Born in Rome in 1955. Maturità Classica (60/60) at the Liceo Mamiani. Laurea in Fisica (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Rome; Thesis on surface excitons, under the supervision of M. Altarelli, F. Bassani and R. Del Sole (pubs #1, 11, 12). Since then employed at:
Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ (1979-1981); Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (1981-1982); Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart (1982-1984); Centro Fisica Stati Aggregati ed Impianto Ionico (presently CNR-CeFSA), Trento (1984-1988); University of Trento (Associate Professor, 1988-1991), La Sapienza, Roma (Associate Professor, 1991-1999; Full Professor, 1999-present).
My field is the theory of
electronic states. Between 1979 and 1981 I have contributed, with M. Schlüter and D. R. Hamann, to the development of electron-ion potentials which rapidly became a standard tool in electronic-structure calculations. In subsequent years, as a young researcher in the groups of F. Bassani (Pisa), O.K. Andersen (Stuttgart) and G. Jacucci (Trento), I have used these "norm-conserving pseudopotentials" for the study of defects, surfaces and interfaces in semiconductors. The study of solids has periodically led me back to atoms, many-fermion theory and Density Functional Theory. I worked on a novel pseudohamiltonian for quantum Monte Carlo
in collaboration with D.M. Ceperley between 1986 and 1989, on pseudopotential theory and QMC for realistic systems in the subsequent five years, and then on electronic correlations in model quantum systems like the 2D Hubbard Hamiltonian and the homogeneous electron gas in two and three dimensions. My most recent studies concern on one hand the electron-phonon interaction in superconducting MgB2, CaAlSi
and graphite intercalation compounds
as CaC6; on the other, the homogeneous electron gas with a modified electron-electron interaction (1, 2), of interest for new formulations of the Density Functional Theory (see e.g. here).
I have published about 50 papers in collaboration with my students and with colleagues from various part of the world, with shorter or longer stages at Berkeley (1987), Urbana (1989), KITP Santa Barbara (June-July 1994; August 2002) and Cornell (July 1998). I have presented the corresponding results at conferences and schools in Europe and in the United States of America. Whatever that means, my scientific results have altogether received, so far, about 6000 citations*: my first most-cited article, Pseudopotentials that work, has got more than 2700 citations according to the ISI and more than 3500 according to Google Scholar (links below; in 2004 it was even listed among the 100 most cited Physical Review articles of all times); the study on the correlation energy and spin polarization of the 2D electron gas is my second most-cited research work; my third most-cited research work concerns relativistic effects on semiconductor gaps and was one of the 100 most cited physics articles within the publication year (Current Contents 27, n.45, Nov.9, 1987).
Over the years I have supervised ~ 50 theses and dissertations and I have held a few specialistic lecture courses in Italy and abroad, plus the following graduate and undergraduate courses: Many Body Theory (1987-1991), Electromagnetism (1991-94; 2001), Condensed Matter Physics (1993-95; 2000), Quantum Theory of Solids (1995-2004), Elementary Mechanics I and II to Physics freshmen (2002-2006), Numerical Methods for Quantum Systems (2005, 2006), a basic course on Atomic, molecular and solid-state physics (2007-2008, its lecture notes were published as a booklet in 2014, whose second edition has appeared in 2017), Condensed Matter Physics (2008), the first course of Mechanics and Thermodynamics to Math freshmen (2013-2015), and an advanced course on Computational Condensed-Matter Physics (2014, 2015). From 2016 onwards I am back to my basic course on Atomic, molecular and solid-state physics (2016, 2017) plus an advanced course on Computational Statistical Mechanics (2016, 2017).
Heavy teaching and scientific and panel responsibilities have absorbed lots of energy. Between 1997 and 1999 I was the coordinator of the national program "Statistical mechanics and strongly correlated systems". In July, 2005, I have been elected Head of the Condensed Matter Area of my Department. Between 2007 and 2009 I served as Review Committee member for the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility of Grenoble. But by far the most demanding community service came with my election to the Italian Parliament, which implied a 5-year leave of absence from the University between April 2008 and March 2013. I have resumed my research and teaching activity at La Sapienza in the academic year 2013-2014. In 2015 I have been elected Director of the Physics Undergraduate and Graduate studies and in 2016 a member of the Faculty Council.Google Scholar ; ISI citation report (last update: 2/2016)