Ruggero Caravita, winner of a FELLINI fellowship, joins TIFPA

Sep 19, 2019 Off Comments in Announcement by

Ruggero Caravita is one of the 15 winners of the first call of the FELLINI fellowship. On 16 September 2019 he joined TIFPA to carry out the three year research project supported by his fellowship. Here is a short biographical note and research statement from Ruggero.

The study of the gravitational interaction and fundamental symmetries on neutral antimatter, in particular on neutral (anti-)atomic systems (antihydrogen and positronium, or Ps), are my main research interests. I studied as an experimental particle/laser physicist in the University of Milano Celoria, with a thesis on developing an all-solid-state pulsed laser system for Ps laser excitation to the Rydberg levels for the AEgIS experiment at CERN. Later I won a Ph.D. position at the University of Genova and a CERN Doctoral position to work full-time on AEgIS. There I got involved in many of the fieldworks of the experiment, from the operating (anti-)particle traps to laser Rydberg spectroscopy. I defended my Ph.D. thesis on antimatter plasma manipulations in Malmberg-Penning traps and positronium laser spectroscopy for the first pulsed formation of antihydrogen. Just before the end of the Ph.D. I was selected for a Research Fellow position at CERN to continue working on positronium physics and its manipulations for pulsed antihydrogen production, developing a new hybrid detector for high-resolution spectroscopy of Ps and obtaining the first laser excitation and spectroscopy of Ps to the Rydberg levels in a cryogenic high magnetic field environment. In parallel, together with a team of colleagues from the University of Trento and TIFPA, we showed possible to create an intense source of long-lived 23S metastable Ps, a system that could lead, in a few years, to develop the first experiments to observe the free-fall of Ps atoms. This is an exciting new opportunity to probe gravity on a very exotic and purely-QED system (being both a neutral antimatter system and a purely leptonic atom) with experiments at the scale of a small university laboratory. At the end of 2018 I got selected for one of the fifteen Marie Curie FELLINI - Fellowship positions at INFN with a project named AMPIS (A Metastable Positronium Inertial Sensor) and decided to join TIFPA to explore the possibility to build the first force sensors using neutral antimatter atoms.