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National Institute for Astrophysics
Country: Italy
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145 Projects, page 1 of 29
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 888258
    Overall Budget: 137,605 EURFunder Contribution: 137,605 EUR

    I will carry out a research program to understand how cosmological structures evolve and how the corresponding observables are modified in an inhomogeneous universe. This project will place the field of inhomogeneous cosmologies into the era of precision cosmology. Indeed, it is very difficult to obtain the evolution of structures when the background is inhomogeneous and it has not been possible to fully constrain inhomogeneous cosmologies because of this lack of understanding. As I will argue, the most promising approach is via Numerical Cosmology. This justifies why this fellowship will be carried out at the Astronomical Observatory of Trieste under the supervision of Stefano Borgani, one of the world experts in Numerical Cosmology. The scientific motivation behind this effort is that cosmology is undergoing a crisis, facing, at the same time, unexplained components (dark matter and dark energy) and a >4sigma tension between local and global determinations of the Hubble constant. It is then imperative to test basic assumptions in cosmology, such as large-scale homogeneity and isotropy. These are indeed among the objectives of many major space- and earth-based international collaborations (Euclid, LSST, SKA), which will produce detailed maps of a good fraction of the observable universe. Only after carrying out these tests can one hope to discover the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 301344
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 886298
    Overall Budget: 171,473 EURFunder Contribution: 171,473 EUR

    Classical pulsating stars such as Cepheid and RR Lyrae are sensitive probes for both the stellar astrophysics and the cosmic distance scale. Cepheid variables play a vital role in calibrating extragalactic distance ladder to estimate the local value of the Hubble constant – present expansion rate of the Universe. The current Hubble constant measurement in the late evolutionary Universe based on the Cepheid-Supernovae distance ladder is significantly larger than the Planck mission results from the early Universe. This tension hints at possible new physics beyond the standard cosmological model and warrants a rigorous investigation of potential systematic uncertainties in Cepheid-based distance ladder. The proposed project will use state-of-the-art stellar pulsation models to compute and exploit an unprecedently fine grid of Cepheid and RR Lyrae models. These models together with future Gaia data-releases will be used to calibrate theoretical and empirical Period-Luminosity relations for Cepheid and RR Lyrae, and quantify residual systematic effects in the first-rung of the distance ladder and evaluate the significance of the Hubble tension problem. The project will employ modern computational methods for multiwavelength comparison between predicted and observed pulsation properties and full-amplitude light and velocity variations to constrain the mass-luminosity relations and helium to metal enrichment ratio followed by Cepheid and RR Lyrae stars with sub-percent precision for the first-time. These investigations will also discriminate and quantify the effects of poorly understood non-standard phenomena such as mass-loss, rotation or convective overshooting on input stellar physics to the pulsation codes, and thus imply strong constraints for the stellar evolutionary models. This project is of multidisciplinary nature with a strong transfer of knowledge between the applicant and the host researcher, and in line with the EU strategic plan for research and innovation.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 626267
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 664931
    Overall Budget: 3,823,200 EURFunder Contribution: 1,911,600 EUR

    INAF, the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics is proposing AstroFIt-2 in order to support transnational brain circulation of young researchers, by means of 18 Incoming Mobility 3-year fellowships to be issued in two calls, each of 9 fellows, to be carried out at the 17 INAF Research Centers across Italy. INAF, the Italian government’s public research body that promotes, performs and coordinates astrophysics research, also cooperates with universities and other national and international entities, and has approximately 1000 permanent staff, and more than 500 contractual scientific posts. INAF is internationally renowned for its excellent science and technology, and has prime responsibility in many international astrophysical programs. AstroFIt-2 thus gives young researchers experience, through working with international teams in highly relevant, world-class scientific and technological astrophysics projects. AstroFIt-2 builds on the success and experience acquired by INAF’s AstroFIt Cofund program, and so dramatically increases the quality and quantity of AstroFIt results in the following areas: • international mobility and brain circulation: by increasing the length (3 years vs 2) and number (18 vs 14) of fellowships; • efficiency, financial support, and user-friendliness of the program by: - increasing: a) the time for awarded fellows to reply to communications (45 days vs 15); b) the time between a fellowship being awarded and its start date (6 months vs 4); c) the living allowance (45.000 EUR/year vs 40.000) and the contribution to research and training expenses (6.000 EUR/year vs 5.000) - shortening: the evaluation process (4 months vs. 5); • inter-disciplinary and inter-sectorial research of the fellows by: - enhancing interactions and feedback between fellows and the Hosting Structure; - increasing the impact of the overall program in terms of scientific activity, transnational collaborations and inter-disciplinary experience.

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