The PhD School in Physics

XXXVII 2021-24 and XXXVI 2020-2023 Cycles.

Application for the admission to the XXXVII Cycle of the PhD in Physics

The call for admission to the XXXVII Cycle of the PhD in Physics – a.a. 2021/2022 will be published at this address.


sehar ajmalSehar Ajmal

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Title: Searching for New Physics at LHC and Future Colliders.         

Topic: The research project will focus on signals of physics beyond the Standard Model (BSM) at the LHC, as well as its High Luminosity option (HL-LHC) and future colliders.
We plan to study specific signatures of a composite fermion scenario where excited (heavy) states interact with SM ordinary fermions with both gauge and contact interactions. This model has been recently the object of detailed phenomenological studies in close synergy with two experimental analyses by the CMS Collaboration in the di-lepton and di-jet channel. Other final states should be studied in order to address the mass reach of other exotic particles, like for instance charge 5/3 quarks, at different collider options.

 luca bertiniLuca Bertini

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Title: Role of fast dynamics for complexation of M-pro from SARS-COV-2 with inhibitors


The aim of this project is to provide a framework for the optimization of the interaction between the Main Protease (M-pro) from SARS-COV-2  with its putative inhibitors by means of a multi-technique approach.

Structure and dynamics of M-pro will be investigated both in its unbound state and following complexation with several inhibitors, including the alpha-ketoamides 13a and 13b, in order to provide a basis for the development of broad-spectrum anticoronaviral drugs.

Following the preparation of the samples, in-house spectroscopic techniques (such as UV-VIS absorption and circular dichroism) will be deployed, along with neutron scattering measurements performed at European large scale facilities like ILL in Grenoble (France) and MLZ in Munich (Germany).

diletta borselli Diletta Borselli

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Skype: diletta.borselli

Title: Study of muon radiography applied to the civil engineering, geology and mining fields for the development of a non-invasive survey methodology for the securing of touristic sites and edifices of cultural and historical interest.

Topic: The work for the doctoral project is dedicated to the application of the muon radiography technique in the geological-mining field for the safety of some areas inside the Temperino mine and the Collins mine located in the San Silvestro Park in Campiglia Marittima (LI). The muon radiography technique allows, through muon absorption measurements, to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional images of the internal structure of the target. The project, in collaboration with the INFN of Florence and the Parchi Val di Cornia spa company, provides for a series of on-site measurements and the development and optimization of algorithms for the three-dimensional reconstruction of cavities and tunnels in still unexplored areas of the mine. In part, I will also work on the assembly of new detectors for muographic applications in various fields: geophysical, archaeological, civil and nuclear safety.


G.Baccani et al., The MIMA project. Design, construction and performances of a compact hodoscope for muon radiography applications in the context of archaeology and geophysical prospections, JINST volume 13 (2018), P11001

matteo magheriniMatteo Magherini

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Title: Vector boson scattering with tau leptons hadronic decays in the final state at proton-proton collision in CMS at LHC.


The observation of the Higgs boson from ATLAS and CMS collaborations confirmed the standard model (SM) of elementary interactions. The presence of the Higgs boson, with couplings compatible with those predicted by the SM, provides evidence that contributions from the exchange of this boson may be responsible for preserving unitarity at high energies. However, new phenomena may be present in the electroweak symmetry breaking sector, where a probe of new physics is naturally given by the study of the scattering of massive electroweak bosons, know as vector boson scattering, at high energies, which cross section doesn’t diverge due to a cancellation provided from the exact SM coupling of the Higgs boson with the gauge bosons.

In my research project, we are planning to analyze a particular scattering of two gauge vector bosons: the one between two same-sign W bosons. In this framework, the goal of this research project is to include the hadronic decays of tau leptons as a probe for the final state, which have never been considered before. Thanks to the correlation between different final states and the inclusion of hadronic tau leptons decay, we plan to enhance the sensitivity to discrepancies from the Standard Model over the current results.

gabriele martelliGabriele Martelli

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Title: Study of  decay at LHCb


This PhD work will focus on the analysis of the LHC Run2 data for the study of decay in dimuonic final states at LHCb. The decay can be described as proceeding through an s d quark flavor changing neutral current (FCNC) interaction, allowed only at loop level in the Standard Model, and by internal conversion. This decay is of interest since it also allows a direct search for a new scalar or vector particle, which could contribute an s d transition at the tree level. The results of this work will be compared with those of the previous analysis and with those obtained from the HyperCP experiment, which hypothesizes to have found a new vector boson that would open the way for new physics beyond the Standard Model.


stefano monetaStefano Moneta

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Title: Precision electroweak measurements at the Belle II experiment


Belle II is currently the leading particle physics experiment at the luminosity frontier. Located at the SuperKEKB electron-positron collider, it plans to collect 50/ab integrated luminosity by 2030, looking for hints of new physics beyond the Standard Model.

My doctoral research project takes place within the Belle II Perugia group. The main activities include precise measurement of tau-lepton lifetime and analysis of rare B-meson decays. Furthermore, the group plays an important role in electromagnetic calorimeter operations. In particular, it is involved in background monitoring, leakage corrections, and studies for the full luminosity upgrade.


PhD Coordinator - Livio Fanò
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Members of the PhD Board

Giuseppina Anzivino - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Bruna Bertucci - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Giovanni Carlotti - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Claudia Cecchi - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Silvia Corezzi - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Francesco Cottone - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Emanuele Fiandrini - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Luca Gammaitoni - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Gianluca Grignani - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Troels Harmark - Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenaghen, DK

Marco Madami - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Andrea Orecchini - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Simone Pacetti - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Alessandro Paciaroni - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Orlando Panella - INFN

Monica Pepe - INFN

Alessandro Rossi - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Attilio Santocchia - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Sergio Scopetta - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Leonello Servoli - INFN

Daniele Spiga - INFN

Silvia Tacchi - CNR-IoM

Gino Tosti - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Helios Vocca - Università degli Studi di Perugia

Xin Wu - University of Geneve, CH


Working groups and contact persons

Claudia Cecchi - contact person
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Gino Tosti
Alessandro Paciaroni
Marco Madami
Simone Pacetti
Daniele Spiga


Monica Pepe - contact person
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Alessandro Rossi
Monica Pepe
Sara Palmerini
Simone Pacetti
Silvia Tacchi


Agreements and networks 
Marta Orselli - contact person 
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Giuseppina Anzivino
Bruna Bertucci
Sergio Scopetta
Andrea Orecchini
Leonello Servoli

General description

The new PhD course in Physics of the University of Perugia has been active since the XXXVI cycle. It joins the previous PhD course in "Sciences and Technologies for Physics and Geology" born in 2014 from the merging of the Physics and Geology areas of the Department of Physics and Geology.

The three-year course aims to provide high-level education and research skills in Physics as required by both the academic world and the job market.

Thanks to the internationalization of the PhD school and the outstanding research activities carried out in both theoretical and experimental Physics in our Department, the course may provide a double PhD degree through international agreements with several organizations among the most prestigious universities and research institutes in the world.


Research fields

The student activities are coordinated by a supervisor, which is assigned according to the research field chosen by the student for his/her thesis among those active in the Department: Applied Physics, Astrophysics and Astroparticle Physics, Biophysics, Gravitational Waves and Multimessenger Astronomy, Medical Physics, Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics, Particle Physics, Soft Matter Physics, Solid State Physics and Theoretical Physics.

The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student through the training courses and her/his research project by integrating the student activity in the local group, as well as by ensuring her/him wide visibility in the international context.


Educational and Training Activities

During the first year of the course, the students are required to consolidate their knowledge by attending advanced courses and training activities selected by the student according to the needs of the research area of her/his interest.
The minimum number of 18 credits (CFU/ECTS) has to be collected to access the second year.
To customize her/his training course each student has several tools at own disposal.

First year - Mandatory courses

The didactic material for the first-year courses is available here

First semester

1) Introduction to Effective Field Theory (EFT) (Contact persons: S. Pacetti, M. Madami, L. Fanò).

  • Module I - EFT in the framework of the Standard Model physics (Dario Buttazzo - INFN Pisa).
  • Module II - Effective gauge theory in spintronics (Prof. Gen Tatara - Riken).
  • Module III - Experimental searches EFT-based (Pietro Govoni - MIB).

2) Probability and measurement uncertainty (Contact person: C. Cecchi)

  • Module I - (Prof. Giulio D'Agostini - Roma1 Univ.).

3) Nanosystems and advanced materials - TBC (Contact person: A. Paciaroni).
4) EU funding: opportunities for Research and Innovation and proposal writing ( Contact person: C. Cecchi).

  • Module I - (Dr. Alessia D'Orazio - INFN Bologna).

Second semester

5) Teaching and Learning Physics at University.

  • Module I - (Prof. Giovanni Organtini - Roma1 Univ.).

6) Multimessenger Astrophysics - from em multifrequency to gravitational waves. (Contact persons: G. Tosti, C. Cecchi).

  • Module I - Electromagnetic waves+neutrini - (Paolo Padovani - ESO Munich)
  • Module II - Gravitational waves (Michele Punturo - INFN Perugia).

7) Applied Machine Learning - TBC (Contact person: D. Spiga).

  • Module I - (Prof. Daniele Bonacorsi - Bologna Univ. and INFN).

8) Scientific Writing for Physicists - TBC (Contact person: L. Fanò).

  • Module I - (UNIPG Course).

Total: 18 CFU.

Second year - Electives 

External courses (1.5 CFU)
1) Advanced topics in current and future researches in experimental particle physics - experimental particle physics
2) Advanced topics in current and future researches in theoretical particle physics  - theoretical particle physics
3) Future High-Energy Colliders - experimental and theoretical particle physics
4) Thematic Seminar Cycle: Future experiment and facilities (gravity, space, ESS, low energy searches…) - experimental physics
5) Thematic Seminar Cycle: New technologies for future experiments - experimental physics
6) Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy for the study of surfaces and nanostructured materials - soft matter and solid-state physics -  (M. Pedio)
7) Sources for Ultrafast Spectroscopy - soft matter and solid-state physics - (R. Cucini)

Internal courses (1.5 CFU)
8) Flavour Physics (K+B) - particle physics (tbc)
9) Nuclear Astrophysics - astrophysics (tbc)
10) Advanced low-energy experimental physics - soft matter and solid-state physics (tbc)
11) Spintronics - soft matter and solid-state physics (tbc)
12) Fundamental physical limits in computing - soft matter and solid-state physics (tbc)
13) Ionizing Radiation and Space Weather - astroparticle physics (tbc)
14) Photoelectron Spectroscopy - soft matter and solid-state physics (tbc)

At least 6 CFU. 

1) Italian School of Magnetism - (POC Giovanni Carlotti).
2) International Doctorate School in Nuclear Physics, “Frontiers in Nuclear and Hadronic Physics, Galileo Galilei Institute (GGI) in Florence - (POC Sergio Scopetta).
3) European School of Instrumentation in Particle & Astroparticle Physics, Technologies and Applications - (POC Bruna Bertucci).
4) Winter School in Biotechnology - (POC Daniele Fioretto).
5) LACES School, Galileo Galilei Institute (GGI) for Theoretical Physics di Arcetri (Firenze) - (POC Gianluca Grignani).
6) International School of Pure and Applied Biophysics on Quantitative analysis of optical imaging for Medicine and Biophysics: foundations, applications and perspectives - (POC Silvia Caponi).
7) Detectors and Electronics for High Energy Physics - (POC Bruna Bertucci / Alessandro Rossi).
8) Seminar on Software for Nuclear, Subnuclear and Applied Physics - (POC Bruna Bertucci).
9) Conference and Course on Frontiers in Water Biophysics (FWB), Erice - (POC Lucia Comez).

Seminars on topics that are not strictly related to the student research projects offer top-level training aimed at broadening the skills and increasing the awareness of PhD students.

In addition to the general seminars proposed by the Department and the partner research institutions (CNR and INFN), the Doctoral Advisory Committee organizes lectures given by external experts, members of the committee and former PhD students.

Attending seminars organized by national or international institutions can be included in the doctoral training if they meet the high-level education standard requested by the PhD course.

The doctoral program includes visiting periods in other Italian universities or research institutes (average research stay of 3 months). Research stay periods will be possible as well abroad, either in one of the cooperating partner institutions involved in this PhD program (average research stay of 12 months) or in other high-level foreign institutions (average research stay of 6 months).

The PhD course benefits of several contracts of cooperation with the most prestigious universities and the most important research institutions. A collaboration agreement is established with CNR-IOM and INFN funding agencies that offer scholarship grants and the opportunity of participating in international research projects of excellence conducted at the most important large scale facilities in the field.

An international degree program is implemented jointly with other universities: an enduring relationship of cooperation has been established with the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, while the collaboration agreement with the Universities of Geneva, Ghent and Uppsala is being finalized. The double PhD doctoral degree will be awarded after spending a visiting period of at least 6 months, with the attribution of 5 CFU/ECTS per month.

The PhD course is being accredited to the International Doctorate Network in Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology (IDPASC).

The doctoral training program comprises joint activities with other doctoral curricula of the University of Perugia, as described in the following.

Disciplinary and interdisciplinary training, advanced linguistic and computing training:
- Foreign language courses at CLA (Centro Linguistico d'Ateneo/University Language Center) according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), of six-month (10 CFU/ECTS) or annual (13 CFU/ECTS) duration;
- Specific training to deepen the knowledge of PhD students with specialized workshops in collaboration with the Italian Association of Physics Students. The workshops consist of several teaching units, with a final exam of 1 CFU/ECTS each, concerning data analysis (ROOT, Mathematica, TensorFlow, R) and word processing (LaTeX).

Research management and knowledge of funding systems. Four courses of 1 CFU/ECTS each concerning:
- Research planning and development;
- Preparation and management of research project budgets;
- Project management for work schedule and budget report;
- Managing relationships with funding partners.

The exploitation of research results and intellectual property. Six courses of 1 CFU/ECTS each concerning:
- The transition from basic to applied research;
- Techniques for research exploitation;
- Funding for applied research;
- Protection of intellectual property;
- University support for patent application;
- Industry and research spin-off.

All courses described in the present section will be concluded by a final exam.

Postdoctoral job opportunities

The main professional opportunities for a PhD in physics are the scientific activities in national and international research institutions: universities, laboratories, large scale facilities and centers of excellence.

Our graduates easily find positions in the institutions they collaborated with and they visited during the PhD, thanks to the consolidated credits that the members of the Department of Physics and Geology have in the international research circuits.

The doctoral program gives students the opportunity to spend periods of the research stay, within the framework of the main European and non-European mobility programs, in the most important and prestigious large scale facilities and research centers (CERN, ASI, VIRGO / EGO and ILL, to name the major ones), and in many universities all over the world.

Furthermore, basic research carried out in collaboration with other research institutions (CNR and INFN), such as those related to space exploration, energy physics and functional characterization of materials, has often led to important business activities, stimulating and favoring the creation of innovative companies.

Last but not least, teaching and dissemination of scientific results towards society offer further job opportunities being fundamental feedback in our society.

Research Facilities

An open space workstation is available for each student. In addition, the student has access to other spaces and laboratories managed by the research groups which she/he is in collaboration with. The research groups can offer further funds, in addition to the ones guaranteed by the scholarships, in order to support students’ research and education.

There are several laboratories equipped with experimental facilities and data acquisition systems; among them, the principal are:
Cleanroom, semiconductor and detector development laboratory, astrophysics and astronomical observatory; cryogenics and interferometry laboratory; optical and dielectric spectroscopic; X-ray fluorescence and diffractometry; electronic microscopy; SERMS - space-related technology; NiPS - Energy Harvesting; ICT - Simulation and Data Analysis.

A wide range of books and reference texts for students is available at the Mathematics, Physics and Geology Library. Access to the other libraries of the University of Perugia and online databases are available as well. Moreover, the main international journals and periodicals related to the fields of interest of the PhD course are available in electronic and print formats.
Finally, thanks to the association with the main worldwide laboratories, all databases necessary to the research activities can be consulted.

Databases: the main international public databases, relevant for the research activities, are available online.
Software: software licenses necessary to the doctoral research activities, such as Mathematica, LabView, Ansys and many others are made available by university, INFN or by research groups.

Computing: a medium-size (~500 cores) computing center is available at the Physics and Geology Department providing suitable resources in terms of computing power and storage.

General services, organized and managed in collaboration with the local divisions of CNR and INFN are also available, such as mechanical and electronic workshops, chemistry and microanalysis laboratory.


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