DOE-INFN Summer Exchange Program - 2015 Edition (updated on March 27th)


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

Bari 2

2 positions: CMS

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

Description: Search for dark matter is one of the priority of the experiment at LHC for the Run 2. In particular this project focuses on the earch for dark matter candidates through a “monoHiggs” signature with four leptons in the final state, in the context of “Higgs Portal” theoretical models and other simplified approaches. We intend to profit from the existence of the Higgs particle, discovered at LHC in 2012, to tag the possibility to reveal Dark Matter through pair production of dark matter candidates together with the Higgs boson. The analysis would involve the reconstruction of four leptons and missing energy in the final state and the estimate of the background from data. A complete simulation of the signal and background processes and the design of the analysis cuts are foreseen for the medium term. 

Tutors: Nicola De Filippis (, Giorgia Miniello (

Recommended period: June-July


Title: Search of Z' heavy boson decaying in di-muon final state, with the CMS experiment at the LHC.

Description: The new Run2 hera of data taking at the LHC opens new scenarios to test physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular this project focuses on the search of Z’ heavy gauge boson decaying in di-muon final state in the context of Grand Unified Filed theories and several other BSM models.  The discovery of these new particles could be shown up through a peak in the di-muon invariant mass spectrum, as an experimental evidence of the production of a heavy resonance, over a continuum representing the background expected by the Standard Model processes and in particular Drell-Yan pair production. Some of the most challenging chapters for this experimental analysis are related to the reconstruction/identification of high transverse momentum muons and the estimate of the background that would involve the developments of new analysis strategies based on selection cuts and/or multivariate analysis.

Tutors: Nicola De Filippis (

Recommended period: June-July

    Local Secretariat:
Tonio Silvestri
ph. +39 080 5442332
Bologna 4

2 Positions: ATLAS

Title: ATLAS Pixel Detector DAQ Upgrade

Description: The ATLAS group of Bologna has been recently involved on the project "Insertable B-Layer" (IBL) for the production of cards called ROD (ReadOut Driver). These are part of the data-acquisition (DAQ) chain upgrade of the ATLAS pixel detector. This participation in the IBL project has finished as far as the HW production is concerned but will continue to develop and support the firmware (FW) until the Phase 2 upgrade. In addition, for the years 2015/2016, it is planned to fabricate a new DAQ chain to upgrade the system of Layer 1. The proposal of the research topic for the DOE program will cover hardware and firmware aspects and studies for luminosity measurement algorithms based on the use of pixel clusters within the ATLAS experiment.

Tutor: Dr. Alessandro Gabrielli (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October


Title: Boosted top identification within the ATLAS experiment at LHC

Description: The experiments at the LHC are now exploring the physics at the TeV scale. In this new energy regime, particles with large mass can be produced with a large momentum allowing access to kinematic regions never studied before. Boosted top quarks produced in this context are of primary interest but, since they decay products tend to overlap, at the moment the reconstruction algorithms developed in the low-energy era are not as efficient as they could be and a proper reconstruction of these jets would improve significantly the physics output of the researches ongoing at CERN. The ATLAS group of INFN-Bologna has a longstanding experience in the field of top quark physics, especially in the measurement of differential cross sections for top-antitop quark pair production. The incoming student will work on the development of tagging algorithms for boosted top quarks, with the aim to improve both the selection efficiency and the rejection of background in the unprecedented high energy and high pile-up regime, corresponding to the LHC proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV. The student will join the analysis team working on the boosted top quark analysis and will concentrate on the study of the performance of track-based jets with respect to the calorimetric jets for top quark identification in the very-high boost regime.

Tutor: Dr. Matteo Negrini (

Recommended period: June-July , September-October


2 Positions: 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. Part of these results will be described in the forthcoming Technical Proposal that the CMS collaboration plans to prepare by the summer of 2015.

Tutor: Dr. Paolo Giacomelli (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October


Title: Search for Z’→μ+μ- with the CMS detector data collected at Run 2

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).
After a technical stop of more than two years, needed to upgrade the accelerator and increase its center-of-mass energy to 13 GeV, the LHC is about to restart operations. The significantly higher center-of-mass energy opens up a new window of opportunity to discover signs of new physics beyond the predictions of the Standard Model. A very interesting possibility could be the existence of a heavier Z boson, called Z’, that is foreseen by some extensions of the Standard Model and that could be produced in high energy pp collisions with a relatively large cross-section. A distinctive final state could be Z’→μ+μ-, with two very high momentum muons. If a Z’ exists in the range accessible with the new energy of LHC, it could be discovered with a relatively low integrated luminosity, therefore possibly in the first few weeks of data taking, foreseen in the summer of 2015. Such a groundbreaking discovery would provide an unambiguous proof of the existence of physics beyond the Standard Model.
The CMS Bologna group has a very large experience in the study of muons, having built part of the muon spectrometer of CMS, and having performed many analyses of processes yielding muons in the final state.
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 analyse the first data collected in the summer of 2015, looking for the possible signature of Z’→2 muons.

Tutor: Dr. Paolo Giacomelli (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October

8-23 August

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

Local secretariat:
Ms. Elena Amadei
Ms. Barbara Simoni

Cagliari 1

1 position: LHCb, in LHCb-Cagliari

Title: First measurement of the branching fraction of the decay B+ → p anti_Sigma_c--(2520) pi+ pi+ at the LHCb experiment at CERN

Description: LHCb is one of the four LHC experiments which started operations in 2010 and it has now collected more about 3 fb-1 of pp collision data at different centre of mass energies (7 and 8 TeV). With its forward geometry, LHCb is dedicated to the study of heavy-flavor
production and decay.

The production cross section and luminosity are such that a large number of charged and neutral B-meson decay are observable in the LHCb detector and decay modes with small or very small branching fractions are easily accessible.
Indeed a number of important measurements have already been carried out by LHCb and, in many cases, the results obtained are the most precise to date.

The candidate will be involved in the determination of the branching fraction - relative to that
B+--> p anti_Sigma_c--(2455) pi+ pi+ - for the decay B+--> p anti_Sigma_c--(2520) pi+ pi+, which so far as not been observed.
The candidate will learn analysis tools commonly used in high energy physics and necessary for signal extraction and background subtraction and will become familiar with fitting techniques.
Some knowledge in computing is desirable but not mandatory.

Tutors: Dr. Alessandro Cardini (, Prof. Biagio Saitta (

Recommended period: June-July


Local contacts:
Maria Grazia Dessi (Administration Office)
Maria Assunta Lecca (Personnel Office)
ph. +39-06-675 4985, 4986, 4826

Catania 2

1 position: Alice

Title: Characterization of new families of monolithic pixel chips

Description: The Catania ALICE team is working on the design of the new ALICE Inner Tracking System detector which will be realized with a new generation of monolithic pixel detectors (MIMOSA and ALPIDE). A set-up is in place in our Institute (INFN, Sezione di Catania) to measure the performance and the characteristics of the different prototypes. In particular, measurements of different parameters (for example, threshold and noise distribution, noise occupancy,…) of the last ALPIDE prototypes, both irradiated and not irradiated, as a function of the temperature are foreseen in the next 6 months of the 2015. The summer student will participate to these activities.

Tutor: Dr. Angela Badalà (, Dr. C. Petta

Recommended period: June-July, September-October


1 position: CMS

Title: Construction of modules for the upgraded CMS Pixel detector

Description: The present Pixel detector of teh CMS experiment at the CERN LHC needs to be replaced at the end of 2016 due to accumulated radiation damage. Construction of a new, upgraded, detector is underway at different Institutions, including 5 INFN laboratories. The INFN-Sezione di Catania CMS group is in charge of the construction of the front-end electronics of 500 new detector modules.
Tasks that the student will have to perform include: inspection and acceptance of components received from industry; mechanical assembly of the different parts; microbonding of the chips to make electric connections; monitoring of the microbonding quality through pull tests on a sample basis; electric test for the qualification of the modules using testboards, dedicated software, oscilloscope and voltmeters; final qualification of the modules; upload of data and results from all of these construction steps into a Database.

Tutor: Dr. Salvatore Costa (

Recommended period: 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:
email: ph. +39-0953785209
email: ph. +39-347 367 5196


1 position: LHcb

Title: The 40 MHz trigger-less DAQ system for the LHCb upgrade.

Description: The LHCb experiment will undergo a major upgrade during the second long LHC shutdown (2018 - 2019), with the goal to let LHCb collect an order of magnitude more data with respect to Run 1 and Run 2. The main bottleneck of the present LHCb trigger is the maximum read-out rate of 1 MHz. Apart from major sub-detector upgrades, the upgrade then foresees a full read-out into the DAQ, running at the LHC bunch crossing frequency of 40 Mhz, using an entirely software-based trigger. A high-throughput PCIe Generation 3-based read-out board has been designed for this purpose. The read-out boards will allow a cost-effective implementation of the DAQ by means of a high-speed PC network. The network-based DAQ system reads data fragments, performs the event building and transports data to the high-level software trigger at an estimated aggregate rate of ~32 Tbit/s. Possibile candidates for the high-speed network technology under study are Infiniband and Gigabit Ethernet. Different DAQ architectures can also be implemented, such as push, pull and traffic shaping with barrel-shifter. In order to explore and find the best combination, performance tests on different platforms and technologies are needed. We plan to perform large-scale tests also at HPC facilities, by means of a flexible event builder evaluator that will allow to explore different solutions.

Tutor: Francesco Giacomini (

Recommended period: June-October


1 position: LHC Computing

Title: Contribution to the develpoment activities in the data and computing infrastructure at CNAF

Description: INFN-CNAF is the official Italian Tier 1 site for the 4 LHC experiments: CMS, ATLAS, ALICE, LHCB. The student will be involved in the the Tier1 Data Center R&D programs:
-activity program related with study and testing of scheduling systems to allocate both Grid jobs and Cloud VM, based on Condor system., LSF system and Cloud software stacks.
-activity program related with the adoption of the emerging low power computing architectuire.
-activity program related with study, testing and optimization of data management and storage techniques in use in the Data Center. The student will be involed in optimizing and tuning the system parameters to guarantee the best efficiency in accessing files This activity includes the study of both local file-systems (like GPFS), Xrootd and Cloud Storage Systems.

Tutor: Luca Dell’Agnello (

Recommended period: June-October


1 position: Network Infrastructure

Title: Contribution to the develpoment activities in the networking infrastructure at CNAF

Description: INFN_CNAF is the main italian site in the LHCONE/OPN network infrastructure. The end to end link quality in term of delay, jtter and throughput is a key element to provide remote data access intra data center. This is challenging activity when data are remotely accessed between European and US sites. Increased communication performance inter data centres may also support radically new systems and network architecture and optimize the usage of multicore-many core computer. Collect and analyze network traffic pattern is also a relevant topic. The student will be involved in the INFN-CNAF R&D networking programs.

Tutor: Stefano Zani (

Recommended period: June-October

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

Local contacts:
Cristina Vistoli - email:
Administrative Coordinator or Local Secretariat:
Alessandra Marchesi - email:

Ferrara 4

4 Positions: LHCb

Title:  Studies of semileptonic B decays with the LHCb detector

Description: The LHCb experiment has been collecting proton-proton collision data at the Large Hadron Collider accelerator at CERN from 2010 until 2012, accumulating an integrated luminosity of 3fb-1. The resulting large samples of B and D decays allow the most sensitive measurements on many observables, thus improving the knowledge of the Standard Model and giving stringent limits on new physics processes beyond the Standard Model. Semileptonic B decays represent a pillar of this research program. Contrary to initial expectations, the development of novel reconstruction techniques allow to perform several measurements in this area even in the LHCb harsh hadronic environment. The resulting precision and sensitivity to new physics are in some cases better than previous determinations at B factories. 
Activities: The candidate will be involved in the study of semileptonic B0 decays in D*- tau+ neutrino, where the tau lepton decays in three charged pions and a neutrino, by using a sample of LHCb data. Multivariate techniques to isolate signal and suppress backgrounds will be used. The reconstruction of signal events will be performed by exploiting the separation of primary, secondary and tertiary vertices to determine the decay kinematics and indirectly reconstruct the missing neutrinos. In alternative, the candidate could study the production of excited charm mesons in semileptonic B decays by searching for additional hadrons in a sample of decays with a D*+ and a muon in the final state. This will allow to shed light on the production mechanisms of such resonances in semileptonic B decays. 

Tutor: Dr. Concezio Bozzi (

Recommended period: June-July


Title: Fast Monte Carlo simulations in LHCb

Description: Detailed and reliable Monte Carlo simulations are of paramount importance in high-energy physics experiments. Usually, a first step where all particles in the final state are generated is followed by full detector simulation where interactions and particle transport are performed. The vast majority of computing power needed for simulation is spent in the latter phase. In several cases, for instance when proposing new analyses or evaluating systematic uncertainties, or even in the initial design of new detectors, the fast generation of large datasets by parameterized detector simulation is preferable to slower detailed detector simulations. 

Activities: The candidate will be involved in the implementation of a fast Monte Carlo simulation for the LHCb experiment by using the DELPHES software. In particular, the candidate will work on the parameterization of the resolution on charged track parameters as function of kinematic variables, on the resolution of production and decay vertices, on the implementation of trigger lines. The accuracy of the proposed fast simulation will be then checked with fully simulated events. 

Tutor: Dr. Concezio Bozzi (

Recommended period: June-July


Title: The distributed computing infrastructure of LHCb. Evolution of Dirac/LHCbDirac.
Description: LHCb is one of the main experiments collecting data at the Large Hadron Collider accelerator at CERN, whose primary goal is to measure the effects of new particles or forces beyond the Standard Model.
LHCb will be upgraded in many of its sub-detectors after the Long Shutdown 2 (2018): 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 distributed computing infrastructure will be in turn upgraded in order to scale with the increased Monte Carlo production and data processing requirements.
Student activity program: The student will join the Ferrara group, having the possibility to contribute in the development of LHCbDirac tools used by the experiment in a Grid-based distributed environment.
In particular, he/she can work on the development and optimization of databases, agents, services and clients in order to improve scalability and reliability with particular focus on Workload Management, Accounting and Monitoring systems.
Furthermore, he/she can participate to the R&D activities on new technologies to be applied in the next running phase.
Tutor: L. Tomassetti (, E. Luppi (
Recommended period: June-July, July-August, August-September, or September-October


Title: The Ring Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) detector upgrade project of the LHCb experiment: R&D activities and test of radiation hardness on photo-detectors and electronics.
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 D 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 (2018-2019): 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.
In the upgrade the upstream RICH-1 detector will retain its current C4F10 gas radiator, however the high occupancies mean that the aerogel radiator will be removed. The downstream RICH-2 CF4 gas radiator will remain unchanged. 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 2015, 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, including radiation hardness tests at European facilities
- detector simulations

Tutor: Massimiliano Fiorini (
Recommended period: June-July, July-August, August-September or September-October

  Cheap accommodation available in town or in the University guest house

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

Frascati National Laboratory


1 Position: ATLAS

Title: Measurements of the Higgs boson properties in the H->ZZ*->4l channel with the ATLAS experiment at LHC.

Description: During the LHC RunI the Frascati group was fully involved in several measurements  of the Higgs boson properties exploiting the H-> ZZ*-> 4l decay channel
and gave an important contribution to the Higgs boson discovery in 2012.
During the  RunII, that will start in the spring 2015, proton-proton collisions  will be produced at 13 TeV, an energy never achieved by any accelerator in the past.
To fully exploit the increased energy and the amount of  data that will be collected,  analyses optimizations are mandatory in order to improve even more the knowledge of the Higgs boson properties. The activity will consist in the investigation of potential improvements
of the H->ZZ*->4l  analysis to increase the expected signal significance, especially when the Higgs boson is produced through the vector boson fusion or in association with a W/Z boson.

Tutors: Roberto Di Nardo (, Marianna Testa (

Recommend period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: !CHAOS

Title: Software Development for Experiments and Accelerators Distributed Control Systems

Description: The !CHAOS open source project has evolved from a prototype of Distributed Control Systems and DAQ for High Energy Physics (HEP) accelerators and experiments, to a candidate for a dynamic and on-demand national cloud infrastructure for interdisciplinary
highly-distributed monitoring and control application. The project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR), foresees its completion by the end of 2015, including the development of all functionalities of the framework and a prototype of an IT infrastructure offering "controls as service", its qualification and benchmark tests. The candidate
will be involved in the development of use case application and API to interface the novel architecture to major standards. C++ knowledge is required.   

Tutor: Giovanni Mazzitelli (

Recommended period: June-July


1 Position: LHCb

Title: Construction and uniformity test of the wire chambers of the LHCb experiment.

Description: The LHCb experiment at the LHC collider is searching for explanations of the
observed matter anti-matter asymmetry in the Universe, which could come from New Physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.
The LHCb Frascati group is currently building the detectors for the upgrade of the experiment
to be installed in 2018. These detectors consist of wire chambers which have high granularity and high time resolution and are used in the muon trigger, to isolate interesting events coming from p-p collisions.
The student will have an unique hands-on opportunity to build a particle detector in a clean room facility, which will be installed in the experiment, to understand the principles of its functioning and to test it directly, measuring the uniformity of the response as a function of HV, at a dedicated low dose gamma ray source installation at the Frascati Laboratories.

Tutor: Pierluigi Campana (

Recommend period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: ETRUSCO-GMES

Title: ETRUSCO-GMES R&D project of INFN-CSN5

Description: The 2013 goal of ETRUSCO-GMES (Extra Terrestrial Ranging to Unified Satellite Constellations – Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) consist in the development and the characterization of the space performance of next-generation laser retroreflector arrays for the mm-precision orbit determination of Earth Observation (EO) satellites for Copernicus, a flagship space program of the European Union renamed Copernicus for HORIZON2020) and for Galileo, the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and the other, and  most important, space flagship program of the EU. This orbit determination is achieved through Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), a laser-pulse time-of-flight measurement, in absolute terms, that is, with respect to the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS, defined by geodetic techniques: SLR, VLBI, GNSS, DORIS, etc). SLR is managed by the International Laser Ranging service (ILRS), with which the SCF_Lab is tightly integrated (
Our activity takes place at the world-unique infrastructure owned by INFN-LNF, the SCF_Lab (Satellite/lunar/GNSS laser ranging and altimetry Characterization Facilities’ Laboratory), which includes two laser retroreflector characterization facilities (SCF and SCF-G) operated in a dedicated clean room of class 10000 or better. The characterization of retroreflector space performance (SCF-Test) consists in the concurrent and integrated measurement and modelling of the detailed thermal behaviour and the optical performance of cube corner GNSS Retroreflector Arrays (GRAs) in representative space conditions. Optical measurements include far field diffraction pattern and Fizeau interferometry. Temperature measurements include the use of infrared camera and contact probes. The SCF_Lab is also equipped with two AM0 close-match solar simulators.
GNSS Constellations and agencies for which we work are: Galileo/ESA-ASI, IRNSS/ISRO, GPS/NASA. For EO we work with the Italian Ministry of Defense. 
The student will participate in: SCF-Test & data analysis of the new GRA for Galileo & GPS-3, funded by ASI & INFN; and/or analysis of SLR data from existing GNSS constellations (including Galileo IOV, GPS-2), and/or LLR; and/or LAGEOS.


Main references:

  1. Creation of the new industry-standard space test of laser retroreflectors for GNSS and LAGEOS, S. Dell’Agnello, G.O. Delle Monache, D.G. Currie, R. Vittori, C. Cantone, M. Garattini, A. Boni, M. Martini, C. Lops, N. Intaglietta, R. Tauraso, D.A. Arnold, M.R. Pearlman, G. Bianco, S. Zerbini, M. Maiello, S. Berardi, L. Porcelli, C.O. Alley, J.F. McGarry, C. Sciarretta, V. Luceri, T.W. Zagwodzki, J. Adv. Space Res. 47 (2011) 822–842.
  2. ETRUSCO-2: An ASI-INFN project of technological development and “SCF-Test” of GNSS laser Retroreflector Arrays, S. Dell’Agnello et al, 3rd International Colloquium - Scientific and Fundamental Aspects of the Galileo Programme, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011).
  3. SCF_Lab brochure:

Tutor: Simone Dell’Agnello ( and/or Luca Porcelli (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: MoonLIGHT-2

Title: MoonLIGHT-2 experiment of INFN-CSN2

Description: 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;
Another important goals is the development, space characterization and deployment of the first-ever laser retroreflector on Mars rovers and landers, to be laser-located by Mars orbiters equipped with lasercomm, capable of laser ranging as demonstrated by NASA's lunar mission LADEE.
The student will participate in the: (1) thermal-optical-vacuum test and data analysis of the new payload funded by INFN and NASA, at the world-unique INFN-LNF SCF_Lab infrastructure (Satellite/lunar/GNSS laser ranging and altimetry Characterization Facilities Laboratory); and/or (2) analysis of LLR data acquired from existing Apollo/Lunokhod payloads for precision gravity tests (with CfA – J. Chandler et al; UCSD – T. Murphy et al). Another major SCF_Lab activity is the SCF-Test of LAGEOS, the Laser GEOdynamics Satellites (with NASA-GSFC – S. Merkowitz at al).
Main references:

  1. A Lunar Laser Ranging Retroreflector Array for the 21st Century, D. Currie, S. Dell’Agnello, G. Delle Monache, Acta Astron. 68, 667– 680 (2011).
  2. SCF_Lab brochure:

Tutor: Simone Dell’Agnello ( and/or Giovanni Delle Monache (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 Position: Mu2E

Title: Characterization of UV emitting Crystals and UV extended Silicon photosensors

Description: The R&D phase of the calorimeter for the MU2E experiment is being concluded. The choice of UV emitting crystals such as BaF2 or CsI is under way in combination with two very advanced Silicon photosensors.
In the first case, the BaF2 has two components, a fast one (1 ns) at 220 nm and a slow one (600 ns) at wavelengths above 280 nm. The development of a super-lattice APD that is solar blind to frequency above 280 nm is being carried out by the Caltech/JPL/RMD consortium. At LNF, we are developing the preamplifiers and we expect to test the first sensors in the coming fall. Solar blind Silicon Photomultipliers are also being considered.
In the second case, the CsI has a dominant component at 320 nm with a time emission of 16 ns. This crystals is well matched by a new version of UV extended Silicon Photomultipliers by Hamamatsu with quantum efficiency down to 240 nm. New SIPM from Sensl and FBK will be available for the fall.
The student will be inserted in the group activity and will help in the characterization of the various crystals and photosensor combination with tests done both at a crystal station, transmittance test with a UV source and data taking of single assembled crystal+photosensor+FEE units with a simple Cosmic Ray trigger.

Tutors: Simona Giovannella (, Ivano Sarra (

Recommend period: September-October


1 Position: NanoElectromagnetics (microwave/RF/photonics)

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. Our work on the model of the graphene/CNT-metal transition and related equivalent circuits models, aims also to 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.

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October.


1 Position: NEXT - Carbon-lines

Title: Carbon-lines: modellization and characterization of innovative electronic nano-interconnections in graphene and carbon nanotubes

Description: Aims of the research: analyzing certain properties connected to the electrical transport in graphene or carbon nanotubes interconnections, with particular regard to the electrical conductivity. Such materials are very promising for nanoelectronics applications, owing to their excellent electrical, thermal and mechanical characteristics, and their possible use for the realization of nano-interconnections for integrated circuits and transistors has been recently demonstrated, thanks to the realization of examples of prototype devices. Such a perspective, made it especially important to boost the modeling and characterization
activity of such materials. Starting from the experience of the NEXT Nanotechnology Team at the INFN-Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati connected to the electromagnetic and circuita modellization of such structures, the research will investigate the electrical conductivity of graphene ribbons and nanoplatelets, as well as that of carbon nanotubes, with reference to the effects of chirality, the possible presence of an electrical field, the boundary conditions and the contacts. Such an analysis will be carried out in the conditions expected for next generations electrical interconnections in integrate circuits (14 nm or 10 nm technologies), namely low bias conditions and frequencies up to hundreds of GHz.
Expected results:

  • designing and realizing an experimental setup suitable for measuring the electrical conductivity of samples made by graphene ribbons or nanoplatelets, or by carbon nanotube bundles, up to 18 GHz
  • proposal, extension and experimental validation of models of electrical conductivity
  • outlook for possible future modeling and electromagnetic characterization activity of interconnections based on graphene or carbon nanotubes in the non-linear regime and in the THz range.

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October.


1 Position: Bio-nanotechnologies

Title: Bio-nanotechnologies: studies of nanomaterials biocompatibility for nano-theranostics.

Description: Aims of the research: analyzing certain properties connected to the biological and medical applications of graphene and carbon nanotubes, for the realization of biosensors/diagnostic devices and drug delivery as a therapeutic mean in neurodegenerative diseases, pulmonary affections in children, and cancer. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) will carried out on immobilized cells treated with the nanomaterials. Functionalization of the nanomaterials will be carried out for achieving their optimal binding to DNA, for the realization of DNA-sensors.
The development of multifunctional carbon nanotubes will be targeted to in vitro and in vivo delivery and imaging of miRNAs, and characterization of circulating miRNAs as innovative therapeutic and diagnostic tools for pediatric pulmonary hypertension.

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October.


1 Position: AFM

Title: Atomic Force Microscopy studies of the microgravity-cell interactions.  

Description: Aims of the research: Characterization of biological samples by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), which allows to check the morphology of cell samples, the strength, endurance and strength of adhesion of the same to the substrate after being exposed to microgravity.

In order to understand the interaction between gravity and matter AFM will be used.
It interacts directly with the surface of the biological sample without any special preparation. It will allow to get information about topography, surface rigidity, its adhesion to the substrate and its elasticity. All these data compared and correlated with those from other characterization techniques and analysis will allow to verify which changes can occur after exposure to microgravity (comparing them with a control sample) and seek to understand whether these effects are reversible or irreversible.

Tutor: Stefano Bellucci (
Recommended period: June-July or September-October.

17-21 August Free accommodations in the Laboratory's guest house

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

Administration and Logistic:
Maria Luisa Bontempi - Administration Office (ph. +39-06-94032554 - email:
Patrizia Fioretti - Personnel Office (ph. +39-06-94032595 - email:
Gianluca Dalla Vecchia- Visitor's Office (ph. +39-06-94032227 - email:

Genova 3

1 position: ATLAS

Title: Development of Pixel detectors for the ATLAS Upgrade at HL-LHC

The upgrade program for LHC is under study with the aim 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 sensors with smaller and thinner pixels. The new design and technologies for sensors will address radiation doses up to 2x1016 1 MeV neq/cm2 or active sensor technologies using traditional IC technologies. Sensors as 3D and HV-CMOS are amongst the candidates for the upgrade of the Pixel detector. Genova, involved since 20 years in the ATLAS pixel detector, is working on both sensor technologies. The student will work in the Genova laboratory on characterization of these technologies.

Tutor: Giovanni Darbo (

Recommend period: June 1st – August 8th or August 24th – October 31st


2 positions: JLAB12 experiment

Title n.1: The Forward Tagger for CLAS12: detector test and partial wave analysis

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

Description: JLAB12 experiment includes all INFN-Italy activity at Jefferson Lab (US). Genova Group is deeply involved in the MesonEx program aiming for discovery of hybrid mesons and in the Heavy Photon Experiment searching for a new gauge boson.
Within MesonEx we are building 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). The FT-Cal has been designed in Genova and it is now in the test phase.  Cosmic ray tests of the FT-Hodo and FT-Cal are planned for this summer in Genova. The physics analysis of the MesonEx program involves complicated 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-GE and in contact with the JPAC group at JLab.
Search for physics beyond the Standard Model can be carried out with precise and GeV-energy-range  experiments. 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 search for in several experiments running at Jefferson Lab (APEX, HPS, BDX, Dark Light ...).
Within the Heavy Photon Experiments (HPS) running in fall 2014/15 INFN-GE has a leading role in building and testing the em calorimeter.
Within these frameworks we can provide two summer-student activities, one related to 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:
Elisa Carnevali
ph. +39-010-3536241

Gran Sasso National Laboratory

1 position: CUORE experiment

Title: Development of rare events (Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay) particle detectors at LNGS, in the CUORE experiment.

The student will take part in the preparation and running of innovative tests for particle detectors (preparation, installation, data-taking and analysis) and will get familiar with bolometric particle detectors. Basic knowledge of particle physics is preferred.

Tutor: Carlo Bucci (


1 position: DarkSide experiment

Title: Development of Direct Dark Matter Search with Depleted Argon.

Description: The student will participate in the operation, data taking, and data analysis of the prototype detector DarkSide-10, operating in Hall C of the underground LNGS, within a low-background shield.

Tutor: Aldo Ianni (


1 position: STELLA low background counting facility

Title: Low background measurements at the LNGS in the STELLA low background counting facility.

Description: The student will take part in the routine analysis work involving gamma and alpha spectrometry and will get acquainted with using the technique of Monte-Carlo simulations. Basic knowledge of nuclear and particle physics, programming skills (C++, Fortran) and familiarity with computers is preferred.

Tutor: Matthias Laubenstein (


1 position: XENON experiment

Title: Development of Double Phase Xenon Dark Matter Detector.

Description: The student will take part in the design and test of the 'muon veto' system for the XENON1T direct Dark Matter search experiment. Performance of water proof light detectors (photomultipliers) to be used in the water Cherenkov detector will be tested in laboratory. Different solutions for the electronics and data acquisition system will be analyzed and compared.

Tutor: Alfredo Ferella (

Open 24/7 nearby the Lab or downtown

Scientific Coordinator:
Dr. Aldo Ianni - email:

Administrative Coordinator:
Dr. Vincenzo Fantozzi
ph. +39 0862 437 236
fax +39 0862 437 218

Lecce 5

1 position: MEG Experiment at PSI

Title: A tracking detector for the upgrade of the MEG experiment 

Description:The MEG experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institut (Zurich, Switzerland) has provided the most stringent upper limit on the branching fraction for the charged lepton flavor violating decay mu->e+gamma, 5.7x10^-13 at 90% confidence level, taking advantage of the world most intense continuous muon beam. More data were collected in 2013 and more
refined analysis techniques will be exploited to refine further the current result. A major step in the sensitivity of the experiment will be achieved with the upgrade, recently approved, of the MEG detector and the new run starting in 2015. The key change of the experimental apparatus is a full redesign of the tracking detector for the reconstruction of the low energy
electron tracks coming from the muon decays. A uniform drift chamber filled with a low density gas mixture, Helium based, is proposed based on the successful experience of such kind of detector in previous experiments like KLOE and Babar. The MEG Lecce group is strongly involved in the program of constructing the drift chamber for the upgraded experiment, with prototyping activities, with studies for the definition of final parameter choice and of the construction techniques and with the development of the front-end electronics. A student joining the group will be involved in the hardware activities and performance estimate studies related to the development of the tracking detector for the MEG upgrade.

Tutor: Marco Panareo (

Recommended period: June-October


1 position: ATLAS Experiment at LHC 

Title: Study of physics processes at the LHC with the ATLAS detector (search for new phenomena and precise measurement of known processes) 

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 and in a wide program of measurements of known processes at the energy frontier. The Lecce ATLAS group is active in the analysis of the data collected by the experiment, with the aim of testing the Standard Model of particle physics with precise measurements of expected processes and with searches for new phenomena. A key component of the ATLAS experiment at LHC is the Muon Spectrometer (MS) system, providing great identification and trigger capability for muons which contribute to some of the most interesting signatures of rare processes at LHC. The Lecce ATLAS group has a wide expertise on the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer, having been involved in the construction, being currently active in the development of offline and online muon identification software and finally participating to the MS tracking and trigger performance studies which provide the detector response calibration for the ATLAS physics analyses with muons in the final states.
A student joining the group activities will be able to choose the area of activity where he's interested to contribute among the following possibilities: physics analysis (search for Susy in final states with leptons, measurement of heavy quarks production in association with Gauge
Bosons), determination of the MS performance during the data taking (in terms of reconstruction or trigger efficiency), detector/trigger simulation and data preparation activities. 

Tutor: Edoardo Gorini (

Recommended period: June-October


1 position: Astroparticle and Neutrino Physics

Title: Astroparticle Physics

Description: The Astroparticle Physics group is involved in the study ofHigh Energy Cosmic Rays with the experiments ARGO-YBJ, AUGER and DAMPE.
The ARGO-YBJ detector is an extensive air shower array, located at high altitude in Tibet, that took data from 2007 up to 2013.
The main physics goals included very high energy gamma-ray astronomy and
cosmic rays.
The student could have the opportunity to participate to the data analysis for the study of the cosmic rays flux with energy in the range 1TeV-10PeV.
The Pierre Auger Observatory is the largest cosmic ray observatory in the world. In particular, a student could have the opportunity to join the research group developing the analysis for the measurement of the energy spectrum of cosmic rays above 1 EeV.
The student might also join the efforts in an R&D program devoted to the ugrade of the observatory.
The group recently joined the DAMPE collaboration. The goal of the experiment is to measure electrons and photons with very high precision, with a detector orbiting around the Earth. It has also great potential in advancing the understanding of galactic charged cosmic rays, as well as in new discoveries in high energy gamma ray astronomy.
The student could join the efforts of the group in studying the performance of the experiment and in analyzing the data coming from test measurements currently being done with particle beams at CERN.
It is also possible to participate to an outreach program (CORAM), based on the design and construction of a small cosmic rays detector to be used to make flux measurements at ground or on a stratospheric balloon.

Tutor: Ivan De Mitri (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


1 position: SL:_COMB experiment

Title: Synthesis and characterization of metallic photocatodes based on thin films grown by pulsed laser ablation deposition.

Description:The deposition of thin films with adequate morphology and crystalline structure is a key point in the development of many research fields. During the last two decades, the pulsed laser deposition technique has been applied increasingly to the synthesis of thin films because of its versatility for the deposition of practically any kind of material with a relatively simple experimental set-up. The versatility of pulsed laser ablation also lies in the possibility of obtaining films very adherent to the substrates, even at room temperature and with a high predictable growth rate, which can be precisely controlled through priori studies of the
experimental parameters. In recent years, metallic photocathodes based on metallic thin films has emerged as a valid alternative to the conventional photocathodes to get high brigthness electron sources which are demanded for X-rays Free Electron Lasers.

Activity: The student activity will concern on the synthesis and characterization of metallic photocathodes based on thin films. During the stage, the student will get knowledge concerning the pulsed laser ablation deposition for growing metallic thin films; the morphological and structural chartacterization of these films will be done by different analyses such as scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, atomic force microscopy, ellipsometry measurements, and the photoemission characterization of such cathodes by a home-made photodiode cell.
More details of the group research activity are available at this link:

Tutor: Antonella Lorusso (

Recommended period:June-July or September-October


1 position: DIAPIX experiment

Title: Fast diamond strip detectors for LHC upgrades

Description: High quality CVD diamond can be used as radiation detector, which is in many ways much simpler than silicon radiation detectors.
In fact, diamond is not doped; metallic electrodes  are simply placed on device surface; no leakage current compensation is needed; no cooling is required. Diamond detectors are used as beam radiation monitor in all LHC experiments, but a successful CERN R&D proven the irradiation hardness building micro-strip and pixel prototypes, challenging Silicon detectors in tracking applications for the next generation of experiments.
We are building diamond strip detectors with a time resolution goal of about 30 ps for minimum ionizing particles to be used in the next LHC experiment upgrades. 
We believe to achieve such outstanding time resolution using a new generation of SiGe transistors as first amplification stage integrated on the diamond sensor.
The student will collaborate to finalize and built the timing diamond detector prototype and to characterize the detector on bench with electric signals and cosmic rays.

Tutor: Dr. Gabriele Chiodini (

Recommended period: June-December.

  Cheap accommodation available
in town or in the University
guest house
Local Secretariat:
Carla Gentile
ph. +39-0832-297491
Legnaro National Laboratory

1 Position: Innovative surface treatments of superconducting cavities for new generation colliders

Description: Superconducting cavities are the heart of a particle accelerator and New generation colliders ask for large numbers of SRF cavities. Reduction of fabrication costs becomes a main goal in making these machines affordable. The LNL at INFN disposes of a unique know how in cavity fabrication, that consists in producing seamless cavities and in sputtering Niobium onto copper. Recently our group has found two surprising techniques that can be of high importance for the reachment of high quality cavity performances: the high temperature annealing under the melting point of niobium, and the atmospheric pressure nitridation. The candidate will have the possibility to learn the fundamentals of cavity technology, will take care of processing the cavities and will help in automating and controlling the processes.
The student will learn the basic of surface treatments and cavity fabrication technology.

Tutors: Dr. Vincenzo Palmieri, Pira Cristian

Recommended periods: June-July 2014


1 Position: Excitation energies and transition strengths of exotic nuclei

Description:One of the key issues in current nuclear physics research is to investigate the properties of so-called `exotic nuclei' and of `exotic nuclear structures'. Exotic nuclei are nuclei with a proton-to-neutron ratio that is very different from the proton-to-neutron ratio in stable nuclei. Exotic nuclear structures are excitation modes of nuclei with structures very different from the structure of the ground state. By putting the nucleons in a nucleus to extreme conditions of isospin and excitation energy one can investigate details of the strong force which binds the nucleons together to form a bound nucleus. While the basic properties of the strong nucleon–nucleon interaction are known from investigating the properties of nuclei near the `valley of stability', recent developments in the study of exotic nuclei have demonstrated that specific properties of the strong interaction, such as the influence of the spin-orbit term, are not yet understood. Because the nucleus forms a complex many-body system, it is often impossible to describe it by ab initio calculations and therefore approximations need to be introduced. Several theoretical models have been developed in order to describe the properties of nuclei all over the nuclear chart. It is by measuring the basic nuclear properties such as excitation energies and transition strength and by comparing these properties to the predictions from the nuclear models, that these models can be tested and effective interactions can be improved. Furthermore, the measured nuclear properties can be a guide in understanding the changes, which the nuclear force undergoes in extreme conditions. Data collected at different nuclear structure facilities all over the world will be analized and results compared.

Tutors: Dr. Giacomo De Angelis (, Dr. Javier Valiente Dobon

Recommended periods: June-July


1 Position: Thermal conductivity characterization of SPES target material

Description: In the framework of the SPES project, INFN-LNL is developing, in collaboration with some Italian Universities, an innovative target material for the production of n-rich ion beams using the ISOL technique. With the aim to optimize the design of the high temperature SPES target, it is fundamental to understand the target temperature field, which depends directly on its thermal conductivity. A new methodology and a new experimental apparatus prototype for the thermal conductivity measurement was developed at LNL. The student will study and test in a dedicated laboratory the new method proposed, and will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the experimental tools needed to perform high temperature thermal conductivity measurements.

Tutors: Dr. Andrighetto Alberto

Recommended periods: June-October


1 Position: Study of release mechanisms form the SPES production target

Description: In the framework of the SPES project at INFN-LNL, the team dedicated to the research and development of target and ion source systems is interested in modeling the behavior of the system in terms of isotopic release by means of Monte Carlo simulation codes. In particular, codes like Fluka, Geant4 and RIBO are extremely useful in simulating the bombardment of a target material by means of light particles (usually protons) and in describing the "life" of the produced isotopes inside the surrounding enclosures, towards the experimental areas. The student will participate in the creation of geometrical models of the target-ion source complex of the SPES project, as well as in the creation of parts of code (either in Fluka, Geant4 and RIBO) and subroutines dedicated to the description of several processes: fission-based isotope production, diffusion in solid materials, effusion in closed enclosures, ionization and transport.

Tutors: Dr. Andrighetto Alberto

Recommended periods: June-October


1 Position: Neutron detection. Synthesis of new organic materials, detector preparation and characterization

Description: The neutron detection is of great interest both for fundamental physics (nuclear physics and astrophysics), as well as for nuclear technology applications (weapons, explosives, environment monitoring, dose measurements in neutron therapy, new materials analysis). Among the materials used for neutron detection (gas, liquid and solid scintillators) many of them are limited: radiation damage by high radiation environment, dependence on temperature and humidity, and for liquids, flammability and toxicity. We are working to overcome existing limitations and designing an developing a detection system based on new materials and innovative digital processing systems able to operate both as a monitor in high radiation field areas, and to perform nuclear physics and astrophysics measurements. The new digital electronics will permit to perform pulse shape analysis using different sampling from 200MHz to 1 GHz with good resolution (from 16 to 12 bits, respectively). As an alternative to the photomultiplier both Avalanche Photodiode (APD) and "Silicon photomultipliers" (SiPMs) will be used.
The student will join the LNL group, having the possibility to perform the synthesis of different scintillator materials, adding dyes and dopant for the optimum receipt search, he will mount the detectors and test them with different photo-devices and digital electronics. He will perform analysis to find the best algorithm for the optimized pulse shape discrimination on different samples.

Tutors: Dr. Caturan Sara, Marchi Tommaso, Cinausero Marco, Gramegna Fabiana

Recommended periods: June-July or September-October

mid-August Free lodging at LNL guest house is available

Scientific Coordinator:
Dr. Fabiana Gramegna

Additional information is available at LNL website:

Local secretariat:
Dr. Luisa Pegoraro
ph. +39 049-8068.342

Napoli 2

1 position: G-2

Title: Measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon.

Description: The experiment g-2 (E989) is in advanced stages of approval at Fermilab. The data taking is expected by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017. The experiment aims to measure the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon with an improved experimental uncertainty, namely a factor of 4 compared to the previous experiment E821 at BNL (ie 0.14 ppm ). Inside the experiment the Italian INFN group has the responsibility of building the monitoring system of the 24 electromagnetic calorimeters. For this purpose, a on-line calibration system is going to be realized by a laser and an optical system capable of providing reference signals to the calorimeters.
The group of INFN - Naples is engaged on two themes: 1) design and implementation of the laser control. It is a crucial and delicate task because the entire system must operate during data taking and with different modes; 2) monitoring and stabilization of the reference signals. Given the high precision required to the system it is requires a deep knowledge of the various sources of uncertainty and thus a characterization by MC simulations. The activities that will be undertaken by the scholarship will focus on the characterization of the calibration system, in view of its full operation, and on the development of appropriate software for data analysis.

Tutor: Michele Iacovacci (

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


1 position: SHIP

Title: Search for hidden particles and tau neutrinos in 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. A neutrino detector will study tau neutrino cross-section and observe for the first time the tau anti-neutrino.

Activity: The activity will consist of studying the neutrino detector performances in the search for tau neutrinos and anti-neutrinos. The detector will be hybrid, using nuclear emulsions and electronic detectors for the time stamp of the events and the measurement of the muon momentum. The emulsion target is based on the Emulsion Cloud Chamber technology fruitfully employed in the OPERA experiment. The Emulsion Cloud Chamber will be placed in a magnetic field, with the so-called Compact Emulsion spectrometer, a few cm thick chamber, for the charge and momentum measurement of hadrons. This will provide the leptonic number measurement also in the hadronic tau decay channels.

Tutor: Giovanni De Lellis (

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

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

Local Secretariat:
Maria Arienzo
ph. +39 081 676186

Padova 3

1 position: Belle-II experiment

Title: Test of the calibration system of the iTOP (imaging Time-Of-Propagation) particle identification Cerenkov detector

Description: The innovative iTOP particle identification detector reconstructs, in spacial and time coordinates, the ring-image of Cherenkov light cones
emitted from charged particles passing through quartz radiator bars.
The calibration system of the iTOP detector is made by micro lens spreading pulsed laser light in the backward side of the detector.
The construction of the iTOP modules and the installation of the calibration system inside the modules stated in November 2014.
The iTOP detector will be installed inside the Belle-II experiment in the interaction point of the Super-KEKB accelerator at the being of 2016.
Several tests and data analysis are needed for the modules under construction: the uniformity of the light in the readout surface,
the time resolution of the calibration system, the quantum efficiency monitoring for the PMT used in the readout.

Tutor: Dr. Ezio Torassa (

Recommended period: June-October


2 positions: LHCb

Title: Analysis of the Bs0 system using LHCb data

The LHCb experiment has been designed to study b-hadron production in proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider accelerator at CERN. From the 2010 until 2012, it has accumulated an integrated luminosity of 3fb-1 corresponding to billions of B mesons. The study of the CP-violation in the B mesons decays is a powerful tool to challenge
the Standard Model and it is a portal to search for New Physics phenomena.
In particular the analysis of the time evolution of the B_s system through the study of the B_s-->Ds(*)K decay allows a precise measurement of the angle gamma of the Unitarity Triangle. This is one of the less constrained experimental parameter of the Standard Model.
The candidate will join our analysis group devoted to the study of the time evolution of the B_s --> D_s(*) K/pi.  She/He will have the opportunity to contribute effectively to some of the many experimental aspects needed to perform such an interesting measurement. Just to
name a few: understanding of the B_s decay vertex reconstruction, determination of the signal acceptance and study of the B_s flavour tagging.

Tutors: Alessandro Bertolin (, Marcello Rotondo (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


Title: R&D for the Upgrade of the LHCb RICH Detector

The LHCb experiment has been designed to study b-hadrons in pp collisions at the LHC. In LHCb the hadron identification plays a key role in most of analyses for example two-body charmless b-hadron decays, CP-violation in the Bs0 system, measurement of the unitary triangle angle gamma through the study of B± -->DK± decays. One of the key capabilities of the particle identification system is the separation of pions and kaons, which is provided by the Ring Imaging Cherenkov (RICH) system.
During the 2018 LHC shutdown the LHCb will be upgraded in order to make efficient use of the higher luminosities and event rates. The data readout system will be replaced by one capable of 40Mhz readout rate. For this reason the front-end electronics and the photon detectors of the RICH  system will be replaced with one capable of handling the upgraded readout and event rate. The HPD photon detectors will be replaced with Multianode
Photomultipliers and the RICH1 optics will be modified.
The student will participate in the R&D and the characterization of the photon detectors for the upgraded RICH system. Moreover there will be the possibility to partecipate to the preparation of the photon detector prototypes for a test beam scheduled in July and
in September 2015. The candidate could also start the analysis of the test beam data.

Tutors: Gabriele Simi (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October

  Possible accommodation in student housing (250-300 euro / month)

Local Secretariat: 
Sandra Calore - email:
Scientific Coordinator:  
Ezio Torassa - email:

Pisa 2

2 positions: Theoretical Nuclear Physics

Title: Quantum Monte Carlo methods for scattering

Description: The study of scattering states for systems composed by A>4 nucleons is still a very challenging problem, in particular because of the complicated boundary conditions to be imposed to the wave function. Recently, we have obtained a formula allowing for the calculation of the elements of the S-matrix as the ratio of two integral relations. In particular, for single channels, it implies that tan delta=B/A, where delta is the phase shift, A=< psi_T | H-E | F > and B=< psi_T | H-E | G >. Here F and G are the known regular and irregular solutions of the Schroedinger equation in the asymptotic region, while psi_T is a "trial" solution of Schroedinger equation in the interaction region, without any explicit indication of its asymptotic behavior.  For example, psi_T could be taken as the solution of (H-E) psi_T=0 in a box, thus reducing the scattering problem to a bound-state problem.

We propose to use a quantum Monte Carlo method to compute psi_T. This method has been already shown to provide very accurate solutions for the bound states of 6<A<12 nuclei. The plan for the summer is study the relatively simple situation of single-channel scattering.

Tutors: Laura E. Marcucci (, Alejandro Kievsky (, Michele Viviani (

Recommended Period: June-July


Title: Nuclear electroweak currents in the chiral effective field theory approach: applications to reactions involving few-nucleon systems

Description: Chiral effective field theory is a formulation of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) in terms of effective degrees of freedom suitable for low-energy nuclear physics: pions and nucleons. Whithin this approach, we propose to develop a method to construct consistently with the nuclear interaction the two-body weak current operators, necessary to study any nuclear reaction which involves the weak interaction. The electromagnetic current and charge operators have been already derived up to the third
order in the chiral expansion, while such a derivation is still
missing for the weak axial current and charge operators. We plan to fill this gap, and to apply the derived weak operators to processes like the neutrino capture on tritium (used to reveal neutrinos from the big-bang) and the weak proton capture by proton (the pp reaction).

Tutors: Laura E. Marcucci (, Alejandro Kievsky (, Michele Viviani (

Recommended Period: June-July


Local Secretariat:
Dr. Lucia Lilli
ph. +39 050 2214 327 -

Roma 7

2 positions: ARPG

Title: Development of an innovative radioguided surgery

Description: Our group (ARPG has invented a new technique of radioguided surgery by exploiting the short penetration of electrons (see the press release in for details).
A student could be involved in the development of prototypes of the surgical probes and in their laboratory tests.

Tutor: Riccardo Faccini (

Recommended Period: June-July or September-October


Title: Dosimetry for hadrontherapy

Description: Hadrontherapy is the leading edge therapy in the cure of tumors by charged ions irradiation. The methods to estimate the profile of the dose delivered to the patient are still under development and rely on the knowledge of nuclear reactions. We are studying such nuclear reactions and developing and testing a detector for the radiation emitted by nuclear de-excitation and fragmentation.
A student could be involved in the analysis of the data of the test beams of the prototypes.

Tutor: Riccardo Faccini (

Recommended Period: June-July or September-October


2 positions: CUORE

Title: Search for β- decay of 130Te to the first 0+ excited state of 130Xe

Description: Neutrinoless double β- 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. The proposed research is focused on the double β- decay of 130Te to the first 0+ excited state of 130Xe with the full statistics collected by the CUORE-0 experiment. CUORE-0 is a cryogenic detector made by an array of 52 TeO2 bolometers arranged in a single tower and installed underground in the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso. The presence of de-excitation gammas in the final state will allow to reduce the background by studying coincident events in two or more bolometers. The student will be involved in the optimization of the analysis and the development of tools and algorithms for the signal extraction. Computing Knowledge: Ability to work in a Unix environment and program in C/C++, knowledge of ROOT/ROOFIT package.

Tutors: Fabio Bellini (, Claudia Tomei (

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


2 positions: PADME

Title: Dark photon searches with positron and electron 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 one year of running a sensitivity in the relative interaction strength down to 10−6 is achievable, in the mass region from 2.5 MeV < MU< 22.5 MeV. To exploit the production of dark photons in Bremsstrahlung processes and their subsequent decay into pairs of leptons U → e+e− the experiment employs a magnetic spectrometer, which allows to probe and improve the current exclusions limits by extracting the linac electron beam at maximum intensity (∼ 1020EOT/year) on a dump. The students will work on the detailed simulation of the entire experiment (1) and on the construction and testing of prototypes of the crystal calorimeter (2).

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


1 position: SABRE

Title: Geant4 simulations of external background for a new Dark Matter experiment using NaI crystals with active liquid scintillator veto

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 the development of the simulation software (based on the Geant4 simulation toolkit) and 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 or September-October

11-22 August   

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

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

Roma Tor Vergata 4

3 positions: ATLAS

Title: Measurement of the property of the min bias event from Run2

Description: The LHC will restart operation in March 2015 at 13 TeV in the center of mass. The properties of the first events collected from Run2 with a minimum bias trigger will be studied.

Title: Search for long lived particles from Exotics Models

Description: The main goal of next data-taking at LHC is the search of new physics and new particles: are these particles long-lived?
This study  will focus on how to trigger and look for them.

Title: New detection techniques for high time resolution

Description: Cosmic ray and test-beam studies of new gas and solid-states detectors, read out with a new generation of front-end electronics with the ambitious goal of reaching a 10ps time resolution.

Tutor: Anna Di Ciaccio (

Recommended period: June-July


1 position: VIRGO

Title: Development of instrumentation techniques for gravitational radiation detection

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 program will give the possibility to participate to the R&D activity carried out in the Tor Vergata University: measurements on adaptive optical systems, data analysis, use and developments of simulation tools based on Matlab and finite element codes.

Tutor: Viviana Fafone (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October

  Possibility of cheap accommodations

Local Secretariat:
Carla Felici
ph. +39 06 7259 4570

Roma Tre 3

1 position: ATLAS

Description:The LHC is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world and the whole 27-kilometre superconducting machine is now back in operation ready for the beginning of Run 2. Run 2 of the LHC follows a 2-year technical stop that prepared the machine for running at almost twice the energy of the LHC’s first run.
ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb, the four large experiments of the LHC, have also undergone major preparatory work for Run 2 and are ready to record the first collisions at the new energy frontier.
ATLAS in particular has some new detectors, both in the innermost tracking system and in the muon system, and has been training them with cosmic rays for few months to ensure they'll be ready to operate in proton collisions.
The Roma Tre group is active in the muon system and in the data analysis and can propose a variety of activities to the summer students, ranging from the monitoring of the detector performance, to the validation of the reconstruction of the new data, to a very first look at the analysis of the first collisions at 13 TeV both in the context of Higgs boson's studies and in the search for rare phenomena such as the tau lepton decay to three muons.

Tutor: Domizia Orestano (

Recommended period: September-October


1 position: EOS

Description: Digital components able to work in air will be developed using basic CMOS logic gates fabricated on both rigid and flexible substrates. The circuit timing will be studied also by the fabrication of ring oscillators and simple sequential circuits. A special attention will be dedicated to analyze the stability of circuits with feedback and to attenuate hazard conditions introduced the employed technology. Design and test of integrated analog building blocks: current mirrors, cascode and differential amplifiers. Building blocks of common use for the realization of linear amplifiers will be designed. Circuital schemes displaying electrical performances with reduced sensitivity on Vth voltage of single transistors will be privileged. The dynamic response of all the analog circuits will be characterized under ambient conditions. The experimental measurements will be compared with SPICE simulations in order to improve the model quality. Design and test of integrated digital cells: inverters, buffers, logic gates and flip-flops. A student could be involved in the study of these new components and their characterization.

Tutor: Paolo Branchini (

Recommended period: September-October


1 position: BELLE2

Description: The new SuperKEKB accelerator and the large detector Belle II constitute a milestone in the investigation of the matter excess (CP violation) in the Universe. In SuperKEKB, bunches of particles of matter (electrons) and their anti-particles (positrons), with energies up to 8 giga electron volts, are brought to collision at rates which are 40 times larger than in the previous KEKB ccelerator. n this framework we are involved in the upgrade of the forward electromagnetic calorimeter and in the radiation monitor in beast. The work consists of the charaterization and analysis of the CsI and Lyso crystals used by the collaboration. The detector is read by pmts and APDs. Our group has developped the fe electronics and a student can easily take part to the tests of our lectronics and familiarize with the detector.

Tutor: Paolo Branchini (

Recommended period: September - October

August Possibility of cheap accommodation in student flats nearby the University 

Scientific Coordinator:
Paolo Branchini - email:
Domizia Orestano - email:

Local Secretariat:
Filomena Foglietta - email:

Torino 3

2 Positions: ALICE

Title: Reconstruction of beauty jets in the ALICE experiment using tracking detectors.

Description: The ALICE group in Torino is strongly involved in the analysis of particles with heavy quarks (charm, beauty) in p-p, p-Pb and Pb-Pb collisions. The goal of these measurements is to study the mechanisms of energy loss of heavy quarks in the dense medium created in nucleus-nucleus collisions at the high energies reached at the LHC at the CERN laboratory. This research is at the frontier of relativistic heavy-ion physics.
The student will contribute to the analysis of jets with tagged beauty quarks with the statistics of p-p and p-Pb collisions collected by the ALICE experiment. This will provide an essential reference to understand the effects of the nuclear matter on heavy quarks. She/He will learn the C++/object-oriented analysis tools needed to analyze the data distributed over the Grid environment. Possibility to attend meetings at CERN.

Tutor: Elena Bruna (

Recommended period: June - July


Title: Characterization of monolitic pixel chips for the upgrade of the ALICE Inner Tracking System

Description: The ALICE ITS Torino group is deeply involved in the design of the new version of the ALICE experiment Inner Tracking System (ITS).
The new ITS will consist in 7 layers of monolithic pixel chips. The choice of the technology has not been finalized yet. Part of the read-out circuit of the pALPIDE chip has been developed in Torino in the INFN VLSI design group. In the framework of this project the first prototypes of the pALPIDE chip will be characterized in the INFN laboratories in Torino. The test set-up is being prepared and will be ready by the end of May. First batch of chip prototypes will be delivered in middle June.
We propose to include the student in the group of researchers who will debug the test set-up and characterize the chip prototypes. Characterization will be divided in 3 phases:
- test with Fe55 source
- test with infrared laser (lambda=980-1060 nm)
- analysis of the data collected in different conditions and on different prototypes.

Tutor: Stefania Beole` (

Recommended period: June - July

1 Position: CLAS/CLAS12

Title: Spin-parity analyses of strangeonia/axial mesons photoproduction with CLAS data and feasibility studies with CLAS12

Description: The Torino Group is involved in experimental activities in Hall-B Hadron Physics experiments at Jefferson Lab (Newport News, VA, USA). One of them is hadron spectroscopy with photon probes, a relatively new field that was scarcely explored in the past due to the lack of photon beams of suitable intensity and resolution. Data had been collected in the last years by the CLAS Experiment, and they are currently being analysed. The purpose of the analyses undertaken in Torino is to look for signatures of new mesons with hidden strangeness content, whose production is expected to be suppressed due to the fact that strange quarks have to be extracted from the sea. For such states few and not yet confirmed observations exist from past experiments, obtained in several kinds of reactions. Photoproduction might be a suitable environment for their production, especially if their spin is 1, which wouldn't require a spin flip from the initial state (with the possibility they might also bean an exotic nature, that is, being constituted by quarks as well as gluons).
The Student will be collaborating to:

  • the spin-parity analysis of the selected data, by means of coupled channel techniques in the framework of the latest models developed in collaboration with the Theoretical Group at JLAB, of several reactions with (KKbarpi) in the final state (with different charge combinations)
  • a feasibility study of the same reactions, together with signal sensitivities, at higher energy photon beam and with the new CLAS12 detector, currently being built at JLAB and that will start taking data in 2017 at the upgraded CEBAF machine (Meson-EX experiment).

and will actively develop his/her work in the framework of Torino Cloud Computing infrastructure.
For more information:

Tutor: Alessandra Filippi (

Recommended period: June-July, September-October, depending on the Student's needs.

  Student residence

Local Secretariat:
Valentina Lissia,
ph. +39 0116707271 - email:

For more information see:

Trieste 1

1 Position: CMS

Title: Track finding studies for the CMS track trigger upgrade

Description: The rate and amount of events produced by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN surpasses the mass storage capabilities of current technologies. To preserve their physics potential the LHC experiments exploit dedicated online systems (the trigger systems), whose purpose is to perform a quick real-time selection of the most interesting events in order to reduce the data throughput from millions of events per second to a few hundreds. The requirements on the CMS trigger system will become even more stringent in the LHC high luminosity phase expected beyond 2020, for which all the LHC experiments will undergo significant upgrades. Given the tight timing constraints, the trigger decisions can rely only on a partial and coarse information on the event. The online reconstruction of the charge particle trajectories represents a very challenging task, which however will allow a more sophisticated and refined event selection and play a fundamental role in coping with the higher event rates provided by the upgraded LHC.

Activity: The student will participate in the track trigger R&D work of the CMS group in Trieste, which focuses on the development and implementation of new pattern recognition and track fitting techniques based on an artificial retina. He/she will use the C++ simulation of the upgraded CMS detector to study the new algorithms and estimate their performance.

Tutor: Massimo Casarsa (

Recommended period: June-July or September-October


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