I am a researcher in computational theoretical physics at the RIKEN Nishina Center in Wako, Japan.
My expertise is in Monte Carlo numerical simulations of quantum field theories, also known as Lattice Field Theory simulations, which use massively parallel supercomputers (CPU and GPU-based) around the world to solve the complex equations hiding the mysteries of particle physics.
My research is focused on understanding high energy strongly-coupled gauged theories, in particular in the context of extensions of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics, like Dark Matter physics or theories of Composite Higgs. New discoveries are hinging on the theoreticians’ ability to make predictions that can be tested by experimentalists, and that is precisely the my goal.
I am also engaged in projects related to low-energy nuclear physics, for example calculating nucleon-nucleon interactions or nuclear form-factors directly from the theory of Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD). Moreover, I have been working on matrix models to study the gauge/gravity duality conjecture with the aim of understanding the possible intriguing relation between gauge theories and quantum gravity.
I am currently researching new Machine Learning (ML) approaches to physics, mainly based on the promising rise of generative models. The aim is to improve our ability to get access to multi-dimensional parametric distributions describing physical systems with specific models.
PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics, 2013
University of Edinburgh
MSc in Theoretical Physics, 2009
University of Milan
BSc in Physics, 2007
University of Milan
Obtain and analyze data to inform decisions. Probabilistic Inference. Descriptive Statistics. Time Series Analysis.
Simplify complex systems using models defined by mathematical equations. Algorithm development.
Python (PyTorch, TensorFlow, Keras), C/C++, Shell, Lua
Excellent interpersonal skills. Team leader and team player. Outstanding presentation skills
Current and past affiliations
Since the early days of my life as a researcher, I have been interested in computational methods applied to physics. Before starting my PhD I performed research in Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms, first applied to statistical systems like corrugated surfaces (two-dimensional) and then applied to quantum gauge theories (four-dimensional), with ties to theories of gravity.
I expanded my physics reach during my PhD, studying gauge theories with extra dimensions and quantum field theories with scalars and fermions. Computational methods were still at the center of my research. In particular, I used Lattice Field Theory methods to investigate strongly-coupled theories which are not amenable to perturbative analytical methods. I was interested in gauge theories that could give rise to a particle similar to the Higgs boson, and that could extend our current knowledge of particle physics, currently summarized in the mathematically beautiful Standard Model.
During my first postdoctoral appointment, I continued exploring gauge theories with Higgs candidates, but I also started studying dark matter theories. Using numerical simulations of strongly-coupled theories, I investigated possible dark matter candidates that are tightly-bound heavy composite states, but also elementary dark matter candidates like the axion, which are very light. I also started an independent project about low-dimensional gauge theories connected to quantum gravity in order to test the holographic principle, also called gauge/gravity duality conjecture. The powerful computational resources used in this project allowed me to complete the best test of the holographic principle in 1 dimension, using numerical methods.
Right now I am completing my second postdoctoral appointment during which I have started studying the properties of the neutron from the fundamental theory of its constituents, quarks and gluons. This theory, called Quantum Chromodynamics, can be solved using numerical Lattice Field theory methods but it requires the most powerful supercomputers in the world. One of the achievements is the calculation of the strength of interaction between the neutron and the weak gauge boson of the Standard Model. With an accuracy of 1% we can predict this strength directly from the equations of the fundamental theory, and this can reveal important signals of new physics when confronted with experimental results about the life of neutrons.
The complete list of my publications can be found on inspireHEP.
Identify new dark matter candidates which are composite and made up of new elementary particles which could be discovered at the LHC
Identify directions in machine learning that are useful to theoretical particle physics.
Develop Monte Carlo methods for Quantum Gravity via Holography
Discover properties of strongly-interacting theories with many quarks via numerical Monte Carlo simulations.
Understand the properties of hadrons from the fundamental theory of quarks and gluons (QCD).