Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN)
INFN is the Italian research agency dedicated to the study of the fundamental constituents of matter and the laws that govern them. It works under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) and it conducts theoretical and experimental research in the fields of subnuclear, nuclear and astroparticle physics. INFN employs about 5.000 scientists whose work is recognised internationally not only for their contribution to various European laboratories, but also to numerous research centres worldwide.
INFN carries out research activities at two complementary types of facilities: national laboratories and divisions. The four national laboratories, based in Catania, Frascati (Rome), Legnaro (Padua) and Gran Sasso, house large equipment and infrastructures available to the national and international scientific community. The twenty divisions and eleven groups (linked to the divisions or laboratories) are based in various university physics departments and they guarantee close cooperation between INFN and the academic world.
The INFN’s research activities are undertaken within a framework of international competition, in close collaboration with the Italian universities. They cover the following lines:
• particle physics,
• astroparticle physics,
• nuclear physics,
• theoretical physics,
• technological and inter-disciplinary research.
In the Institute organization, these research lines correspond to as many national commissions, whose role is to propose to the INFN decisional committee priorities and funding for the experiments suggested by the community of physicists.
Research at international level
INFN cooperates with international agencies and universities and is present in five continents and more than thirty countries. Among the international activities, some of the most important research are conducted at CERN (in Geneva, Switzeland), the European centre for particle physics research. Italy is one of the European laboratory’s founding member states and, through INFN, it continues to be one of its most active members. In Italy, international collaboration is mainly concentrated at the INFN’s four national laboratories, where major experimental facilities are available to the whole scientific community. One example is VIRGO, the interferometric antenna placed inCascina (Pisa, Toscany), a joint-venture with the French CNRS IN2P3. INFN is able to attract a great number or researchers coming from other countries: each year about 1.200 foreign researchers use the structures of the INFN’s four national laboratories.
INFN has a leading role in the training of young people: every year about one thousand undergraduates, graduate students and research fellows are involved in the INFN’s research activities. This goal will be furthered through the fledgling Gran Sasso Science Institute, a new international doctoral facility.
Particle physics economy and society
The INFN also has a positive impact on the Italian economy, thanks to its close cooperation with high-tech companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It participates with them in joint initiatives for Italian projects but, above all, in major international ventures. For instance, Italian companies gave an extremely significant contribution to the construction of the most technologically advanced components used in the LHC particle accelerator at the CERN in Geneva. The technology and expertise developed by the INFN also has major implications for the medical and healthcare industry and for the technology sector in general. Of the numerous examples, the development of a technique that uses carbon ions and protons to treat tumours (hadron therapy) stands out as particularly significant. The INFN has over a decade of experience in this field, gained directly at its laboratories in Catania, and built the hadron therapy machine installed at the CNAO in Pavia. The INFN is also a leading national and international player in the GRID, supercomputing network project, and in expanding its use to applications in other scientific fields, e-commerce and culture. Moreover the INFN uses its analysis and research instruments and facilities to addresses issues regarding the cultural and environmental heritage.
GSSI - Gran Sasso Science Institute
ALESSANDRIA - Gruppo collegato di Alessandria
BRESCIA - Gruppo collegato di Brescia
COSENZA - Gruppo collegato di Cosenza
L-AQUILA - Gruppo collegato di L'Aquila
MESSINA - Gruppo collegato di Messina
PARMA - Gruppo collegato di Parma
SALERNO - Gruppo collegato di Salerno
SIENA - Gruppo collegato di Siena
UDINE - Gruppo collegato di Udine
SANITA - Gruppo collegato Sanità
LNGS - Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso
LNS - Laboratori Nazionali del Sud
LNF - Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati
LNL - Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro
BARI - Sezione di Bari
BOLOGNA - Sezione di Bologna
CAGLIARI - Sezione di Cagliari
CATANIA - Sezione di Catania
FERRARA - Sezione di Ferrara
FIRENZE - Sezione di Firenze
GENOVA - Sezione di Genova
LECCE - Sezione di Lecce
MILANO - Sezione di Milano
MILANO-BICOCCA - Sezione di Milano-Bicocca
NAPOLI - Sezione di Napoli
PADOVA - Sezione di Padova
PAVIA - Sezione di Pavia
PERUGIA - Sezione di Perugia
PISA - Sezione di Pisa
ROMA - Sezione di Roma
ROMA-TOR-VERGATA - Sezione di Roma Tor Vergata
ROMA-TRE - Sezione di Roma Tre
TORINO - Sezione di Torino
TRIESTE - Sezione di Trieste
TIFPA - Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Applications