doe infn


DOE-INFN Summer Exchange Program for 2019

18th Edition


INFN - Cagliari

The Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) is the Italian agency devoted to fundamental research in nuclear and subnuclear physics, with cells ("sezioni") located all around Italy.
The INFN Sezione di Cagliari is in the main city of the beautiful island of Sardegna, one of the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea connected with the Italy mainland by ferry and plane (five ports all over the island - Cagliari, Porto Torres, Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Arbatax, and three main airports Cagliari, Alghero, Olbia). The INFN-CA is situated in the University Campus of Monserrato, just 10 minutes drive from Cagliari and easily reachable by car and public transport.
Research activities in Cagliari are pursued in the areas of Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics and Detector Physics. Several groups are participating in experimental programs in collaboration with US institutions.
Candidates must be enrolled as students at an US University and must have begun, at the time of application, at least the third year of a US University curriculum in physics, engineering or computing science. They can join a team at the INFN-CA for 2 months between June 1st and October 31st, 2019. For further details refer to the Summer Exchange Program homepage. Opportunities include participation in physics analysis, activities of running experiments as well as involvement in detector developments.

The INFN CA site will be closed around August 5th-25th 2019.

The available positions in Cagliari this year are the following:


1 position: LHCb, in LHCb-Cagliari

Title: Studies of Heavy Nuclei collisions at LHCb
Tutor: Giulia Manca (
Description: LHCb is one of the four LHC experiments which started operations in 2010 and it has collected more than 10 fb-1 of pp collision data at several centre of mass energies. In addition to the pp run, LHCb has also operated during the LHC Heavy Ion run and has collected data both in pPb and PbPb collisions, the latter since 2015. It does as well run an innovative fixed target program recording collisions of proton and lead with noble gases like Argon, Neon, Helium. With its forward geometry optimised for the study of heavy-flavor production and decay, LHCb is an ideal position to complement the Quark Gluon Plasma studies performed in ALICE, ATLAS and CMS in this area. The candidate will be involved in the activities of the group with a truly international composition. She/he will prevalently study the production of bottomonium, charmonium and open charm in the PbPb and pPb samples collected in 2015, 2016 and 2018, with particular attention to the D0, J/psi and Upsilon mesons. In these samples, the candidate will extract the signal yields corrected for the efficiencies she/he measured in the dedicated Monte Carlo samples. The ratio of the states can be measured, which gives crucial indications on the formation of Quark Gluon Plasma.
* S.Chen et al. [LHCb collaboration],Study of Upsilon production in pPb collisions at sqrt(s) = 8.16 TeV,LHCb-PAPER-2018-035.
* A.Bursche et al. [LHCb collaboration], Study of coherent J/psi production in PbPb collisions at sqrt(s)=5 TeV with the LHCb experiment, LHCB-CONF-2018-003.
* Y.Zhang et al. [LHCb collaboration], Study of cold nuclear matter effects using prompt D0 meson production in pPb collisions at LHCb LHCb-CONF-2016-003.
* J.Blouw et al., Proposal for LHCb Participation to the Heavy Ion Runs, LHCb-INT-2015-019 (only visible to LHCb collaborators).
Recommended period: June 1st - August 4th or September 5th - October 31st 2019.

1 position: DarkSide, in DarkSide-Cagliari

Title: Dark Matter searches with the DarkSide experiment
Tutor: Matteo Cadeddu (
Description: DarkSide-50 is a two-phase time projection chamber (TPC) filled by 50 kg of liquid argon (LAr) and installed at Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso. It has released recently three major results in the search for dark matter scattering on nuclei (and electrons) in the high mass range [1] and in the low-mass range [2] ([3]) obtaining in the last case the word leading limit on the WIMP-nucleon (WIMP-electron [3]) cross section versus the WIMP mass parameter space. While DarkSide-50 will continue to take data, research and development to build and operate a series of larger DarkSide LAr TPCs for WIMP detection is also being carried out. The intent is to progress to multi-ton detectors with the highest sensitivity for high and low-mass WIMP detection. Indeed, DarkSide-20k [4], a LAr TPC capable of collecting an exposure of 100 tonne year, has been proposed by the DarkSide Collaboration. This detector is expected to operate in a so-called background free regime, so that a positive claim can be made with as few events as possible. This means that for the nominal exposure the number of instrumental background interactions will be kept to less than 0.1 events, apart from background events induced by Coherent Elastic neutrino-Nucleus Scattering (CEnNS). The candidate will be involved in the analysis of DarkSide-50 data and/or in simulation studies for the sensitivity of the future DarkSide-20k detector.
[1] P. Agnes et al. (DarkSide Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 121 (2018) no.8, 081307.
[2] P. Agnes et al. (DarkSide Collaboration) Phys. Rev. D 98 (2018), 102006.
[3] P. Agnes et al. (DarkSide Collaboration) Phys. Rev. Lett. 121 (2018) no.11, 111303.
[4] P. Agnes et al. (DarkSide Collaboration) Eur. Phys. J. Plus 133 (2018) 131.
Recommended period: : September 5th - October 31st 2019.


The application form is available on the Summer Exchange Program homepage.



Administration and Logistic:
Maria Grazia Dessi (Administration Office)
Maria Assunta Lecca (Personnel Office)
Phone +39-06-675 4985, 4986, 4819, 4820

author: gm