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Prof. Giorgio Gratta joins the ISSNAF Scientific Council

Warmest congratulations for Prof. Giorgio Gratta on his appointment to the ISSNAF Scientific Council.

Giorgio Gratta is a Professor of Physics at Stanford University where he currently serves as Physics Department Chair. He graduated in Physics, magna cum laude, from the University of Rome.

Gratta is an experimentalist, with interests in the broad area of the physics of fundamental particles and their interactions. While his career started with experiments at particle colliders, since at Stanford, Gratta has tackled the study of neutrinos and gravity at the shortest distances. With two landmark experiments using neutrinos produced by nuclear reactors, he made observations in the area of neutrino oscillations, and with one of them he was first in reporting oscillations using artificial neutrinos and establishing the finite nature of neutrino masses. The same experiment was also the first to detect neutrinos from the interior of our planet, providing a new tool for the Earth sciences. At a very different energy scale, Gratta and his group substantially advanced the techniques to detect ultra-high energy neutrinos in cosmic radiation using acoustic signals in large bodies of water.

More recently, Gratta has led the development of liquid Xenon detectors in the search for the neutrinoless double beta decay, a nuclear decay that if observed would change our understanding of the quantum nature of neutrinos and help explain the asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the universe. Gratta is currently the scientific leader of one of the three very large experiments on the subject world-wide.

In a parallel development, Gratta’s group studies new long-range interactions (or an anomalous behavior of gravity) at distances below 50 micrometers with an array of techniques, from optical levitation of microscopic particles in vacuum, to the use of Mossbauer spectroscopy and, most recently, neutron scattering on nanostructured materials.

Gratta is the recipient of several honors: fraction of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize (KamLAND); Fellow of the American Physical Society (2007); Terman Fellow, Stanford University (1999-2001); Enrico Persico Prize, Accademia dei Lincei (1981).

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