DOE-INFN Summer Exchange Program - 2018 Edition (February 28th)


(during this period administrative offices will be closed. Please, refer to the local INFN web pages for further details)

Bari 4

Title: Search for dark matter through a “mono-Higgs” signature with four leptons in the final state, with the CMS experiment at the LHC.

Description: Within the framework of the searches of the dark matter with the CMS experiment, this project focuses on the one expecting a Higgs boson produced in association with a dark matter pair, the so called “monoHiggs” signature, with four leptons in the final state,coming from the Higgs boson decay. This signature will be studied in the context of “Higgs Portal” theoretical models and other simplified approaches. The analysis would involve the optimization of reconstruction of leptons and missing energy and the estimate of the background from data. We expect to investigate the use of multi-variate analysis techniques to improve the signal to background rejection. Studies about the observables as expected by the Monte Carlo simulation with 2016 and 2017 data are foreseen. A statistical interpretation of the results in the context of a Higgs portal model would be the final goal of the analysis. An extension of the studies in the context of the CMS upgrade is also expected.

Tutor: Nicola De Filippis (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Title: Study of triple Higgs coupling through the double Higgs production with the CMS upgrade at 14 TeV and with future colliders at 100 TeV.

Description: The project will focus on the study of the performance on the measurement of the triple Higgs coupling at the LHC at center of mass energy of 14 and at a future collider at 100 TeV; the production of a Higgs pair and the decay in two bbar ZZ will be studied; the subsequent decay of the ZZ pair in four leptons final state will be the main focus. Signal and background events will be simulated, if not existing, and reconstructed with the CMS software for the upgrade and with a fast simulation tool in case of the future collider at 100 TeV. The student is expected to study the performance of the b-tagging and of the leptons reconstruction/identification, also by profiting from the usage of multivariate analysis techniques. The goal of the project is to get an estimate of the rate of di.-higgs expected with this topology, an upper limit on the value of the triple Higgs coupling and an estimate of the uncertainty on the measurement on the coupling with a future allied at 100 TeV.

Tutor: Nicola De Filippis (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Title: Large-scale production and quality assurance of GEM chambers for the Upgrade of CMS Muon system.

Description: Nowadays detectors based on Gas Electron Multipliers (GEM) technology are widely used in High Energy Physics. Thanks to their excellent spatial and time resolution, high particle rate capability and a close to 100% detection efficiency, GEM detectors meet all requirements for the upgrade of the CMS endcap. 144 large area trapezoidal triple-GEM detectors will be installed in 2019 in the first station of the endcap of CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment at the LHC. During 2018 different production sites spread all over the world (Italy, US-Florida, CERN, India, Belgium), will build test and qualify the GEM chambers, through a well established quality-control procedure targeting the measurement of detector performance to ensure proper and robust operation of the chamber when installed in CMS.
The INFN Bari section, chosen by the CMS-GEM collaboration to be one of those site, is currently actively involved in this activity.
The student is expected to take part to the assembly and to the quality certification processes of the GE1/1 chamber. The latter targets the measurement of the detector performance in terms of gas-tightness, detector linearity and noise rate, effective gain and response-uniformity.
A study of the dependence of the response uniformity with respect to the gain variation will be performed, in order to reach a full understanding of the best operating performance. This analysis will be developed in the context of a C++ framework.

Tutors: Rosamaria Venditti ( and Piet Verwilligen (

Recommended period: May-June or June-July


Title: Setup and measurement of the time resolution of the Fast Timing MPGD

Description: Future Hadron Colliders will operate at ever increasing collision rates, resulting in very stringent requirements on the time resolution of the next generation gaseous detectors.
The present generation of Micro-Pattern Gaseous Detectors (MPGDs) are radiation hard, capable of dealing with rates of several MHz/cm^2, while exhibiting good spatial resolution (≤ 50 μm), and the use of resistive materials can make them naturally spark protected at a modest time resolution of 5–10 ns, The Fast Timing MPGD (FTM) project seeks to improve the time resolution aiming at a time resolution of the order of 100-500 ps.
The student will be involved in the Fast Timing MPGD research group of INFN Bari, where she/he will design and construct a test setup for the measurement of the time resolution of the detector.
She/he will use the in-house designed readout electronics (FATIC chip) and DAQ (MOSAIC board) to read the signals of the Fast Timing MPGD along with signals from fast scintillators in a cosmic setup.
The student will make a fundamental contribution on preparing the Fast Timing MPGD for test beam.

Tutor: Piet Verwilligen (

Recommended period: June-July



Local Secretariat:
Tonio Silvestri
ph. +39 080 5442332

Bologna 7

2 Positions: ATLAS

Title n. 1: Characterization of Monolithic Sensors for the High Luminosity LHC upgrade

Description: In 2025, the ATLAS detector at LHC will face crucial challenges of the High Luminosity LHC upgrade: the pileup (i.e. the number of superimposed proton proton collisions within the same bunch crossing) will increase up to the unprecedented value of ~200. To cope WITH THIS experimental challenge, the ATLAS detector will completely replace its internal tracker with a new subdetector called ITk composed by silicon detectors arranged in internal and outer layers composed respectively by pixel and strip detectors.

One possibility is to replace one of the pixel layers with monolithic silicon sensors made with CMOS technology instead of the more traditional hybrid sensors. With respect TO THE latter, monolithic sensors have the advantage to combine on the same physical silicon substrate both the sensor part and the front end electronics, reducing the material, and, in a more relevant way, eliminating the error prone and expensive assembly phase of the front end chips with the pixel sensors (known as "bump-bonding"). So far, these new sensors have never been used in an extensive way in hadron collider experiments. One of the limitations that needs to be solved is the radiation hardness of these devices.

The ATLAS Bologna group is actively involved in the CMOS monolithic detector R&D program. The candidate will work in close contact with the ATLAS group active in laboratory measurements and characterization of the monolithic chips that have been developed and implemented so far, in particular assessing radiation hardness of these devices.

Tutors: Dr. Antonio Sidoti ( and Dr. Carla Sbarra (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Title n. 2: Top quark physics with the ATLAS experiment at the LHC

Description: The physics of the top quark, the heaviest fundamental particle observed to date, is one of the main research fields of experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. It is the only quark that decays before hadronization, giving the unique opportunity to study the properties of a "bare" quark. Moreover, because of its very large mass, some new physics models predict phenomena that can be observed in the top quark sector. The ATLAS group of INFN-Bologna has a longstanding experience in the field of top quark physics, in particular in the measurement of differential cross sections for top-antitop quark pair production, of the top quark mass, and the study of algorithms to reconstruct top quarks with large transverse momenta. The incoming student will work on these aspects, joining the ATLAS-Bologna group and analysing the LHC proton-proton collisions data at 13 TeV, and the corresponding Monte Carlo simulations.

Tutor: Dr. Matteo Negrini (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: CMS

Title: Study of the performances of H→ZZ→4l with an upgraded CMS detector

Description: The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) is one of two general purpose particle detectors located at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. It produced the first direct evidence for the Higgs boson in summer 2012, when CMS and ATLAS jointly announced their discovery of a new massive boson. The CMS group in Bologna played a central role in this discovery, studying in particular the decay channel H→ZZ→4l (where l=e, μ), which has the distinct advantage of being very clean and therefore well distinguishable from the huge hadronic background. Since the discovery, further measurements of this boson's properties indicate that is consistent with being a Higgs boson. These studies will be continued with significantly higher precision with the much larger datasets that LHC will provide in the coming years. LHC will indeed be significantly upgraded in the future to deliver extremely high instantaneous luminosities ((HL-LHC phase), that, in a span of approximately 10 years, will yield a total integrated luminosity to ATLAS and CMS of 3000 fb-1, a factor of 100 larger than the dataset accumulated so far. In order to sustain and record data effectively at these very high luminosities, CMS will have to undergo a significant upgrade of many of its sub-detectors. The detector upgrades are being designed now based on the physics programme that CMS plans to follow at HL-LHC. The H→ZZ→4l is one of the flagship channels at HL-LHC and will be used to design and motivate many of the proposed CMS upgrades.
After a small series of introductory courses, the incoming student will work with a well established group of people of the CMS Bologna group to study the performances of the H→ZZ→4l analysis with some of the proposed detector upgrades for HL-LHC.

Tutor: Dr. Paolo Giacomelli (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October


1 Position: FCC

Title: Study of Higgs boson pair production at FCC-hh at a center-of-mass energy of 100 TeV

Description: The Future Circular Collider study (FCC) explores different designs of circular colliders for the post-LHC era. In particular the FCC-hh would be a new proton-proton circular collider at the energy frontier. The current studies call for a center-of-mass energy of 100 TeV, with a luminosity equal or larger than that of HL-LHC. At these energies and luminosities the study of the Higgs boson self interaction would become extremely interesting through the study of the rare process of Higgs boson pair production. Using the decay channel HH->bbbar 4l one would have both a signal distinguishable from the background as well as a relatively high branching ratio. The very high instantaneous luminosity will however come at the expense of a very large amount of pile-up events superimposed over the interesting physics processes, and the detector will have to cope with extremely high particle rates and occupancy. The use of a fast simulation to study the effect of different detector choices on the analysis will be a very effective too l to determine the best detector design from a physics point of view. The Bologna group has already engaged in these studies using the DELPHES framework.
After a series of introductory courses the student will work with an established group of people to simulate different FCC-hh detector designs and technology options and to reconstruct and analyse di-Higgs events at these extreme conditions of energy and pile-up.

Tutor: Dr. Paolo Giacomelli (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October


1 Position: MoEDAL

Title: Calibration and Analysis of the Nuclear Track Detector of the MoEDAL experiment

Description: The MoEDAL experiment at the LHC is mainly devoted to the search for magnetic monopoles using a nuclear track detector array, and a magnetic monopole trapping system. Detector modules are deployed at the intersection region at Point 8 of the LHC in the Vertex Locator cavern of the LHCb experiment. The activity of the student will focus on the analysis of nuclear track detectors exposed to heavy ion beams in order to determine their response in the energy loss region relevant for the detection of magnetic monopoles. The student will also participate and contribute to the analysis of MoEDAL detector modules.

Tutor: Dr. Laura Patrizii (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: DUNE

Title: Design of the Near Detector for the DUNE Long Baseline Experiment

Description: The DUNE collaboration is preparing to deliver the Technical Design Report of the experiment by the end of 2019. The group at INFN Bologna is involved in the design of the DUNE Near Detector which features the 0.6 T solenoid and EM calorimeter of the KLOE detector. The student will be involved in the design and optimization of a magnetised straw tube tracking sytem. He/she will also be involved in the R&D of a novel technique for the optical read-out of scintillation light in LAr aimed at overcoming the intrinsic limitations of Liquid Argon TPC.

Tutor: Prof. Sergio Bertolucci (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: XENON

Title: Study of the neutron background in the XENONnT dark matter experiment

Description: The XENON project, hosted in the INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS), is dedicated to the direct search of dark matter particles. It consists of a double-phase time projection chamber using ultra-pure liquid xenon. The current detector, XENON1T, with an active target mass of 2 t, is the largest TPC ever built and operated for dark matter search. Thanks to a careful selection of construction materials, a dedicated distillation of the xenon target, and an active muon veto system, the background level in the inner 1t fiducial region is about 2x10-4 dru, the lowest ever achieved in a direct dark matter experiment. The results of the first XENON1T science run (34 days) allowed to obtain a limit of 7.7x10-47 cm2 for a 35 GeV WIMP mass, which is the lowest cross section ever probed to date. Additional ~200 days of data are currently under analysis, and results will be released in 2018.
To further increase the sensitivity, there are already plans for its future upgrade, XENONnT, with an active mass of 6 t. One of the most relevant backgrounds in the XENONnT phase will come from radiogenic neutrons scattering elastically off Xe nuclei, mimicking the same signature of WIMPs.
The student will be involved in the characterization of the neutron background in XENON1T, as well as in the design of the neutron veto system for XENONnT, to tag neutrons and reduce the related background.

Tutor: Marco Selvi (

Recommended period: June-July

August 6-26, 2018

Possibility of cheap accommodations (hotels, b&b, guesthouses, etc.)

Local secretariat:
Ms. Elena Amadei
Ms. Barbara Simoni

Cagliari 2

1 Position: LHCb-Cagliari

Title: Studies of Heavy Nuclei collisions at LHCb

Description: LHCb is one of the four LHC experiments which started operations in 2010 and it has collected more than 10 fb-1 of pp collision data at several centre of mass energies. In addition to the pp run, LHCb is also operating during the LHC Heavy Ion run and has collected data both in pPb and PbPb collisions, the latter since 2015. It does as well run an innovative fixed target program recording collisions of proton and lead with noble gases like Argon, Neon, Helium. With its forward geometry optimised for the study of heavy-flavor production and decay, LHCb is an ideal position to complement the Quark Gluon Plasma studies performed in ALICE, ATLAS and CMS in this area. The candidate will be involved in the study of the production of bottomonium, charmonium and open charm in the PbPb and pPb samples collected in 2015 and 2016, with particular attention to the D0, J/psi and Upsilon mesons. In these samples, the candidate will extract the signal yields corrected for the efficiencies she/he measured in the dedicated Monte Carlo samples. The ratio of the states can be measured, which gives crucial indications on the formation of Quark Gluon Plasma.
* J.Blouw et al., Proposal for LHCb Participation to the Heavy Ion Runs, LHCb-INT-2015-019 (only visible to LHCb collaborators).
* Graziani, G. et al. (LHCb collaboration), Proposal for pPb run in 2016LHCb-PUB-2016-011
*Aaij, R et al [LHCb Collaboration] Prompt and nonprompt J/ψ production and nuclear modification in pPb collisions at √‾‾‾‾ sNN =8.16 TeV
Phys. Lett. B Volume 774, 10 November 2017, Pages 159-178
* Y.Zhang et al. (LHCb collaboration), Study of prompt D0 meson production in pPb collisions at sqrt(s)=5 TeVLHCb JHEP 10 (2017) 090.

Tutor: Giulia Manca (

Recommended period: June 1st - August 4th or September 5th - October 31st


1 position

Title: Development and test of cold electronics for the DarkSide experiment

Description: The DarkSide experiment aims at the direct detection of the dark matter. To the collaboration take part more than 70 Universities and Institutions and 12 countries across the world. The experiment is presently running at LNGS underground laboratories with about 50 kg of liquid argon as dark matter target.
Part of our activity at Cagliari is the design, assembly and test of an optocoupler working at cryogenic temperatures that will be adopted as part of the read-out system in the next DarkSide experiment - a larger liquid argon target (20 tons) always located at LNGS.
We have already demonstrated the feasibility of a prototype of optical transmitter, achieved the dynamic range specification of 60 dB and we are presently working on the design optimization to meet all the other requirements. The further step will be the integration process in a 25 channel device to be used in the DarkSide read-out system.
The student will be involved in the related experimental work, developing and testing the device and data acquisition. Some laboratory experience is preferred but not mandatory.

“DarkSide-20k: A 20 Tonne Two-Phase LAr TPC for Direct Dark Matter Detection at LNGS”. (2017) [ arXiv: 1707.08145 ]

Tutor: Dr. Marco Razeti (

Recommended Period: June 4th - August 3rd or September 3rd - October 31st



Administration and Logistic:
Maria Grazia Dessi (Administration Office)
Maria Assunta Lecca (Personnel Office)
Phone +39-06-675 4985, 4986, 4819, 4820

Local web page:

Catania 2

1 position: BDX (Dark Matter)

Title: Background measurements and detector optimization studies for light Dark Matter search in a Beam-Dump eXperiment (BDX) at Jefferson Lab

Description: Dark Matter is one example of the existence of new physics beyond the Standard Model. For many aspects weakly-interacting particles (WIMPs) in the 10 GeV - 10 TeV mass scale is an attractive picture for Dark Matter. However, the lack of experimental evidence of new physics at the weak scale from LHC and from Dark Matter direct search demands an extension of the hunting ground at lower masses (1 MeV - 1 GeV).
Beam-dump experiments are ideally suited for detecting light dark matter particles which feel a still undiscovered additional interaction carried out by a MeV-GeV mass U(1) gauge boson, the so-called Dark- or Heavy-photon.
The Catania group is actively working on the Heavy Photon Experiment (HPS) running at Jefferson Lab, and is deeply involved in the proposal of a future Beam Dump Experiment (BDX) in the same lab.
In particular, the research group is working on the BDX detector optimization, using both Monte Carlo simulations and a real detector prototype, as well as in cosmogenic and beam-related background measurements.
The student joining the Catania research group will experience research working on a small project, having the opportunity to deal with different aspects connected with these measurements, e.g. :
- Assembling and test of plastic scintillator detectors involving different technologies
- Monte Carlo simulations
- Data analysis

For further informations see:

Tutors: Mariangela Bondì (,  Marzio De Napoli (

Recommended period: June - July or September - October


1 position: AUGER (Study of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays on the surface)

Title: Test and validation of the HV power supplies for AugerPrime, the upgrade of Pierre Auger Observatory

Description: The Pierre Auger Observatory (, in the Pampa Amarilla near the small town of Malargue (Argentina), is an international scientific project with the objective of studying the highest energy cosmic rays. Cosmic rays of energy of the order of 10**20 eV have been observed. The origin and accelerating process of these particles is still unknown. Their rate is extremely low. One expects approximately one cosmic ray arriving on an area of one km2 per century. In order to collect a significant statistics, the Pierre Auger Observatory covers an area of 3000 km2. The cosmic rays properties are measured by two independent detector systems. The Surface Detector is a giant array of 1600 water Cherenkov tanks, placed over the area with 1.5 km spacing. The Fluorescence Detector is a telescope system which reconstructs the cosmic ray shower from the fluorescence light emitted by the atmospheric nitrogen excited by the particles of the shower. Surface arrays measure the lateral distribution of particles in air showers when they strike the ground. Fluorescence detectors view the longitudinal development of showers as they move downward through the atmosphere. These two complementary techniques form a uniquely powerful instrument to study the nature of extreme energy cosmic rays. The Observatory is i It is expected to measure the arrival direction, the energy and mass composition of primary cosmic rays collecting about 5000 events per year above 10**19 eV. At present the AUGER Observatory has produced results on - The energy spectrum of the primary cosmic rays which clearly shows a suppression of the flux for energy larger than 5X10^19 eV.
- An indication of the extragalactic sources of the very energetic cosmic rays.
- Indication of the mass composition of the UHECR.
- Limits on photons and neutrinos.
The Collaboration are proposed an upgrade ( AugerPrime ) of the surface detector to increment its sensitivity to the mass of the primary .

Activity: A new single channel HV power supply (A7501PB) was developed by CAEN in a cooperative effort with INFN-To to supply the two small diameter photomultipliers under investigation for the baseline design of AugerPrime. This unit was designed to work in the challenging environmental conditions and high thermal excursions of the Argentinian Pampa offering high reliability, low consumption and very low ripple. A proper test system and the procedure were developed to check and validate the HV modules by the Auger Torino group.tocheck the modules on the first batch of HV modules received from CAEN. For the production phase, two of these facilities will be operative in Italy, the first one in Torino and a second identical one in Catania . The student joining the Catania research group will experience research working on a small project, having the opportunity to deal with different aspects connected with these measurements, e.g.:
- assembling and validation of the test-facility;
- test of the first batch of HV modules: test of linearity and stability at room temperature plus test of thermal stress with controlled temperature cycles inside a climatic chamber;
- data analysis validation of HV modules before their installation in the field.

Tutor: Prof. Rossella Caruso (

Recommended Period: June-July or September-October


On request, possible accommodation at reduced cost in the
University Guesthouse and in the adjacent LNS guesthouse at 25 EUR/night.

Local contacts:
Marzio De Napoli -
ph. +39-0953785331

Ferrara 3

1 Position: LHCb

Title: The Ring Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) detector upgrade project of the LHCb experiment: R&D activities and characterisation of photo-detectors and electronics, including radiation hardness

Description: LHCb is one of the main experiments collecting data at the Large Hadron Collider accelerator at CERN. Its primary goal is to study with high accuracy b and c quark decays to improve the knowledge of the Standard Model or to reveal the contributions of New Physics to the decay processes. One of the main features of the LHCb experiment is the capability to identify the particles produced in the final state. Several detectors are dedicated to this purpose. In particular the separation between pions, kaons and protons is provided by two Cherenkov imaging detectors (RICH-1 and RICH-2). The identification of muon particles is performed using a dedicated detector. LHCb will be upgraded in many of its sub-detectors after the Long Shutdown 2 (2019-2020): to cope with the luminosity increase the read-out electronics will be upgraded to 40 MHz and the detector geometry will be modified to reduce the occupancy. This will allow the data rate to be increased substantially. The HPD photon detectors and readout electronics will be replaced by new photo-detectors with external new 40 MHz readout electronics. The Ferrara University and INFN group is involved in both the RICH and Muon detectors.

Activities: The student, joining the Ferrara group in Summer 2018, will have the opportunity to participate to the different R&D activities:
- test and characterization of novel photo-detectors
- test and characterization of CMOS front-end electronics, eventually including radiation hardness tests at European facilities
- detector simulations

Tutor: Massimiliano Fiorini (

Recommended period: June-July or July-August


1 Position: RD51

Title: Development of MPGD for future collider experiments

Description: Gas detector are one of the cornerstones in high energy particle physics. Since some years, a new concept of detectors, called Micro Pattern Gas Detectors (MPGDs), allowed to overcome several problems of the previous generation of gas detector, expecially in discharge rate and radiation tolerance. Commonly deployed as fast timing detectors and triggers, MPGDs R&D is now going in the direction of deploy these detector also as tracking devices. Gas Electron Multipliers (GEMs), invented by Sauli in 1997, are one of the most common MPGDs. Their construction technology allows to produce large area foils, that can be shaped in different forms. These detector can now operate both with and without high magnetic field, with spatial resolution that goes down to 200 micrometers in high magnetic field, thanks to innovative readout techniques. Future collider experiment, e.g ILC, FCC and CEPC, will take profit of all these advantages and will deploy MPGDs both as tracking station for muons and as trigger stations.

Activities: During his/her visit, the candidate will work with several planar and a cylindrical prototype in a dedicated laboratory activity, joining the present R&D process. He will learn about how GEMs can be operated in high energy physics experiment and how the variation of the working parameters affects the performance of the detector. In addition, will participate in simulation and data analysis activities with data collected from both cosmic rays station and test beams.

Tutor: Dott. Gianluigi Cibinetto (

Recommended period: June-October


1 Position: BESIII

Title: Hadron spectroscopy at BESIII

Description: The Beijing Spectrometer III (BESIII) is the main detector operating at the Beijing Electron Positron Collider II (BEPCII) , hosted at Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), in Beijing, China. BESIII is designated to collect data in the tau-charm energy region, which is an unique case in high energy physics, with no direct competitor in this energy regime. Precise study of charmonia, open charm decays and search for XYZ states are the main research activities of this experiment, with the opportunity to produce several states in an almost background-free environment.

Activities: Our group is involved in several analyses, that spans from glueball searches in charmonium hadronic decays to precise measurement of charmonium decay chains and Lambda_c decays and exotic searches. The candidate will join one of these activities, and working together with the main researcher, will learn the basis of high energy physics data analysis and will contribute to complete the dedicated measurement, with the goal to provide instruments to have the opportunity to develop an own analysis in the future.

Tutor: Dott.ssa Isabella Garzia (

Recommended period: June-October

  Cheap accommodation available in town or in the University guest house

Local Secretariat:
Paola Fabbri
ph. +39-0532-974280

Local web page:

Frascati National Laboratory (LNF)


1 position: CYGNUS-RD

Title: Dark Matter Search

Description: CYGNUS-RD is the name of the innovative detector R&D aimed to merge the technique of negative ion field gage with optical triple-gem readout, proposed for dark matter direction search in the CYGNUS international collaboration. A peculiar modification of conventional TPC involves the addition to the gas mixture of a highly electronegative molecule, making it a Negative Ion TPC. When negative ions act as image carrier instead of electrons, diffusion is reduced to the thermal limit without the need for a magnetic field implying a better track reconstruction. The optical readout with CMOS sensor can provide very high granularity (higher then chip pixels) and with the proper camera aperture and focal lent can image large area at lower cost. The purpose of the stage is collaborate on the analysis of the first prototypes results, developing appropriate algorithms end exploring the possibility to implements machine learning methods.

Tutor: Giovanni Mazzitelli (

Recommended period: June - July


2 positions: MoonLIGHT-2 & SCF_Lab

Title: Space Research with the MoonLIGHT-2 experiment and the SCF_Lab test facility

Description: The space research activities of the SCF_Lab test facilities are describe at The goal of MoonLIGHT-2 (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High-accuracy Tests for the International Lunar Network – Phase 2) is the development, space characterization and deployment of 2nd generation laser retroreflectors for the sub-mm-precision orbit determination of the Moon through a laser-pulse time-of-flight measurement, in order to achieve a high-accuracy test of General Relativity and new theories of gravity. This discipline, called Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), started 40 years ago, when the Apollo and Lunokhod missions deployed retroreflectors on the surface of the Moon. LLR data are freely available and provide the best overall test of General Relativity with a single experiment (weak and strong equivalence principle, PPN parameter beta, geodetic precession, deviations from the inverse-square law, time variation of the gravitational constant G, extensions of General Relativity). The experiment is an international collaboration between Italian and US institutions. The latter include: the University of Maryland at College Park (UMD), which was Principal Investigator of the 1st generation retroreflectors; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MA, USA (CfA), which has developed the powerful Planetary Ephemeris Program capable (among many other things) of accurately tracking the Moon orbit; the University of California at San Diego, CA, USA (UCSD), which leads the best LLR station, located in USA, called APOLLO (Apache Point Observatory LLr Operation; We have space agency and commercial lunar landing mission opportunities starting from late 2018. See also .

For Mars science (gravity, geodesy) and exploration we built and space-qualified INRRI-EDM/2016 (INstrument for landing/Roving laser Retroreflector Investigations) the first-ever laser retroreflector to be deployed on the surface of the red planet by the ESA/ASI ExoMars EDM 2016 mission. INRRI is a compact, lightweight, passive and maintenance-free array of laser retroreflectors of very long lifetime, installed on the external, zenith-facing surface of the ExoMars EDM, with unobstructed view to orbit. INRRI will enable the EDM to be laser-located from Mars orbiters operational either during the EDM lifetime and/or after the EDM end-of-life. INRRI is provided by ASI and INFN-LNF. Another such payload delivered in 2017 by INFN to NASA-JPL through ASI, will be launched on NASA's InSight Mars Lander in 2018; a third one will be delivered to NASA-JPL for launch on NASA's Mars 2020 Rover in 2020.

The student will participate in the: (1) thermal-optical-vacuum test, space qualification and data analysis of new laser retroreflectors for general relativity and space geodesy, to be launched with lunar, near-Earth and martian mission; and/or (2) analysis of LLR data acquired from existing Apollo/Lunokhod payloads for precision gravity tests, as well as with our next-generation lunar laser retroreflectors.

1.Creation of the new industry-standard space test of laser retroreflectors for GNSS and LAGEOS, S. Dell'Agnello, et al., J. Adv. Space Res. 47 (2011) 822–842.
2.A Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st Century, D. Currie, S. Dell'Agnello, G. Delle Monache, Acta Astron. 68, 667– 680 (2011).
3.Advanced Laser Retroreflectors for Astrophysics and Space Science, Dell'Agnello, S., et al (2015), Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 3, 218-227.
4.LaRRI: Laser Retro-Reflector for InSight Mars Lander, S. Dell'Agnello et al., Space Research Today N. 200, 25-32, December 2017.

Tutors: Simone Dell'Agnello ( and/or Giovanni Delle Monache (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 position: Exotic atoms studies with SIDDHARTA-2

Title: Exotic atoms studies at the DAFNE collider with the SIDDHARTA-2 experiment

Description: SIDDHARTA-2 experiment aims to perform the first measurement in the world of the X-ray transitions in the kaonic deuterium exotic atom, which will help to understand the strong interaction described by the Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD) theory in the non-perturbative regime in systems with “strangeness” (i.e. with strange quarks). The SIDDHARTA-2 experiment will measure the X rays produced in the de-excitations of kaonic deuterium by using new Silicon Drift Detectors developed to perform precision X-ray spectroscopy and which can have applications going from physics and astrophysics to industry and medicine. SIDDHARTA-2 will be in installed on DAFNE, an electron-positron collider delivering kaons, starting with summer 2018; a very exciting period will then follow! The kaonic deuterium measurement plays a fundamental role in understanding how QCD works, with implications going from particle and nuclear physics to astrophysics (equation of state of neutron stars).

The student will be involved in all the exciting phases of the experiment, from the installation on the DAFNE collider, one of the very few working colliders in the world, to tests of the detector systems and data acquisition. He/she will be also introduced to data analyses and advanced Monte Carlo simulations.

Tutor: Catalina Curceanu (

Recommended period: September - October


1 position

Title: Search for dark matter signals at LNF with PADME

Description: There are models attempting to solve the dark matter problem, as well as the muon (g-2) anomaly, that have postulated the existence of a low-mass spin-1 particle (A’) that would possess a gauge coupling of electroweak strength to dark matter, and a much smaller coupling to the Standard Model (SM) hypercharge. The PADME experiment, by using the positrons of the LNF LINAC, aims at searching for invisible decays of the dark photon by measuring the final state missing mass in the process e^+e^- -> gamma A', with A’ undetected. The measurement requires the determination of the 4-momentum of the recoil gamma, performed using a homogeneous, highly segmented BGO crystals calorimeter, and the rejection of all possible source of background. PADME is an international collaboration that comprises Bulgarian, Hungarian, Italian and American researchers. The detector, presently under construction at the Frascati National Laboratory, will start its first data taking in the late spring of 2018. This is only the first phase of the experiment. Plans, foreseeing the installation on a higher energy beam line at the Cornell University, are also under discussion.

Activity: The student will take part to the data taking and data analysis activities at the Frascati National Laboratory.

Tutor: Paola Gianotti (

Recommended period: June - July


1 position

Title: Nanosensors for biomedical applications

Description: Electrochemical DNA – sensors are one of the most promising tools with very diverse areas of application such as medical diagnostics, environmental pollutants monitoring, biological weapons defence etc. In spite of DNA – sensors already widely used in practice, they have a perspective for the improvement of functionality and cost – effectivity. One of the important directions in this matter is the increasing selectivity and sensitivity of sensors in expense of enhancement of electric signal and target – probe hybridization stability. Another important direction is the improvement of the electrode effectivity and manufacturability. From this point of view the best choice is the polymer – CNT enhanced nanocomposites, combining these two important features. At the same time, the better understanding of molecular mechanisms behind the DNA and RNA hybridization on the surface of electric transducer, and polymer – CNT nanocomposites formation is relevant for the improvement of effectivity and manufacturability of DNA – sensors. The Student will carry out all-round activity in nanoscience, with a specific calling for technological applications, stemming from scientific achievements and with the help of a careful theoretical research and modeling activity.

The Student will also participate to the realization of the Nanomaterial (e.g. carbon nanotubes and graphene) that are synthesized in the nanotechnology laboratory, and the corresponding biosensor nano-devices, which he will subsequently characterize and test. The student will engage in the Chemical Vapour Deposition of carbon nanotubes (CNT) and Graphene on catalytic substrates and/or in porous templates, as well as in the arc discharge synthesis of carbon nanotubes, without impurities and with a low density of defects. Purification and functionalization of carbon nanotubes are carried out by LNF team by physical and chemical methods.

Main references:
1. "Biological interactions of carbon-based nanomaterials: From coronation to degradation" Kunal Bhattacharya, Sourav P Mukherjee, Audrey Gallud, Seth C Burkert, Silvia Bistarelli, Stefano Bellucci, Massimo Bottini, Alexander Star, Bengt Fadeel, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Available online 17 December 2015.
2. "Multiwalled carbon nanotube buckypaper induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human leukemia cell lines through modulation of AKT and MAPK signaling pathways", Simona Dinicola, Maria Grazia Masiello, Sara Proietti, Pierpaolo Coluccia, Gianmarco Fabrizi, Alessandro Palombo, Federico Micciulla, Silvia Bistarelli, Giulia Ricci, Angela Catizone, Giorgio De Toma, Mariano Bizzarri, Stefano Bellucci, Alessandra Cucina, Toxicology in Vitro 7 (2015) 1298-1308
3. "Collapse and hybridization of RNA: View from replica technique approach", Y Sh Mamasakhlisov, S Bellucci, Shura Hayryan, H Caturyan, Z Grigoryan, Chin-Kun Hu, The European Physical Journal E 38 (2015) 1-9.
4. "Growth inhibition, cell-cycle alteration and apoptosis in stimulated human peripheral blood lymphocytes by multiwalled carbon nanotube buckypaper", O Zeni, A Sannino, S Romeo, F Micciulla, S Bellucci, MR Scarfi, Nanomedicine 10 (2015), 351-360
5. "Differences in cytotoxic, genotoxic, and inflammatory response of bronchial and alveolar human lung epithelial cells to pristine and COOH-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes", Cinzia Lucia Ursini, Delia Cavallo, Anna Maria Fresegna, Aureliano Ciervo, Raffaele Maiello, Giuliana Buresti, Stefano Casciardi, Stefano Bellucci, Sergio Iavicoli, BioMed Research International,Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 359506, 14 pages
6. "Targeted Nanodrugs for Cancer Therapy: Prospects and Challenges", Massimo Bottini, Cristiano Sacchetti, Antonio Pietroiusti, Stefano Bellucci, Andrea Magrini, Nicola Rosato, Nunzio Bottini, J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol 14 (2014) 98-114

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Recommended period: June - July or September - October


1 position

Title: Electron beam acceleration for advanced materials characterization

Description: With the advent of the era of graphene, the universally famous two-dimensional allotrope of carbon, with its lightweight, amazing strength and unsurpassed ability to conduct electricity and heat better than any other material, previously unconceivable technological opportunities are opening up in a manifold of various applicative areas, in the true spirit of enabling technologies. The use of graphene can be envisaged in nanoelectronics, as a promising alternative to customary materials such as copper, which show well-known limitations in their utilization at the nanometer scale, owing to the challenges of dealing with higher values of frequencies and smaller sizes in beyond state of the art applications. Features like tunable electronic properties may be exploited to realize, for instance, a microwave electronically tunable microstrip attenuator. Electronic systems intended for Aerospace and Aeronautics applications are requested to exhibit such high performances in terms of operating conditions and reliability, that the used materials must retain outstanding mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. New technological solutions must provide significant reduction of weight of parts and supports (such as electronic cases), realized with optimized shapes. A solution to such problems can be provided by exploiting the recent advances in Nanotechnology in the synthesis of the so-called nanocomposites, a class of composites where one or more separate phases have one dimension in the nanoscale (less than 100nm).

The Student will also participate to the Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, and the Electron and atomic force microscopy, characterizations of the nanomaterials, e.g. graphene, nanotubes, and epoxy nanocomposites. The Student will become experienced with modelling and simulation of the CNT growth over catalyst patterned substrates and porous templates, along with the conductance properties of CNT/metal junctions, as well as in modelling CNT electron transport properties. The Student will engage in the realization and characterization of epoxy resin nanocomposites based on nanocarbon materials. and study their electrical and mechanical properties and the electromagnetic shielding they provide in the microwave frequency range.

Main references:
1. "What does see the impulse acoustic microscopy inside nanocomposites?" VM Levin, YS Petronyuk, ES Morokov, A Celzard, S Bellucci, PP Kuzhir, Physics Procedia 70 (2015) 703-706
2. "Microstructure, elastic and electromagnetic properties of epoxy-graphite composites", SS Bellucci, F Micciulla, VM Levin, Yu S Petronyuk, LA Chernozatonskii, PP Kuzhir, AG Paddubskaya, J Macutkevic, MA Pletnev, V Fierro, A Celzard, AIP Advances 5 (2015) 067137
3. "Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy of Composites Filled With Various Carbon Materials", Stefano Bellucci, Silvia Bistarelli, Antonino Cataldo, Federico Micciulla, Ieva Kranauskaite, Jan Macutkevic, Juras Banys, Nadezhda Volynets, Alesya Paddubskaya, Dmitry Bychanok, Polina Kuzhir, Sergey Maksimenko, Vanessa Fierro, Alain Celzard, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 63 (2015) 2024-2031
4. "Nanocomposites of epoxy resin with graphene nanoplates and exfoliated graphite: Synthesis and electrical properties", A Dabrowska, S Bellucci, A Cataldo, F Micciulla, A Huczko, physica status solidi (b) 251 (2014), 2599-2602.
5. "Heat‐resistant unfired phosphate ceramics with carbon nanotubes for electromagnetic application", Artyom Plyushch, Dzmitry Bychanok, Polina Kuzhir, Sergey Maksimenko, Konstantin Lapko, Alexey Sokol, Jan Macutkevic, Juras Banys, Federico Micciulla, Antonino Cataldo, Stefano Bellucci, physica status solidi (a) 211 (2014), 2580-2585
6. "Multi-walled carbon nanotubes/unsaturated polyester composites: Mechanical and thermal properties study", MSI Makki, MY Abdelaal, S Bellucci, M Abdel Salam, Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures 22 (2014), 820-833

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Recommended period: June - July or September - October


1 position

Title: NanoElectromagnetics (microwave/RF/photonics)

Description: We have experience in the frequency (energy)/time-domain full-wave multiphysics modeling of the combined electromagnetic-coherent transport problem in carbon-based (graphene, CNT) nano-structured materials and devices. The core concept is that while the advancement of research in this area heavily depends on the progress of manufacturing technology, still, the global modeling of multi-physics phenomena at the nanoscale is crucial to its development. Modeling, in turn, provides the appropriate basis for design. The bridge between nanosciences and the realized circuits can be achieved by using the panoply of microwave/RF engineering at our disposal. From the theoretical models and techniques, we produced efficient software for the analysis and design.

In our models, the quantum transport is described by the Schrödinger equation or its Dirac-like counterpart, for small energies. The electromagnetic field provides sources terms for the quantum transport equations that, in turn, provide charges and currents for the electromagnetic field. In the frequency-domain, a rigorous Poisson-coherent transport equation system is provided, including electrostatic sources (bias potentials). Interesting results involve new concept-devices, such as Graphene-Nano-Ribbon (GNR) nano-transistors and multipath/multilayer GNR circuits, where charges are ballistically scattered among different ports under external electrostatic control. Further examples are given by the simulation of cold-cathodes for field emission based on graphene and by the analysis of optical emission/absorption by single or few layers GNR.

Recently, we began to work on the model of the graphene/CNT-metal transition and related equivalent circuits models, ii) the inclusion of thermal effects in graphene/CNT, e.g. as deriving from ballistic path reduction due to phonon scattering and as arising at the contact between graphene and silicon dioxide. In the time-domain, we now avail a novel Schrödinger/Dirac-based transmission line matrix (TLM) solver for the self-consistent analysis of the electromagnetic-coherent transport dynamics in realistic environments. It is highlighted that the self-generated electromagnetic field may affect the dynamics (group velocity, kinetic energy etc.) of the quantum transport. This is particularly important in the analysis of time transients and in the describing the behavior of high energy carrier bands, as well as the onset of non-linear phenomena due to impinging external electromagnetic fields. We are now capable of modelling THz carbon-based emitters/detectors, CNT-enabled traveling wave (TW-CNT) devices, and the carbon-metal transition; we are exploiting novel properties and devices based on frequency multiplication, graphene gyrotropic effects, photoconductive effects.

The Student's activity we will be focusing on:
• Multiphysics Schrödinger/Dirac-based modeling of the electromagnetic-coherent transport phenomena of the graphene/CNT devices. Microwave and Terahertz circuit characterization stemming from the above analysis in a form suitable for design.
• Models of the graphene/CNT-metal transition. Their equivalent circuits models.
• Inclusion of thermal effects in graphene/CNT (e.g. the contact between graphene and silicon dioxide). Their circuit models in system characterization.
• Characterization and validation of electromagnetic/quantum-mechanics properties of carbon nanostructures.
• Electromagnetic characterization of carbon-based foams. Shielding EM interference in chaotic environments.

Main references:
1. "Spatial dispersion effects upon local excitation of extrinsic plasmons in a graphene micro-disk" Davide Mencarelli, Stefano Bellucci, Antonello Sindona, Luca Pierantoni, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 48 (2015), 465104
2. "Broadband microwave attenuator based on few layer graphene flakes", Luca Pierantoni, Davide Mencarelli, Maurizio Bozzi, Riccardo Moro, Stefano Moscato, Luca Perregrini, Federico Micciulla, Antonino Cataldo, Stefano Bellucci, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 63 (2015) 2491-2497
3. "Applications of Graphene at Microwave Frequencies", Maurizio Bozzi, Luca Pierantoni, Stefano Bellucci, Radioengineering 24 (2015) 661-669.
4. "Sharp variations in the electronic properties of graphene deposited on the h-BN layer", DG Kvashnin, S Bellucci, LA Chernozatonskii, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 17 (2015) 4354-4359
5. "Graphene-based electronically tuneable microstrip attenuator", L Pierantoni, D Mencarelli, M Bozzi, R Moro, S Bellucci, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 4 (2014), 4-18

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Recommended period: June - July or September - October


1 position

Title: Studies of a scheme for Low EMittance Muon Accelerator with production from positrons on target

Description: We are studying a new scheme to produce very low emittance muon beams using a positron beam of about 45 GeV interacting on electrons on target. This is a challenging and innovative scheme that needs a full design study. One of the innovative topics to be investigated is the behaviour of the positron beam stored in a low emittance ring with a thin target, that is directly inserted in the ring chamber to produce muons. Muons can be immediately collected at the exit of the target and transported to two μ+ and μ− accumulator rings and then injected in muon collider rings. We are focusing on the simulation of the e+ beam interacting with the target, its degradation in the 6-D phase space and the optimization of the e+ ring design to maximize the energy acceptance. We are investigating the performances of this scheme, ring optics plus target system, comparing different multi-turn simulations. A test bean with a 45 GeV positron beam is foreseen in summer to measure the yield and the characteristics of the produced muons.

Tutor: Mario Antonelli (

Recommended period: July - August


1 position

Title: The RICH detector of the CLAS12 experiment

Description: The CLAS12 experiment is currently running in the Hall B of the Jefferson Laboratory in Newport News (Virginia, USA), using the high energy, high intensity and polarization of the CEBAF electron beam. The physics program of the experiment is broad and covers many aspect of the hadronic physics.

The Frascati group is deeply involved in the study of the nucleon structure by means of semi-inclusive and exclusive reactions.

A new RICH (Ring Imaging CHerenkov) detector has been recently installed inside the CLAS12 spectrometer, with the goal of separating kaons from pions and protons in the momentum range from 2.5 to 8 GeV/c. This will allow the CLAS12 to extend the study of the nucleon structure in kinematic regions otherwise not accessible.

The RICH detector is made by a wall of aerogel tiles as Cherenkov radiator, 391 Multi-Anode photomultiplier tubes to detect the Cherenkov light and a complex mirror system to direct the photons toward the photodetectors. The kaons are separated from the prevalent background of pions and protons by reconstructing the emission angle of the Cherenkov photons and studying the measured hit pattern. A likelihood approach is used to make the final particle identification.

Activity: The student will analyze simulated and real data in order to optimize the parameters of the particle identification algorithm and to study the performance of the detector.

Tutor: Marco Mirazita (

Recommended period: June - July


1 position: LHCb

Title: Semileptonic decays of the B_s meson, a tool for New Physics discovery

Description: Description: LHCb is one of the main experiments collecting data at the Large Hadron Collider accelerator. One of its primary goal is to study with high accuracy the properties of b-hadrons that are copiously produced in the proton-proton collisions at LHC.

Measurements performed at B-Factories and LHCb, show an hint of violation of Lepton Flavour Universality (LFU) from the comparison of the B --> D(*) tau nu_tau (semi-tauonic) and B --> D(*) mu nu_mu (semi-muonic) decay widths. If these hints would be confirmed by other measurements it will clearly be a sign of Physics Beyond the Standard Model. It is of paramount importance to study semi-tauonic decays in other b-hadron species both to check the presence of large LFU violation in alternative environments, and to explore different kinematic variables aiming to pin down the kind of New Physics than explains the observed anomalies in the LFU.

We, in the LHCb group in Frascati, are deeply involved in the study of semileptonic decays of B_s mesons. The B_s mesons (constituted by an anti-b quark and s quark instead of an u- or d-quark which constitute a B meson) are interesting because have some advantages compared with the B mesons. A crucial one is that they allow to overcome one the most important background that affects the semi-tauonic decays of the B mesons. This background, which is associated with the decays of orbitally and radially excited charm-meson states, is in fact much less relevant in B_s decays than in B decays. Moreover, semileptonic B_s decays offer many interesting kinematic observables that can be exploited to constrain various plausible New Physics scenarios.

Activities: The student will be deeply involved on key points aspects of the data analysis. Depending on his/her interests and when he/she will be with us, the work can focus on:
- the developments of novel algorithms to control the soft photon efficiency, which is required by some of the measurements we are interested in;
- the optimisation of signal selection and the study of a suitable sample to control the most dangerous backgrounds;
- the improvements of the resolution of the signal kinematic useful for precise measurements of some observables. Some knowledges in computing (e.g. python, C++, root, TMVA,...) are desirable but not mandatory.

LHCb collaboration website for useful general information:
Latest LHCb measurements on semi-tauonic B decays with many interesting links:

Tutors: Marcello Rotondo ( and Barbara Sciascia (

Recommended period: 1 June - 31 July, 27 August - 31 October


1 position: LNF Theory Group

Title: Exploring large-x parton distribution functions, from JLab to LHC energies

Description: Description: An accurate knowledge of parton distribution functions (PDF) in the proton has been one of the cornerstones of the physics analysis of data of several colliders, such as the LHC, and will be a key ingredient of any precision study at future accelerators. In fact, hadron-level cross sections are given by convolutions of partonic coefficient functions, which are calculated in perturbative QCD, typically at fixed order in the strong coupling, and parton distribution functions, which are extracted from data. It is well known, however, that finite-order QCD computations are limited in their range of applicability by the occurrence of large logarithms near the boundaries of phase space. Threshold logarithms, in particular, correspond to large values of the Bjorken variable x and are related to soft- or collinear-gluon radiation. In order to enlarge the region in which perturbative QCD can be trusted, these logarithms must be resummed. Using resummed partonic coefficient functions will yield the extraction of companion resummed parton densities from data. Moreover, since these large logarithms are weighted by powers of the strong coupling costant, data at large x and small scales Q2, where the strong coupling is enhanced, such as those collected in electron-proton scattering at JLab (E94-110 and E00-116 experiments), are ideal to determine threshold-resummed PDFs. Nevertheless, at such small scales, one gets close to the Landau pole of the strong coupling constant and would need some prescription to handle it, namely using frozen- or effective-coupling models.

The student will first get familiar with resummed calculations in perturbative QCD and non-perturbative models to deal with the strong coupling constant in the infrared regime. Then, he/she will use JLab data at large x and small Q2 in order to obtain parton distribution functions accounting for threshold resummation in the coefficient functions of electron-proton scattering. The obtained PDFs will be compared with those of sets, such as NNPDF, which do include threshold resummation, but did not consider such small-scale JLab data in the global fits. Finally, by using the DGLAP evolution equations, the student will be able to make predictions for LHC processes wherein large-x resummation is expected to play a role, such as weak-boson or heavy-quark production, for which threshold-resummed coefficient functions are already available.

Tutor: Gennaro Corcella (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October


3 positions: Dark Matter searches - Quantum Mechanics tests - Data Management & Preservation at KLOE-2

The KLOE-2 experiment is currently taking data at the upgraded e+e- DAPHNE collider of the INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, and by the end of Mach 2018 it will finish the data taking campaign collecting more than 5 fb-1 at the center of mass energy of the phi-meson.
KLOE-2 physics program is mainly focused on KS, eta and eta′ meson rare decays as well as on kaon interferometry, fundamental symmetry tests and physics beyond the Standard Model, including searches for new exotic particles that could constitute the dark matter.
With the end of the data campaign, the KLOE-2 collaboration will focus on data reconstruction and analysis towards Precise Measurements and searches of Physics Beyond the Standard Model.

Title n. 1: Light dark matter searches with the KLOE-2 detector

Description: The possibility to detect light dark matter in the sub-GeV regime through the decay of a light dark sector mediator is a unique opportunity for KLOE-2. A possible signature of the process is the presence of events with a monochromatic photon and missing energy. KLOE-2 collected about 2 fb-1 integrated luminosity with a Single Photon Trigger, with tagged events selected and recorded in a special data stream. Activity of the summer student will include Monte Carlo simulation of the signal, study of advanced algorithms to suppress beam background and analysis of the streamed data. KLOE-2 dataset could also be used to search for the B-boson, a possible mediator of Dark Matter and Standard Model (SM) particles interaction. To this extent more than 5 fb-1 of data are available. The B-boson decay mimics the Standard Model known decays, therefore representing a challenge in analysis techniques to achieve a precise measurement of the upper limit on the coupling between dark and SM sectors in the sub-GeV mass range. The summer student will participate in the ongoing analysis, contributing to the implementation of new approaches in calculating Upper Limits and applying Bayesian methods. Basic knowledge in C++ and ROOT framework of CERN is welcome.

Tutors: Enrico Graziani ( and Elena Perez del Rio (

Recommended period: September-October


Title n. 2: Towards testing Quantum Mechanics with neutral kaons at KLOE-2

Description: The entanglement in the neutral kaon pairs produced at the DAPHNE phi- factory is a unique tool to test discrete symmetries and the basic principles of quantum mechanics.
The decay phi → KSKL → π+π−π+π− will be used among the others, significantly improving present results exploiting the insertion of a dedicated GEM-based tracking detector.

Both neutral kaons will decay within few cm from the interaction point, therefore detector performance in terms of spatial resolution and its stability along data taking are essential to better isolate signal selection and improve signal to background rejection.
The student will participate in the development of dedicated algorithms to select 4-pion final states and in the measurement of tracking and vertexing performance by studying event topologies and signatures in the KLOE-2 detector, using as one of the figures of merit the stability of Ks lifetime measurement.
Basic programming skills are required.

Tutors: Antonio Di Domenico ( and Paolo Gauzzi (

Recommended period: June - July


Title n. 3: Data Management & Preservation at KLOE-2

Description: Students with a background in Physics and/or Computer Science are warmly welcome to join the KLOE-2 Offline Group to participate in the development of new monitoring tools, code optimization and algorithm design as well as data management, such as data preservation and storage.

Familiarity with programming languages like C++, Python, FORTRAN and Perl, together with different debugging tools and High Energy Physics frameworks, like ROOT from CERN, are desirable.
Particularly, we offer the possibility of joining the Offline Group in designing and implementing new algorithms more adapted to a new target language and newly installed KLOE-2 computing resources.
This gives a unique opportunity to improve/learn new programming skills and experience team work within a collaborative and friendly environment.

Tutors: Giuseppe Fortugno and Elena Perez del Rio (

Recommended period: September-October

12-20 August Convenient accomodation in the Laboratory's guesthouse

Scientific Coordination:
Catalina Curceanu
ph. +39 06 94032321 - email:
Maria Cristina D'Amato
ph. +39-06-94032373 - email:

Personnel Office:
Gianluca Dalla Vecchia- Visitor's Office (ph. +39-06-94032227 - email:

Local web page:

Genova 3

1 position: ATLAS

Title:  Pixel detector for the ATLAS Upgrade at HL-LHC

Description: The program for LHC foresees an upgrade of the accelerator complex in the long shutdown of 2024-25 that will allow to increase the integrated luminosity by a factor of 10 (High Luminosity LHC – HL-LHC). The present detectors of ATLAS have been designed according to the rates and radiation dose expected at the nominal LHC luminosity and the Inner Tracker system will be completely replaced for the HL-LHC. In particular the Pixel detector collaboration is performing R&D’s to develop a detector able to fit the even more demanding conditions, in particular substain  larger  radiation doses up to 2x10E16 1 MeV neq/cm2.  New sensors with smaller and thinner pixels are part of this R&D. Genova, involved since 20 years in the ATLAS pixel detector, is working on the qualification of 3D sensors, a candidate technology for the innermost layer, and upgrades of the interconnections (bump-bonding, gluing) between the electronics and the sensors. Production of the ring support structures, loading of the pixel modules on the rings, development of a setup  to test the devices is also part of the activity. The student will work in the Genova laboratory on these R&D activities.

Tutor: Claudia Gemme (, Paolo Morettini (

Recommend period: June-July or September-October


2 positions: JLAB12 experiment

The JLAB12 experiment includes all INFN-Italy activity at Jefferson Lab (US). The Genova Group is deeply involved in the MesonEx program, aiming for discovery of hybrid mesons, and in new experiments searching for light dark matter running at Jefferson Lab.

Title n.1:  Searching for exotic mesons with CLAS12

Description: Within MesonEx we have built the Forward Tagger (FT), an extension of the CLAS12 detector, composed by an electromagnetic calorimeter (FT-Cal), a hodoscope (FT-Hodo) and a tracker (FT-Trck). Using the FT it is possible to produce an intense beam of quasi-real photon ideally suited to study both new and known light mesons. The physics analysis of the MesonEx program involves sophisticated partial wave analysis of the final states. To match the demanding requirements of the experiment, a full simulation-reconstruction chain for a specific reaction has been developed by using sophisticated computing tools, e.g. GPU, under the supervision of the theory group of INFN-Genova and in contact with the JPAC group at JLab. So far the analysis framework has been tested on simulations. After a commissioning run in December 2017, the CLAS12 detector is completing the first data taking for physics. The student will have a chance to test  the MesonEx framework with these data. Search for physics beyond the Standard Model can be carried out with precise and GeV-energy-range  experiments.


Title n.2: Light Dark Matter search at Jefferson Lab

Description: Failure in direct observation of Dark Matter in the 10 GeV - 10 TeV mass range suggests to extend the hunting territory at lower masses (1 MeV - 1 GeV) opening up new opportunities for accelerator based experiments. Light dark matter fermions and bosons, carriers of a new interaction, are actively searched for in several experiments running at Jefferson Lab (APEX, HPS, BDX, Dark Light ...). The Genova Group is leading the R&D program for the new Beam Dump eXperiment (BDX) which is being proposed at Jefferson Lab as new facility for light dark matter search. We are currently running some on-site tests to measure the muons produced in the dump by the 10 GeV high-current electron beam. The student will participate to the data analysis and the comparison to the simulations.
Within these frameworks we can provide two summer-student activities, one related to the Meson-Ex experiment and the other on Light Dark matter search. 

For further information see:

Tutor: Marco Battaglieri (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October

mid- August Possibility of cheap accommodation in University dorm (200 Euros/month) or Bed&Breakfast (approximately from 250 to 500 Euros/month).

Local Secretariat:
Debora Ferraro
ph. +39-010-3536231

Local web page:

Summer Student program

Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS) 4

1 position: COSINUS R&D project

Title: COSINUS - a new Na-based low-temperature dark matter detector.

Description: The student will take part in prototype measurements at mK-temperatures carried out in the cryogenic facilities at LNGS. Furthermore the student will be introduced to data analysis of the data acquired with such prototypes.

Tutors: Karoline Schaeffner ( and Natalia di Marco (

Recommended period: June 1st – August 9th or August 28th – October 31st


1 position: LUNA experiment

Title: Characterization of 13C enriched solid target in the framework of the 13C(alpha,n)16O reaction.

Description: In the framework of the LUNA project has been started a deep investigation of the 13C(alpha,n)16O reaction; the programme is to measure the low energy cross section with 13C solid targets and the 3He counter detector.

Tutor: László Csedreki (

Recommended period: June 1st – August 9th or August 28th – October 31st


1 position: LUNA experiment

Title: Characterization of a low background 3He counter array.

Description: In the framework of the LUNA project has been started a deep investigation of the 13C(alpha,n)16O reaction; the programme is to measure the low energy cross section with 13C solid targets and the 3He counter detector.

Tutor: Giovanni Ciani (

Recommended period: June 1st – August 9th or August 28th – October 31st


1 position: XENON experiment

Title: The XENON1T Dark Matter Experiment.

Description: the student will take part in the data taking and analysis of the XENON1T direct Dark Matter search experiment and will participate in the studies of detector upgrade.

Tutor: Andrea Molinario (

Recommended period: June 1st – August 9th or August 28th – October 31st

10-27 August by hotels and B&B nearby the Lab or downtown

Scientific Coordinator:
Dr. Alba Formicola

Administrative Coordinator:
Dr. Vincenzo Fantozzi

Local web page:

Lecce 2

1 position: AUGER

Title: AugerPrime: Construction and test of the SSD detectors.

Description: The Pierre Auger Observatory ( is the largest cosmic ray observatory in the world. To increase its potential for discovery, the Observatory is now in an upgrade phase (called AugerPrime new detectors will be installed, based on the use of scintillators and optical fibers.
The Auger Group of the INFN-Sezione di Lecce is in charge of the construction of 400 of the new detector modules.
The student will be inserted in the group activity and will take part in the assembly operations, preparation of the modules and characterization tests (including data-taking and analysis) of the new detectors, using a Cosmic Ray test stand.

Tutor: Gabriella Cataldi  (

Recommended period: June 1st – August 6th or August 27th – October 31st


1 position

Title: Search for new physics processes at the LHC with the ATLAS detector/R&D on MicroMeGas Detectors

Description: The LHC proton-proton collider (CERN-Geneva) is running at the highest ever achieved center-of-mass energy, allowing the investigation in particle physics to reach unprecedented sensitivities in the search for new phenomena. The Lecce ATLAS group is active in the analysis of the data collected by the experiment and has a lot of expertise in searches for SuperSymmetry with Multivariate Analysis and Machine/Deep Learning Methods being one of the first ATLAS group using these techniques since 2012.
From the point of view of hardware a crucial component of ATLAS is the Muon Spectrometer, providing identification and trigger capability for muons. The Lecce ATLAS group has a wide expertise on the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer, having been involved in the construction, setup, commissioning and routine maintenance of trigger detectors of the Muon Barrel. We are actually working, together with other italian groups, to the production of the MicroMeGas detectors for the ATLAS New Small Wheel and to the development of new evolution of these detectors for future experiments.
A student joining the group activities will then have the opportunity to choose to work on physics analysis (i.e. search for Susy in final states with 2 leptons) or on Research & Development on MicroMeGas Detectors.

Tutors: Margherita Primavera ( and Edoardo Gorini (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Local secretariat:
Lucia Sideli
ph. +39 0832 297515


1 position: NEWCHIM

Title: Qualification and upgrade of the frontend electronics of the FARCOS telescopes

Description: In the framework of the construction of the novel Femtoscope Array for Correlation and Spectroscopy, named FARCOS [1], featuring high angular and energy resolution and able to address several open cases in nuclear physics, we (at INFN-Milano) are in charge of the development of a multi-channel double-polarity selectable-gain VLSI frontend to be coupled to the Double-Sided Silicon Strip Detectors of FARCOS and of the frontend to readout the signal of the photodiodes coupled to the CsI(Tl) scintillators [2] acting as third detection stage. The student will collaborate in the final qualification of the frontend electronic boards (motherboards and patch panels), equipped with the ASICs, the line drivers and the slow-control. In particular he/she will collaborate in the final qualification of the assembled boards, assessing the performance of the system (linearity, energy resolution, cross-talk) and will take part in the beam tests. The student will have the possibility to shape the focus of the research activity according to his/her skills and interests.
The student will have the possibility to work in a real research lab, with hands-on approach combined with a strong theoretical background in the field of radiation detectors and low-noise frontend electronics, sharing the daily lab life with PhD students, junior and experienced researchers. Participation to test beams is subject to beam scheduling wrt to chosen period.
Basic knowledge of analog electronics is preferred, no knowledge of nuclear physics is required.
[1] FARCOS TDR, available on-line: [2] A. Castoldi, C. Guazzoni, T. Parsani, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Science, Vol. 64, No. 10, pp. 2678-2682, October 2017, doi: 10.1109/TNS.2017.2741962

Tutor: Chiara Guazzoni (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October

  Possibility of using Politecnico di Milano accomodation facilities

Local secretariat:
Silvia Rognoni

Napoli 2

1 position

Title: Measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon

Description: The experiment Muon g-2 (E989), at Fermilab is in data taking since November 2017. The experiment aims to measure the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon with an improved experimental uncertainty, namely a factor 4 compared to the previous experiment E821 at BNL (i.e. 0.14 ppm ). Inside the experiment the Italian INFN group has built the laser calibration system, made by lasers and optical distribution system, capable of providing stable reference signals to the 24 electromagnetic calorimeters.
The group of INFN - Naples is engaged on monitoring and stabilization of the reference signals. Given the high precision required to the system, a deep knowledge of the various uncertainty sources is requires. The activity foreseen within the scholarship will focus on the analysis of the monitoring data, calibration tools development and characterization of the laser calibration system.
The activity will be in parallel to the data acquisition at Fermilab and the student will be able to actively participate in a very exiting phase of the experiment.

Tutor: Michele Iacovacci (

Recommended Period: June-July or September-October


1 position

Title: Search for light dark matter with the SHiP experiment.

Description: SHIP is a new general-purpose fixed target facility, proposed at the CERN SPS accelerator. A dedicated detector downstream of the target will probe the existence of long-lived exotic particles with masses below 10 GeV/c2 foreseen in many extensions of the Standard Model through the detection of their decays into standard model particles. A neutrino detector will study tau neutrino cross-section, observe for the first time tau anti-neutrinos and search for light dark matter through its scattering with electrons.

Activity: The activity will consist of measuring the charm cross-section induced by 400 GeV protons. This measurement in a thick target like the one used in SHiP has never been performed and the effect induced by the hadron cascade has never been measured and it is estimated to be large. The SPSC has approved this measurement for SHiP and provided 1 month of data taking at the H4 extraction line of the SPS at CERN in July 2018. We have designed a hybrid detector with an emulsion cloud chamber, where nuclear emulsions act as micrometric tracking device within the lead target, and electronic detectors for the time stamp of the events and the measurement of the charm daughters momenta. The emulsion target is based on the Emulsion Cloud Chamber technology fruitfully employed in the OPERA experiment. The candidate may participate to the different phases, from the preparation, data taking and the data analysis.

Tutor: Giovanni De Lellis (

Recommended Period: June-July or September-October

Aug. 13-24, 2018 Possible cheap accommodation in B&B/Hostels in town centre and/or apartments shared with other students (Via Terracina, mob.:+39 347.6503334).

prof. Michele Iacovacci
ph. +39 081 676128 -

Local Secretariat (NAPOLI):
Maria Arienzo
ph. +39 081 676186 -

Padova 2

1 position

Title: b-jets and c-jets identification in the forward region at LHCb by exploiting jets sub-structure with deep-learning techniques

Description: The LHCb experiment at CERN has already demonstrated its capability of performing measurements with b-jets by determining the Z->bb-bar production cross section. With the upgraded detector, the experiment will have the possibility to collect a huge sample of jets important for the new b-bbar resonances searches and the Higgs studies. In fact, LHCb has the possibility to identify b-jets against light quarks and c-quarks initiated jets, that will allow to search for the Higgs to cc-bar decay. The b- to c-jets separation is very challenging and difficult to obtain with standard analysis techniques. The wanted separation can be obtained with new computing algorithms based on deep learning techniques. The proposed project sees a student involved in the full understanding of the internal structure of the jets originated by b-, c- and light quarks. Thereafter, the student will be involved in the training and optimization of a deep neural network using simulated data. Then, the algorithm will be applied to data collected during the current data taking to measure the performance.

The project is structured in different phases in which the student will:
- learn the concept of jet objects, how they are produced in pp collisions and simulated by monte carlo programs;
- learn the deep neural network algorithm and its implementation in LHCb software;
- train the algorithm using simulated data to distinguish b-jets from c-jets and light quark jets
- apply the algorithm to collider data to identify the Z->bb-bar resonance.

The student will have the possibility to work with a physicist expert on jet reconstruction and with a computing scientist.

Tutors: Donatella Lucchesi ( and Lorenzo Sestini (

Recommended Period: June-July or September-October


1 position

Title: Genesis of motivated dark matter candidates in fast-expanding universes

Description: The evidence for dark matter is a very robust motivation for physics beyond the standard model. Each particle candidate has to satisfy the relic density constraint, namely the computed relic density has to match the one inferred from astronomical and cosmological observations. These calculations are usually performed under the assumption that the universe is filled with a thermal bath of standard model radiation. While the snapshot of the universe at the time of the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis tells us that this is the case up to temperature of order 1 MeV, we have no direct access to the energy budget at earlier times. Motivated extension of the standard cosmology to account for dark energy, such as theories of quintessence, predicts a faster expansion of the universe at times before Nucleosynthesis. It has been shown recently, in a model independent fashion, that this effect has an impact on the genesis of dark matter. The goal of this summer project is to extend these relic density calculations to dark matter candidates motivated by particle physics problems. The candidates that will be considered are: minimal dark matter, gravitino, axion and axino. For each case we will perform the relic density calculation accounting for the modified cosmological history, and we will figure out the consequential implications for experimental searches.

Tutor: Francesco D’Eramo (

Recommended Period: June-July

4-19 August

Segreteria Scientifica INFN e SPP:
Sandra Calore
ph. +39 049 9677097 -

Segreteria Gruppo Teorico:
Paola Zenere
ph. + 39 049 827 7119 -

Pisa 4

1 position: ATLAS

Title: Study of the PMT robustness for the TileCal hadronic calorimeter of the ATLAS experiment at the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC)

Description: The upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) will provide an invaluable opportunity to explore a new realm of physics. The Tile Calorimeter (TileCal) is the central section of the hadronic calorimeter of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. The light, produced in scintillating tiles by the passage of charged particles, is transmitted by wavelength shifting fibres to photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). The stability in time of the PMT response is a fundamental parameter for assessing the possibility to use during HL-LHC the same PMTs installed before LHC Run 1. A different subject is to guess whether PMTs will abruptly break at some point of their lifetime or not, independent from the degradation of the performance in terms of response stability. In order to make specific studies of the long term PMT robustness, a devoted test bench was set-up in Pisa. PMT samples are excited with a green LED (about 150 ns pulse width) with intensities such that large amounts of anode currents can be integrated in a relatively short time and without exceeding the limit of a few microA for keeping response linearity. Present understanding of the analysed data is that PMTs are affected by a degradation of their response efficiency which depends on the amount of integrated anode charge. The test bench program aims for a better understanding of the relative interplay of losses in quantum efficiency and in absolute gain as well as for an assessment on the response linearity with the active dividers proposed for operating PMTs at the higher anode currents (10-20 microA) expected for the instantaneous luminosity at HL-LHC.

Activity: The student will take part to the tests in Pisa of two type of PMTs: 1) PMTs that were dismounted from the detector during the 2017 shutdown, and 2) new version PMTs with improved performance that have been proposed for partial replacement of the on-detector PMTs. The response evolution of the two PMT types will be compared. The student will actively participate to the analysis of the data collected in the Pisa lab.

Tutor: Fabrizio Scuri (

Recommended Period: June-July


1 position: NA62

Title: Study and implementation of real-time triggering with GPUs in the NA62 experiment at CERN

Description: The NA62 experiment aims at a stringent test of the Standard Model with potential discovery for very high mass New Physics particles through the measurement of the ultra-rare decay of K+ to a pion and a pair of neutrinos. This requires a very intense particle beam and a highly selective trigger system to cope with the rate of events. An innovative way of attacking low-level triggering is the one which plans to use commercial graphic cards (GPUs) to exploit their highly parallel environment even for the processing of events in hard real time on time scales of hundreds of microseconds. In order to exploit such potential, a number of issues must be addressed to cope with intrinsic latencies related to data collection, transmission, and processing, which involve both firmware design, algorithm optimization, and software simulation. The goal is to test a full-scale system within the actual data-taking environment of the experiment and to extract performance figures through comparison with selections performed by other trigger systems and offline analysis results, to optimize the algorithm implementation.

Tutors: Gianluca Lamanna (, Marco Sozzi (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October (preferred)


2 positions: VIRGO

Title n. 1: Advanced computing methods for gravitational wave physics

Description: The search for gravitational waves is being pursued at present with large interferometers in Europe and US. Virgo is the interferometric gravitational wave detector, located at the European Gravitational Observatory in Cascina (Pisa). The huge amount of data generated by gravitational wave interferometers provides a unique challenge for the development of fast, advanced analysis methods, in particular using machine learning and deep learning. During the stay we will offer to the student the possibility to participate in the development of innovative deep learning algorithms for the analysis of gravitational wave data, with the possibility of tackling two main problems: the detection of gravitational waves from astrophysical transient sources and the fast, online characterization of the status and noise in the interferometer.

Tutor: Massimiliano Razzano (

Recommended period: September-October


Title n. 2: Development of low noise and high sensitivity rotational sensor for future Gravitational Waves detectors

Description: The INFN Pisa Group, deeply involved in the construction and continuous operation of the VIRGO and Advanced VIRGO interferometers for Gravitational Waves direct observation on Earth, is starting a detailed Research and Development (R&D) program to prepare the new anti-seismic suspension for the optical components of the 3rd generation detectors.
In this contest a key role is played by new sensors to be included in the experimental apparatus for a feedback control use. Since the improved sensitivity of new generation detectors will require a more accurate measurements of the rotational acceleration to be distinguished from the translational one, a dedicated sensor for a pure tilt motion of the ground floor will be developed in this R&D program. The starting target sensitivity is set to 10-8 rad/sqrt(Hz) at 1 Hz with the intent to reach the same sensitivity down to 30 mHz. The new sensor is meant to be reasonably compact with low noise front-end electronics on board and Ultra High Vacuum compatible, so that it will be used inside a typical vacuum chamber maintained at a hydrogen partial pressure of the order of 10-7 mbar.
This task is considered very challenging for many aspects: the required sensitivity mentioned above, the material selection for its construction, the presence of a low noise and high sensitivity front-end electronics on board with the possibility to be included in the feedback control strategy of an inertial platform on 6 degrees of freedom.

Location: INFN Virgo Pisa Laboratory, Department of Physics at Pisa University (Pisa downtown)

Tutor: Franco Frasconi (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Local Secretariat:
Dr. Giacomo Betti
ph. +39 050 2214 270 -

Roma 9

1 position: CALDER

Title: High-sensitivity cryogenic light detectors

Description: The goal of CALDER is to develop high-sensitivity cryogenic light detectors for the identification of rare events, such as double beta decay and dark matter interactions with ordinary matter. We are developing a new technology based on superconducting detectors called KIDs (Kinetic Inductance Detectors). We are currently designing and testing the prototypes in the Sapienza/INFN laboratory in Rome, in collaboration with the Italian Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies. The student will be involved in the lab activities: cryostat operations, electronics setup, detector characterisation and data analysis.

Tutor: Marco Vignati (

Recommended period: June-July and/or September-October


1 position: CUPID

Title: Search for neutrinoless double beta decay of 82Se with CUPID

Description: Neutrinoless double beta decay is a hypothetical lepton number violating process in which two neutrons in an atomic nucleus simultaneously decay to two protons, two electrons, and no electron-antineutrinos. Its discovery would establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino. CUPID is a cryogenic detector that exploits the dual readout heat/light in an array of 26 ZnSe bolometers, cooled down to 10 mK in a dilution refrigerator cryostat installed underground in the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso. CUPID has started taking data In January 2017. The student will be involved in the optimization of the analysis and the development of tools and algorithms. Computing Knowledge: Ability to work in a Unix environment and program in C/C++, knowledge of ROOT/ROOFIT package.

Tutor: Fabio Bellini (

Recommended period: June-July and/or September-October


2 positions: CUORE

Title: Search for neutrinoless double beta decay of 130Te with CUORE

Description: Neutrinoless double beta decay is a hypothetical lepton number violating process in which two neutrons in an atomic nucleus simultaneously decay to two protons, two electrons, and no electron-antineutrinos. Its discovery would establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino. CUORE is a cryogenic detector made by an array of 988 TeO2 bolometers arranged in 19 towers, cooled down to 10 mK in a dilution refrigerator cryostat installed underground in the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso. CUORE has started taking data In January 2017. The students will be involved in the optimization of the analysis and the development of tools and algorithms. Computing Knowledge: Ability to work in a Unix environment and program in C/C++, knowledge of ROOT/ROOFIT package.

Tutor: Claudia Tomei (

Recommended period: June-July and/or September-October


1 position: SABRE

Title: Geant4 simulations of external background for the SABRE experiment

Description: SABRE is a project for a new Dark Matter experiment to search for the annual modulation signal with ultra-high-purity NaI(Tl) crystals. One key feature of the project is the use of an active liquid scintillator veto around the NaI(Tl) crystals. The veto will serve a double purpose. The first aim is to reject the low energy background coming from the ~3keV X-ray cascade that follows the 40^K EC decays inside the scintillating crystals, by tagging the 1460 keV gamma emitted in coincidence. The second aim is to provide a veto for the external background coming from muons, gammas and neutrons (environmental and muon-induced). The student will be involved in Geant4 simulations ad in the analysis of the simulated data to study the contribution of the external background to the SABRE design and the sensitivity reach of the experiment.

Computing Knowledge: Ability to work in a Unix environment and program in C/C++, basic knowledge of Geant4 is not required although beneficial.

Tutor: Claudia Tomei (

Recommended period: June-July and/or September-October


1 position: MEG experiment

Title: Development of the calibration and monitoring system of the MEG-II drift chamber

Description: The MEG-II collaboration is carrying on a leading experiment for the search of New Physics in the charged Lepton Flavor Violating decay mu -> e gamma. The upgraded MEG-II detector will start physics data taking in 2019 for a period of three calendars years at the Paul Scherrer Institute near Zurich (Switzerland). The MEG-II drift chamber is in its final assembling phase and it will be installed at PSI during this Spring for the Summer 2018 engineering run. The student will work with the members of the Rome group in the development of the calibration algorithms and monitoring tools for this detector in the framework of the MEGII software, as well as in the analysis of the first chamber data that will be available during the Summer. The work proposed consists in data analysis and software development; some knowledge of C++ and possibly ROOT is recommended.

Tutor: Francesco Renga ( and Cecilia Voena (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 position: Darkside-20K experiment

Title: Study of the sensitivity of a Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber to the directional detection of dark matter signals.

Description: The direct search for dark matter interactions on nuclei is one of the main goals of astro-particles physics in the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory. A future large experiment (DS20K) using as a target 20 tons of liquefied low radioactivity argon is under advanced design status. A key feature that is desired for a future generation experiment is the capability of detecting the incoming direction of the dark matter particles, that are expected to come primarily from a distinct direction in space. The student will be involved in performance studies of the proposed DS20K readout and in the preparation of a dedicated experiment using monochromatic neutrons designed to investigate the directional sensitivity in a Liquid Argon dark matter detector.

Tutor: Marco Rescigno (

Recommended period: June-July


1 position: Darkside-20K experiment

Title: Study and implementation of Machine Learning algorithms for 3D event reconstruction in the Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber of the DarkSide-20k experiment.

Description: The direct search for dark matter interactions on nuclei is one of the main goals of astro-particles physics in the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory. A future large experiment (DS20K) using as a target 20 tons of liquefied low radioactivity argon is under advanced design status. Machine learning and in particular Deep learning has attracted tremendous attention from researchers in various felds of information engineering such as AI, computer vision, and language processing, but also from more traditional sciences such as physics. Neural networks, image processing tools such as convolutional neural networks, sequence processing models such as recurrent neural networks, and regularisation tools such as dropout, are used extensively for 2D and 3D image recognition and seems appropriate for fast and precise reconstruction (both offline and in real-time) of HEP events collected in large scale time projection chambers like the one foreseen for the DS20K experiment. The student will be involved in the development and in the evaluation of the performances of a Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Networks (DLCNN) implemented in advanced multicore processors (GPUs) trained in samples of simulated events expected from DarkMatter and different backgrounds in the DS20K experiment.

Tutor: Stefano Giagu (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 position: DAΦNE BTF

Title: Dark photon searches with positron fixed target experiments at the Frascati BTF

Description: Massive photon-like particles are predicted in many extensions of the Standard Model. They have interactions similar to the photon, are vector bosons, and can be produced together with photons. The proposed experiment aims at searching for the dark photon (U) in the e+e− → γU process in a positron-on-target experiment, exploiting the positron beam of the DAΦNE BTF, produced by the linac at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, INFN. In six months of running in 2018 a sensitivity in the relative interaction strength down to 10^−6 is achievable, in the mass region from 2.5 MeV < M_U< 22.5 MeV, by searching for a peak above the background (mainly Bremsstrahlung, and 2 or 3 photons) in the missing mass spectrum, obtained by the precision measurement of the recoiling photon by means of BGO crystals calorimeter.

The students will work on the fast digitizing readout electronics, DAQ as well as on the analysis tools of the experiment.

Required knowledge:
(1) basic software and programming (C and C++preferred), statistics, basic particle physics
(2) basic instrumentation for HEP and experimental particle physics (lab experience preferred), basic electronics

Tutor: Paolo Valente (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Scientific Coordinator:
Dr. Shahram Rahatlou
ph. +390649914357 - email:

Local Secretariat:
Dr. Mauro Mancini
ph. +390649914318 - email:



Roma Tor Vergata 2

1 position: ATLAS

Title: Search for new physics in the dynamics of top quark events

Description: The ATLAS experiment is designed to study proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider. By the end of 2017, it has accumulated a dataset of 86.6 fb-1 of integrated luminosity at a center of mass energy of 13 TeV (Run-II).
The student will study events of top-antitop pairs in the Run-II data, searching for anomalies in the decay chain of the top quark or in the invariant mass of the top-antitop system. Knowledge of ROOT or C++ and the basics of Unix are a plus.

Tutors: Lucio Cerrito (

Recommended period: 1 June – 31 July


1 position: VIRGO

Title: Development of instrumentation techniques for gravitational radiation detection

Description: The detection of gravitational waves from binary systems has opened a new window to investigate our Universe. This research is done with large interferometers in Europe and US. Virgo is the interferometric gravitational wave detector, located at the European Gravitational Observatory in Cascina (Pisa).
The program will give the possibility to participate to the activity carried out in the Virgo Tor Vergata group: experimental and data analysis activities, use and developments of simulation tools

Tutor: Viviana Fafone (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October

Possibility of cheap accommodation

Local Secretariat:
Carla Felici
ph. +39 06 72594570 -

South National Laboratory 2

1 position

Title: Understanding nuclear interaction for exotic nuclei and neutron stars

Description:The LNS theorethical group has developed a kinetic transport theory able to perform realistic simulations of the dynamics of heavy-ion collisions from Coulomb barrier energy up to intermediate energy. The approach allows one to investigate nuclear collective excitations (giant resonances), as well as fragmentation mechanisms associated with the liquid-gas phase transition and the occurrence of nuclear matter instabilities. In particular, the impact of an asymmetric neutro-proton content on the collisions dynamics and related observables is the main focus of the current activity. The interest is driven by the upcoming activity on nuclear reactions with exotic beams (SPES) and by nuclear astrophysics problems, such as the formation and the structure of neutron stars. The students will perform simulations of a particular process with the aim of a direct comparison with experimental data. The goal will be extracting information on the yet poorly known behavior of the nuclear symmetry energy at sub- or supra-saturation density.

Tutor: Maria Colonna ( )

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 position

Title: Experimental activity with FARCOS

Description:The NEWCHIM group is involved in the construction and assembling of the FARCOS array (Femtoscope ARray for Correlations and Spectroscopy) constitute by 20 triple telescope: Double Sided Silicon Strip Detectors (DSSSD) as first (300 μm) and second (1500 μm) stages followed by CsI(Tl) crystals. The FARCOS, due to the high angular and energy resolution, will allow to probe the full time scale of the emission particles (from few fm/c to several hundreds of fm/c) and the spatial configuration shape of short mean life sources formed in Heavy Ion collisions at Fermi energy, through interferometric measurements. It will allow too to explore cluster structures in exotic nuclei produced by in-flight fragmentations FRIBs facility at INFN-South National Laboratory.
Due to the large number of channels to be read, a digital acquisition and read-out is used in FARCOS, in particular the GET electronic.
During the stay the student will be engaged principally in experimental activities, participating in the mounting, tests on-beam and data analysis of the FARCOS modules.

Tutors: Francesca Rizzo ( ), Giuseppe Cardella ( ) , Paolo Russotto (

Recommended period: June-July


Local Secretariat:
Alessandra Falcomatà

Referente scientifico:
Prof. Stefano Romano

Torino 2

1 position: JLAB Hall-B experiments data analysis

Title n. 1: Meson spectroscopy with real and virtual photons in CLAS and CLAS12

Title n. 2: Silicon vertex detector alignment techniques and user interfaces for the HPS experiment

Description: The JLAB12 Torino Group is involved in experimental activities in Hall-B Hadron Physics experiments at Jefferson Lab (Newport News, VA, USA). Two activities are proposed for the position, which can be chosen by the Student. One concerns data analysis, finalized to spectroscopy studies with data collected with CLAS12, the second is relative to the development of the alignment tools for the micro-vertex detector of HPS, to be adapted the new detector configuration foreseen for the 2019 data taking.
About the first activity, hadron spectroscopy with photon probes is a relatively new field that was scarcely explored in the past due to the lack of photon beams of suitable intensity and resolution. A good amount of data was collected in past years by the CLAS Experiment, and is currently still being analyzed. Photoproduction might be a suitable environment for the observation of new mesons with hidden strangeness content, whose production, suppressed in reactions without open strangeness in the initial state, could however be favored in some particular spin configurations. The Student will be asked to collaborate to the calibration, selection and analysis, based on the software framework developed within the HaSpect group, of the data taken by CLAS12 in the 2018 winter campaign (run A group). Knowledge of the ROOT package and experimental elementary particle physics are pre-requisites for the activity.
For more information:
The second activity foresees a collaboration for the reorganization of the existing software for the alignment of the vertex detector of the HPS experiment (dedicated to the search of Heavy Photons in electron induced reactions on tungsten), and its update to comply to the addition of a further layer in the existing telescope for the upcoming new data taking. The Student will be asked to learn the alignment method and procedures and help in organizing, tuning and updating the available software and analysis macros, implementing a new part dedicated to the additional sensors. Knowledge of java, python and ROOT are pre-requisites.
For more information:

Tutor: Alessandra Filippi (

Recommended period: June - July


1 position

Title: evelopment and characterization of innovative silicon detectors for beam monitoring applications in particle therapy

Description: Innovative thin silicon detectors with internal gain (Ultra Fast Silicon Detectors - UFSD) are a promising technology for monitoring the high flux proton beams in clinical applications. They feature very fast charge collection time, good signal-to-noise ratio and excellent time resolution. Our group is developing a prototype of detector for measuring the beam flux and a second prototype for the measurement of the beam energy exploiting time-of-flight techniques. The work involves several aspects: detector simulation, microelectronics design and tests, characterization of silicon sensors, data acquisition, FPGA programming, beam tests and data analysis. The candidate will be introduced to all the aspects mentioned above and will have the opportunity to work on laboratory tests, acquisition software development and data analysis.

Tutors: Roberto Sacchi ( and Anna Vignati (

Recommended period: June - July or September - October

Student residence

Local Secretariat:
Valentina Lissia
ph. +39 0116707271 -

For more information see:

Trieste 2

1 Position: GAPS

Title: The GAPS experiment for dark matter exploration: development of new tracking algorithm for antideuteron identification.

Description: The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) is designed to carry out a sensitive dark matter search by measuring low-energy cosmic-ray antiparticles.
Unlike other indirect signatures of dark matter annihilation or decay, antideuteron nuclei benefit from promising DM signals and strongly suppressed astrophysical backgrounds. GAPS is planned to fly on a long-duration balloon over Antarctica in the austral summer of 2020. GAPS will be able to perform a precise measurement of the cosmic antiproton flux below 250 MeV, as well as a sensitive search for antideuterons.
The detection principle of the experiment relies on the identification of the antiparticle annihilation pattern.
Low energy antiparticles slow down in the apparatus, they are captured in the medium to form exotic excited atoms, which de-excite by emitting characteristic X-rays. Afterwards they undergo nuclear annihilation, resulting in a star of pions and protons. The simultaneous measurement of the stopping depth and the dE/dx loss of the primary antiparticle, of the X-ray energies and of the star particle-multiplicity provides very high rejection power, that is critical in rare-event search. For this identification is necessary to develop appropriate tracking algorithms. The student will participate to the development of techniques like Hough transform to identify the annihilation vertex and reconstruct the trajectory of the annihilation products.

Tutors: Riccardo Munini (, Mirko Boezio (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: FAMU

Title: Data analysis of the newly collected data, studies of the muon transfer process of the muon in a mixture of hydrogen and higher Z gas at different temperatures

Description: The final goal of the FAMU experiment is to measure the proton Zemach radius by measuring the hyperfine splitting of the mu-p ground state [1,2]. The experimental method requires a detection system suited for time resolved X-ray spectroscopy. The work will consist in performing analysis on the data collected in 2016 and 2017 at the RIKEN RAL muon facility (UK). Muonic atoms characteristic X-rays were detected using scintillating counters based on LaBr3(Ce) crystals (energy resolution 4% at 662 keV and decay time t = 16 ns) readout by Hamamatsu R11265-200 PMTs and four HPGe detectors used to have a benchmark spectrum. Hence, the waveforms will be processed off-line to reconstruct time and energy of each detected X-ray. By studying the differences between the time distributions of prompt events and the delayed X-rays emitted by mu-O atoms it will be possible do measure the muon transfer rate from hydrogen to oxygen at different temperatures (300K-100K). Results are going to be submitted for publication on international journal.
Logistic informations:

Activity: The student will participate in the simulation and analysis work of the FAMU group in Trieste.

Tutors: Emiliano Mocchiutti (, Andrea Vacchi (

Recommended period: September-October

10-20 August

Local Secretariat:
Alessandra Filippi -
ph. +39 040 5583375
fax +39 040 5583350