Prof. Dr. Fernando Ferroni

15. March 2024.

On Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8, 2024, the guest of the Institute of Physics Belgrade was prof. Dr. Fernando Ferroni, from the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Italy. Professor Ferroni was the long-term president of this important scientific institution, the largest network of institutes in Italy that has been cooperating with the Institute for a long time. Professor Ferroni is now involved in the implementation of the Einstein telescope project, and the visit to the Institute was organized as part of the presentation of this project.

The Einstein Telescope (ET) is a new underground infrastructure that represents the so-called third generation of gravitational wave hunting telescopes. Predicted by Einstein’s theory more than a hundred years ago, gravitational waves were finally directly detected in September 2015, which represented a true scientific sensation. In 2017, the Nobel Prize was awarded for this discovery.

VIRGO and LIGO telescopes, which are huge and very sensitive interferometers, were used for that discovery. A new telescope is being built now, the length of the “arm” of which will not be only 3, but 10 kilometres. Building such an instrument involves numerous challenges, creating an exceptional vacuum, maintaining an extremely low temperature and high precision.

Funds for such a multimillion-dollar undertaking are provided by the European Union, but also by individual countries such as Italy and the Netherlands. One planned location for the new telescope is Sardinia, and a number of countries are expected to be involved in the whole endeavor. Serbia could be one of the countries participating in this great scientific and technological challenge.

Dr. Ferroni spoke with the representatives of the Institute about this project and the possibilities for the participation of researchers from Serbia during his visit. On that occasion, a meeting was held with prof. Dr. Petar Adžić from the Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade, Dr. Aleksandar Bogojević, Director of the Institute of Physics Belgrade, Dr. Antun Balaž, Deputy Director and Dr. Saša Lazović, Deputy Director for Innovation and Commercialization. The meeting was also attended by Luciano Cattani, Attaché for Science at the Italian Embassy.

During the two-day visit, prof. Dr. Fernando Ferroni also spoke with the researchers in the field of gravity, and met with physics students who are interested in this topic. Professor Ferroni also held a colloquium entitled “Einstein Telescope: A look at the dawn of the Universe” at the Institute’s “Zvonko Marić” room.

Photo by: Bojan Džodan/IPB