitational waves pattern emitted by neutron star binary systems. The PhD student will have an active role in data taking, data analysis and results publication. He will work within an international collaboration of 10 institutions from 7 countries from all over the world, and this will open unique opportunities for a carrier in the research field at the international level.
Study of hadron multiplicities in the light flavour sector in ultra relativistic heavy ion collisions with the ALICE detector at CERN Nuclear physics Data analysis

V. Muccifora

By studying ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the LHC, the ALICE experiment aims at understanding the strong interaction aspects that are still not completely clear, in particular the origin of the phenomenon of quark confinement and the mechanism of particle mass generation. Important information to reach this goal, can be obtained by studying the evolution of the multiplicity of the hadrons produced in the interactions, since it allows to learn on the dynamics of the strong force. The thesis work is centered on the analysis and on the discussion of the data collected by ALICE in pp, pA and AA interactions, and foresees to spent time at CERN to take part of the work of the analysis groups.
Study of strangeness production in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions with the ALICE detector at CERN Nuclear physics Data analysis

A. Fantoni

By studying ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the LHC, the ALICE experiment aims at understanding the strong interaction aspects that are still not completely clear, in particular the origin of the phenomenon of quark confinement and the mechanism of particle mass generation. The study of “strangeness” production allows to understand the mechanism of mass generation and the dynamics of the Quark Gluon Plasma. The thesis work is centered on the analysis and on the discussion of the data collected by ALICE in pp, pA and AA interactions, and foresees to spent time at CERN to take part of the work of the analysis groups.
Development of a high-resolution, multi-layered, low-material Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors (MAPS) tracking system for the ALICE detector at CERN Nuclear physics Instrumental

F. Ronchetti

The ALICE apparatus is a system of detectors for the study of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions at LHC. The accelerator will undergo a major upgrade to increase the luminosity, and this will imply interaction frequencies for Pb ions of 50kHz. Therefore, also the apparatus should be upgraded to improve its capabilities. For this purpose, it will be built a new vertex detector made of silicon pixel (ITS) with high resolution and reduced thickness. The thesis work offers the opportunity to participate to the construction, characterization and installation at CERN of the new ITS detector.
Measurement of the beam asymmetry in eta’ photo-production off the proton at BGO-OD Nuclear physics Instrumental/Data analysis

P. Levi Sandri

The beam asymmetry it’s a variable extremely sensitive to the details of the photon-nucleon interaction and it allows to discriminate among different theoretical models. The thesis work regards the measurement of the asymmetry in meson eta’ photo-production between the threshold and 1.8 GeV of incident photon energy, by using the Bremsstrahlung coherent beam of ELSA (University of Bonn) and the detector BGO-OD. It is foreseen hardware work (tuning and characterization of MRPC chambers, monitor and calibration of the BGO calorimeter) together with data analysis. The MRPC chambers of BGO-OD apparatus cover essential angles for the measurement feasibility and will be devoted to the detection of the recoil proton, while the calorimeter will detect the eta’ decay products. BGO-OD is an international collaboration that includes INFN, German Institutions (Bonn PI, Bonn HISKP, Gießen), Russian ones (INR Moscow e PNPI Gatchina) and the Universities of Edinburgh and Basilea.
Experimental studies of quantum mechanics (Pauli Exclusion principle and collapse models) and implications for the (new) quantum technologies. Nuclear physics Data analysis

C. Curceanu

Quantum mechanics is a pillar of modern physics, but still triggers many debates and detailed studies to improve our understanding and to develop new quantum technologies. The PhD student will participate to the realization of new quantum mechanics experiments: VIP2 (test of the Pauli principle violation), test of collapse models. The experimental detectors will be realized at the Frascati laboratories (LNF), and the experiments will be carried out at the underground laboratories of Gran Sasso (LNGS). The PhD student will participate to the data analysis and interpretation within an international collaboration (VIP2), and to the study of the implications for future quantum technologies, within the European project COST Action CA15220 – Quantum Technologies in Space.
Searches of axion-like particles with the QUAX experiment at INFN Legnaro Laboratories Astroparticle Physics Instrumental

C. Gatti

Axions are particles predicted to solve the Strong CP problem and are one of the candidates for the cold dark matter. QUAX is a resonant cavity experiment, now in the R&D phase, aiming at detecting dark matter axions with mass about 60 μeV. Cavity excitations will be measured by parametric amplifiers or single-photon counters (TES, qubits).

The activity will consist in setting, characterizing and monitoring cryostat systems for low and ultra-low temperatures; characterization of high-Q, superconducting or hybrid, resonant-cavities in strong magnetic fields at cryogenic temperatures; measurement of magnetic field within the superconductive/hybrid cavity with different cooling procedures; study of noise fluctuation in the magnetization of the paramagnetic/ferrimagnetic sample at low temperature used to detect axions; design test and characterization of single photon counters (TES or qubits) coupled to a resonant cavity; data taking and data analysis.

Study of the neutrino properties with experiments on reactor antineutrinos Astroparticle Physics

A. Paoloni

The thesis work will be performed within the international collaboration JUNO, that aims at studying the mass hierarchy of neutrinos by measuring, at 50 km of distance, the energy spectrum of the antineutrinos produced by nuclear reactors of Jiangmen province (China). The thesis foresees an experimental part  (test of readout electronic prototypes of the muon external tracking system) and another of Montecarlo simulations (centered on the study of the cosmogenic backgrounds and of their effects on the hierarchy measurement).
Top quark phenomenology at LHC: mass measurements interpretation and bottom fragmentation effects in top decay Theoretical physics Theoretical

G. Corcella

The mass of the top quark is a fundamental quantity of the Standard Model from which depends e.g. electro-weak vacuum stability. The thesis work consists in studying the uncertainty on the interpretation of the measurements of the top mass in terms of theoretical definitions like the “pole mass” or the “MSbar mass”. In particular, it will be studied the error on the mass due to the hadronization description of bottom quark in top decay.
Study of the production of heavy bosons Z’ at LHC and of their super-symmetric decays in leptophobic models Theoretical physics Theoretical

G. Corcella

The study of new heavy bosons Z’, predicted by gauge U(1) theories, is one of the major researches of new physics at LHC; data analyses, performed up to now, have fixed exclusion limits around masses of 3 TeV, assuming that the Z’ can only decay through particles of the Standard Model. The thesis work consists in the study of supersymmetric decays of the Z’, in order to evaluate the impact on the present exclusion limits, and in detail in the phenomenology of the leptophobic models, which suppress the couplings of the Z’ to the leptons of the Standard Model.
Effects of soft-resonances in QCD on partonic densities and extraction of the strong coupling constant from Deep Inelastic Scattering data at large x Theoretical physics Theoretical

G. Corcella

A deep knowledge of the Partonic Density Functions (PDF) is fundamental to perform precision measurements at hadronic colliders. Presently, the PDF are determined at fixed orders (NNLO in QCD), even if partonic cross-sections show terms that increase for large values of x-Bjorken, corresponding to the emission of soft gluons, and that have to be re-summed at any order. The thesis work consists in evaluating the effect of soft re-summing in PDF extraction and in the consequent determination of the strong coupling constant from Deep Inelastic Scattering data.
Moon laser tracking to perform precision tests of general relativity Tecnological research Instrumental S. Dell’Agnello The SCF_Lab group works on the analysis of Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) data acquired since 1969 from the laser retroreflector arrays deployed by the Apollo and Lunokhod missions on the lunar surface. We analyze these LLR data with the highly specialized “Planetary ephemeris Program” (PEP) initially developed by I. Shapiro at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and now maintained by J. Chandler of CfA. With our analysis, we reach precision tests of general relativity: the strong and the weak equivalent principle (SEP, WEP), the time variation of the gravitational constant (Gdot/G), the PPN parameter beta, the geodetic precession and the inverse-square force law. These are among the best tests of general relativity. The group also works on the design, construction and space qualification of next-generation lunar laser retroreflectors (MoonLIGHT and INRRI) in collaboration with the University of Maryland. In Italy, we collaborate with the ASI Matera Laser Ranging Observatory (MLRO) and the University/INFN Padova. MoonLIGHT and INRRI will improve over the performance of the Apollo/Lunokhod retroreflectors by up to a factor 100, thus opening a new era of test of general relativity and new gravitational theories. Finally, we have opportunities to deploy MoonLIGHT and INRRI on the Moon with the next, imminent lunar landing missions.
Monte Carlo techniques for radiation safety at particle accelerators Radioprotection Oscar Frasciello Monte Carlo techniques nowadays constitute the most accurate and efficient choice for radiation safety quantities assessment at particle accelerators. General purpose Monte Carlo codes are used, indeed, in order to produce theoretical estimations to compare with experimental data, for radiation shielding calculations, detectors response predictions and calibrations,  radiation hardness evaluation for detectors and machine components, materials activations due to the exposure to the intense radiation fields produced at particle accelerators. The Radiation Safety unit at INFN-LNF has a leading role in the radiation protection assessment of several advanced future machines for forefront research, some of them based on innovative high power laser based technologies.
The interested candidate will join a dynamic and friendly group and will employ two of the most advanced Monte Carlo codes, FLUKA and MCNP, to study specific advanced topics in this research field, like Particle In Cell – Monte Carlo coupling, benchmarking codes for laser-based experiment design and biasing techniques for neutrino induced radiation hazards.