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Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti - Testata per la stampa

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Fabio Zwirner

Fabio Zwirner

Professore ordinario di Fisica nell'UniversitÓ di Padova

- s.c.n.r. 28 giugno 2005

Born in Padova on January 4, 1958
Married with Giuditta Viola, two children

Education

-Ph.D. in Physics (1987), International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA-ISAS), Trieste, Italy
-Master in Physics (1983), International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA-ISAS), Trieste, Italy
-Laurea in Fisica (1981), 110/110 summa cum laude, University of Padova, Italy

Career path

-Full Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Padova (11/2005-now)
-Paid Scientific Associate, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, (1/2004-12/2004, on leave from the University of Rome La Sapienza)
-Full Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Rome La Sapienza (11/2000-10/2005)
-Researcher (1988-1993), First Researcher (1993-1998), Director of Researches (1998-2000) in INFN, Sezione di Padova
-Staff Member, Theory Division, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland (1990-1996, on leave from INFN, Padova)
-Postdoctoral Fellow, Theory Division, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland (1989-1990, on leave from INFN, Padova)
-Postdoctoral Fellow, Theory Group of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Physics Department of the University of California, Berkeley, USA (1986-1989)

Research

My research has mostly dealt with the theory and the phenomenology of the fundamental interactions, motivated by the desire to understand, within a consistent theoretical framework, the mass generation for the weak gauge bosons, the quarks and the leptons, and the possible unification of gravity with the other forces at the quantum level. I have been focusing on theoretically motivated extensions of the Standard Model, with emphasis on those based on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstrings. On the one hand, I have been pushing further the confrontation of the existing models with experiment, identifying new features and possible tests at contemporary and future experimental facilities. On the other hand, I have been exploring how some long-standing theoretical problems (the gauge hierarchy problem, the flavour problem, the cosmological constant problem, and others) may be addressed in the framework of superstring theories and their effective supergravity theories in four and higher dimensions.

For a summary of the main scientific contributions, with some selected publications, see below.

Other activities

-Member of the CERN Scientific Policy Committee (since 2007).
-Editor (since 2003) and Assistant Director (since 2007) of JHEP, The Journal of High Energy Physics.
-Corresponding Member of Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (since 2005).
-Expert evaluator for CIVR-Italy, INFN-Italy, DFG-Germany, INTAS, SNF-Switzerland, The European Commission (FP6 and FP7), NORDITA.
-Member (since 2002) and Secretary (since 2007) of the High Energy Particle Physics (HEPP) Board of the European Physical Society (EPS). As such, member of the International Organizing Committee of the International Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics.
-Divisional Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters (2002-2008).
-Scientific Coordinator of the INFN team of the European Networks "Across the Energy Frontier" (10/2000-9/2004) and "The Quest for Unification" (10/2004-9/2008).
-Member of Plenary ECFA (European Committee for Future Accelerators) (1998-2006).
-Coordinator of the Padua INFN Theory Group and referee for the National Grant Committee of the INFN Theory Group (1997-2000).
-Member of the CERN LEP Experiments Committee (1993-1996).

Scientific results

The main scientific contributions are summarized below, with a selected list of publications.

The study of baryon- and lepton-number non-conservation in extensions of the Standard Model. In particular: the identification of new mechanisms for baryon-number violating processes such as neutron-antineutron oscillations, and of a phenomenologically viable supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model with broken R-parity and baryon number.

-`Observable DeltaB=2 Transitions without Nucleon Decay in a Minimal Supersymmetric Extension of the Standard Model', Physics Letters 132B (1983) 103.
-`Baryon and Lepton Number Non-Conservation' (with G. Costa), Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, Vol.9, n.3 (1986) 1.

The quantitative formulation of the naturalness concept in supersymmetric extensions of the Standard Model.

-`Observables in Low-Energy Superstring Models' (with J. Ellis, K. Enqvist and D. V. Nanopoulos),
Modern Physics Letters A1 (1986) 57.

Pre-LEP studies of weak neutral currents in the Standard Model, and in its extensions with additional U(1) factors motivated by E6 unification. In particular: the identification of new phenomenological consequences of mass and kinetic mixing between massive neutral gauge bosons; the realization that, after the inclusion of radiative corrections, the value of the electroweak mixing angle extracted from neutral current data favoured (minimal) grand unified models with supersymmetry at the weak scale over those without supersymmetry.

-`On the mass and the signature of a new Z' (with F. del Aguila and M. Quiros), Nuclear Physics B284 (1987) 530.
-`Detecting E6 neutral gauge bosons through lepton pairs at hadron colliders' (with F. del Aguila and M. Quir\'s), Nuclear Physics B287 (1987) 419.
-`Neutral currents within and beyond the Standard Model' (with G. Costa, J. Ellis, G. L. Fogli and D. V. Nanopoulos), Nuclear Physics B297 (1988) 244.

The first systematic study of the phenomenology of the non-minimal supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model with a Higgs sector containing a gauge-singlet field.

-`Higgs bosons in a non-minimal supersymmetric model' (with J. Ellis, J.F. Gunion, H.E.Haber and L. Roszkowski), Physical Review D39 (1989) 844.

The formulation of the first consistent heterotic string compactifications with spontaneously broken N=1 supersymmetry, via the string generalization of the Scherk-Schwarz mechanism, and the identification of their effective supergravity theories.

-`Superstrings with spontaneously broken supersymmetry and their effective theories', (with S. Ferrara, C. Kounnas and M. Porrati), Nuclear Physics B318 (1989) 75.
-`Supersymmetry breaking in string-derived supergravities' (with M. Porrati), Nuclear Physics B326 (1989) 162.

The identification of the large radiative corrections, mostly due to the top quark and its supersymmetric partners, affecting the Higgs sector of the Minimal Supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model. The detailed study of their phenomenological consequences, in particular for Higgs searches at LEP and the LHC, with the formulation of precise two-loop predictions for the MSSM Higgs boson masses in terms of the model parameters.

-`On radiative gauge symmetry breaking in the minimal supersymmetric model' (with G. Gamberini and G. Ridolfi), Nuclear Physics B331 (1990) 331.
-`Radiative corrections to the masses of supersymmetric Higgs bosons' (with J. Ellis and G. Ridolfi), Physics Letters B257 (1991) 83.
-`On radiative corrections to supersymmetric Higgs boson masses and their implications for LEP searches' (with J. Ellis and G. Ridolfi), Physics Letters B262 (1991) 477.
-`The supersymmetric charged Higgs boson mass and LEP phenomenology' (with A. Brignole, J. Ellis and G. Ridolfi), Physics Letters B271 (1991) 123.
-`Testing the Higgs sector of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model at Large Hadron Colliders' (with Z. Kunszt) Nuclear Physics B385 (1992) 3.
-`On the O(alpha2t) two-loop corrections to the neutral Higgs boson masses in the MSSM' (with A. Brignole, G. Degrassi and P. Slavich) Nuclear Physics B631 (2002) 195.

The understanding of how string threshold corrections to the gauge coupling constants can be incorporated in the four-dimensional effective theory in a way consistent with local supersymmetry and target-space duality, thanks to four-dimensional versions of the string anomaly-cancellation mechanisms.

-`On loop corrections to string effective field theories: field-dependent gauge couplings and sigma-model anomalies' (with J.-P. Derendinger, S. Ferrara and C. Kounnas), Nuclear Physics B372 (1992) 145.
-`All-loop gauge couplings from anomaly cancellation in string effective theories' (with J.-P. Derendinger, S. Ferrara and C. Kounnas), Physics Letters B271 (1991) 307.

The study of the electroweak phase transition in the Minimal Supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model, with the realization that electroweak baryogenesis could take place only for light Higgs and stop masses (subsequently excluded by experimental data).

-`On the electroweak phase transition in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model' (with J.R. Espinosa and M. Quiros) Physics Letters B307 (1993) 106.
-`Aspects of the electroweak phase transition in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model' (with A. Brignole, J.R. Espinosa and M. Quiros) Physics Letters B324 (1994) 181.

The exploration of the possibility of dynamically generating some parameters of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model, such as the scale of soft-supersymmetry breaking terms and the largest fermion masses.

-`Towards a dynamical determination of parameters in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model'
(with C. Kounnas and I. Pavel) Physics Letters B335 (1994) 403.
-`Mass formulae and natural hierarchy in string effective supergravities' (with S. Ferrara and C. Kounnas) Nuclear Physics B429 (1994) 589.
-`Possible dynamical determination of mt, mb and mtau' (with C. Kounnas, I. Pavel and G. Ridolfi) Physics Letters B354 (1995) 322.

The identification of some universal features of N=1 supergravity models with a very light gravitino: model-independent phenomenological signatures, leading to the present absolute lower bound on the gravitino mass; generalization of the low-energy theorems for supersymmetry in the presence of matter fields.

-`Aspects of spontaneously broken N=1 global supersymmetry in the presence of gauge interactions',
(with A. Brignole and F. Feruglio) Nuclear Physics B501 (1997) 332.
-`On the effective interactions of a light gravitino with matter fermions', (with A. Brignole and F. Feruglio)
Journal of High Energy Physics 11 (1997) 001.
-`Signals of a superlight gravitino at e+ e- colliders when the other superparticles are heavy', (with A. Brignole and F. Feruglio) Nuclear Physics B516 (1998) 13.
-`Signals of a superlight gravitino at hadron colliders when the other superparticles are heavy', (with A. Brignole, M.L. Mangano and F. Feruglio) Nuclear Physics B526 (1998) 136.

The study of symmetry-breaking phenomena in field-theoretical orbifold constructions with compactified extra dimensions, with the identification and the interpretation of novel localized symmetry-breaking sources.

-`Generalized symmetry breaking on orbifolds' (with J.A. Bagger and F. Feruglio) Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (2002) 101601.
-`Brane induced supersymmetry breaking' (with J.A. Bagger and F. Feruglio) Journal of High Energy Physics 02 (2002) 010.
-`Anomalies in orbifold field theories' (with C.A. Scrucca, M. Serone and L. Silvestrini) Phys. Lett. B525 (2002) 169.

The study of supersymmetry breaking and moduli stabilization in N=1 compactifications of higher-dimensional supergravities, associated with the corresponding superstring theories, in the presence of general fluxes and localized sources. In particular: the identification of the effective superpotential for geometric and non-geometric fluxes; the first complete example of full stabilization of the geometrical moduli by fluxes; the clarification of the origin of D terms from the D-brane action, of their role in moduli stabilization and of the limit of validity of the effective two-derivative supergravity; the generalization of the Freed-Witten anomaly-cancellation condition to a full set of localized Bianchi identities, constraining the simultaneous presence of fluxes and localized sources, connected by a web of string dualities and with a common origin in M-theory.

-`Superpotentials in IIA compactifications with general fluxes' (with J.P. Derendinger, C. Kounnas and P.M. Petropoulos) Nuclear Physics B715 (2005) 211.
-`N = 1 effective potential from dual type-IIA D6/O6 orientifolds with general fluxes' (with G. Villadoro), Journal of High Energy Physics 0506 (2005) 047.
-`De-Sitter vacua via consistent D-terms' (with G. Villadoro) Physical Review Letters 95 (2005) 231602.
-`D terms from D-branes, gauge invariance and moduli stabilization in flux compactifications' (with G. Villadoro), JHEP 0603 (2006) 087.

Some talks

-`Extensions of the Standard Model', invited rapporteur talk at the EPS High Energy Physics Conference, Brussels, Belgium, 1995.
-`The Higgs Puzzle: Experiment and Theory', invited plenary talk at the 20th International Symposium on Lepton and Photon Interactions at High Energies (Lepton-Photon 01), Rome, Italy, 2001.
-`Supersymmetry breaking with extra dimensions', invited plenary talk at the 9th International Symposium on Particles, Strings and Cosmology (PASCOS 03), Mumbai, India, 2003.
-`N=1 effective potentials for superstring compactifications with general fluxes', String Phenomenology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munich, Germany, 2005.
-`Landscape vs. swampland: the power of local symmetries', String Phenomenology, KITP, Santa Barbara, USA, 2006.

Some lectures

-`Phenomenological Supersymmetry: the SUSY HIggs sector', invited lectures at the 30th Course of the International School of Subnuclear Physics, Erice, Italy, 1993.
-`Supersymmetric Models and Supersymmetry Breaking', invited lectures at the 12th Winter School in Theoretical Physics, Jerusalem, Israel, 1994-5.
-`Beyond the Standard Model', invited lectures at the 1997 European School of High-Energy Physics, Menstrup, Denmark, 1997.
-`The Hunt for the Higgs particle', invited lectures at the CERN Academic Training, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, 2007.
-`Physics expectations at the TeV scale', invited lectures as Cours de la federation LPNHE-LPTENS-LPTHE, Paris, France, 2008.

Some former Ph.D. students:

-Andrea Brignole (tenured position in INFN, Padua)
-Andrea Donini (tenured position in Autonoma University, Madrid)
-Pietro Slavich (tenured position in CNRS, France)
-Giovanni Villadoro (postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, USA)


 
 
 



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