The Department of Physics and Astronomy is located in the university campus of the Polo Scientifico in Sesto Fiorentino, although the Astronomy and Astrophysics component still partially occupies its historical seat in Arcetri. 

The Department, like almost all physics departments in Italy, lives in symbiosis with the most important Italian research organizations (CNR, INFN, INAF, ...). Its activity is also in close connection with the LENS (European Laboratory of Non-Linear Spectroscopy): an infrastructure of excellence, unique in Italy, which is also located on the campus.



The activities of the Department cover theoretical physics and all the most current areas of experimental and applied physics.

Regarding the latter, a flagship on a European scale is certainly the LABEC (Laboratory of Nuclear Techniques for Cultural Heritage), a joint venture between the University and INFN (National Institute of Nuclear Physics). Researchers at LABEC have at their disposal a 6-million volt particle accelerator; they carry out, for example, non-destructive studies of chemical elements within paintings, ceramics and other works of art, of extreme historical interest. Recently, in addition to the dating of archaeological finds carbon-14 labeling, very accurate monitoring of atmospheric particulate matter is also carried out for various institutions. 


With regard to basic research, the Department hosts an important theoretical group, involved in frontier research in every aspect of contemporary theoretical physics, from elementary particles to the physics of matter and complexity. The group keeps alive the tradition of theoretical physics in Florence, which began with Fermi and continued with Gatto, Veneziano, and many more.

An initiative born from this group led to the foundation of the GGI (Galileo Galilei Institute) in Arcetri: a joint University-INFN institute, dedicated mainly to hosting conferences and workshops about theoretical physics, which has been widely appreciated at the international level. 


Coming to experimental physics, many members of the Department are part of international collaborations that conduct cutting-edge experiments, thanks also to INFN. One example of note is the international reference laboratory CERN, in Geneva, a world leader in experimental research in elementary particle physics; just as important are the collaborations that deal with astro-particle physics. 


Another tradition of great significance in Florence is that of physics of the nucleus; currently, relevant activities are conducted in the INFN National Laboratories of Legnaro and Catania. 


The Department also hosts a large number of physicists of condensed matter, whose research activities include ultra-cold atoms, atomic interferometry, Bose-Einstein condensates, quantum information and computing, and research related to complexity. Quite relevant, due also to their possible impact in medicine, are the studies the field of bio-photonics and more generally of biophysics.   


Finally, the Department hosts a group of astrophysicists, working in close collaboration with the Arcetri Observatory and the INAF (National Institute of Astrophysics) on topics such as solar physics, plasma physics, exoplanets, galaxies and cosmology. Members of the department hold key positions in ESA (European Space Agency) missions and in ESO (European Southern Observatory) projects.



Last update



I cookie di questo sito servono al suo corretto funzionamento e non raccolgono alcuna tua informazione personale. Se navighi su di esso accetti la loro presenza.  Maggiori informazioni