Favourite Thing: Liquid nitrogen ice cream, so delicious!
Well, I’m Italian, so I went to uni in Milan where I studied Physics from 2007 to 2010, in 2010 I moved to London where I did my MSc in Physics at UCL, and the year afterwards I started my PhD at Queen Mary
PhD student in Particle Physics
Queen Mary University of London
Me and my work
I work with the most abundant yet tiniest particles in the universe: neutrinos!
Have you ever heard of neutrinos? Neutrinos are the tiniest particles in the universe, yet one of the least understood.
What do we know about neutrinos?
Well… they are tiny and they are *everywhere*! If you look at your thumb right now, every second there are a hundred billion neutrinos passing through your thumbnail!
But where do they come from? Neutrinos are produced in various different reactions, for example most neutrinos reaching the Earth are produced inside the Sun (they are products of the thermonuclear reactions), but we have neutrinos coming from cosmic rays (no, cosmic rays are not a lethal weapon, just ask me more about it if you are interested!) or from supernova explosion (yes, just like the song by Muse).
Neutrinos are very special for different reasons:
– they are *everywhere* and so make up quite a lot of our universe, but we don’t know how much they weight
– they behave very weirdly sometimes, we say they “oscillate”, this means they are produced on one flavour and change flavour while they move (eg in my experiment we produce “blue” neutrinos on one side of Japan and we throw them on the other side of Japan and once they arrived, they changed into “red” neutrinos!)
– matter and anti-matter behave in a peculiar way with neutrinos. Do you know what’s antimatter? Want to talk about it?
My Typical Day
Typically, I crash my head onto the computer because nothing is working as it should :/
I work on an experiment that is set in Japan! It’s a really big experiment because it goes from one side to the other of Japan (around 300 km from the sites). This means that I get to go very often to Japan to play with our experiment, but when I’m in the office I mainly spend my day working at my desktop computer trying to interpret our nature (ie our data) as best as I can!
What I'd do with the money
Science comedy show
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Extravagant, jolly, geeky
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Me at karaoke
What's your favourite food?
Pizza pizza pizza PIZZA
What is the most fun thing you've done?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Liquid nitrogen ice-cream!
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My physics teacher in High School, he was so different than anyone else
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
I’d open an ice-cream shop!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Go to space! Go to space! Go to space!
Tell us a joke.
If an experiment works, something has definitely gone wrong
So, as I mentioned already I work on a very big experiment in Japan. It’s called T2K and we are very lucky because we have a very pretty detector called Super-Kamiokande (try to google it and you’ll see the many pics of this very beautiful detector!).
I was lucky enough to visit it last year and this pic below is a pic of me on the top of the detector. This detector is not easily reached actually. It’s inside a mine and there are a 1000 m of rocks above it!!!
This other pic shows me in a nice white suit! The white suit is to protect the experiment from me, not the other way round! That’s because our body emits a very low radiation that could interfere with the very very sensitive instrumentation we use!
And finally here, some people at work! The first the time I saw them they reminded me of Oompa Loompas 😀
Since many of you asked me about it, this is a pic of my friend Kat making liquid nitrogen ice-cream 😀