The research activity of the Experimental Gravitation Laboratory is mainly devoted to experiments aimed to the detection of gravitational waves. The group contributes to the development, realization and operation of gravitational wave detectors, both ground-based and space-borne. Design of the ESA/NASA space interferometer LISA and development of key technology (Inertial Sensors). Design of the LISA in-flight technology demonstrator LTP (LISA Technology Package) to be flown on SMART-2 space mission for which the group has Principal Investigator responsibility (LISA Technology Package Architect) under contract of the European Space Agency. Operation and upgrade of the cryogenic resonant bar detector AURIGA and research and development on advanced acoustic detectors of very wide bandwidth. The development of devices such as very low noise sensors and amplifiers brings about studies on thermodynamic and quantum fluctuations in condensed matter systems and on the limitations set by these phenomena to experiments on fundamental physics.

 AURIGA (Cryogenic Resonant Bar Gravitational Wave Antenna) Upgrade of the AURIGA detector at INFN-Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare - Legnaro
  • Development of resonant transducer systems for AURIGA (very low noise SQUID amplifiers, very low losses impedance matching stages)
  • Data analysis (adaptive and optimal data filtering, results of the observations of the network of detectors of the International Gravitational Event Collaboration)
  • Design of cryogenics of the AURIGA detector
  • Design of mechanical suspensions
Advanced acoustic detectors of very large bandwidth
  • Concept level design of DUAL detectors
  • Development of wide band transducer systems for DUAL detectors (capacitive transducers showing higher transduction efficiency)
LISA (Laser Interferometric Space Antenna)
  • Development and prototype construction of an inertial sensor for LISA and for the related technology demonstration mission. (ESA/ASI/INFN contracts)
  • Construction and operation of a torsion pendulum based facility for testing on ground of sensor performances.(ESA/ASI/INFN contracts)
  • Development of electrostatic low frequency suspension system (ESA/ASI/INFN contracts)
  • Responsibility (LISA Technology Package Architect) for the LTP (LISA Technology Package), and the LISA technology demonstrator to be flown on SMART-2 space mission.(ESA contract)
  • Design of the entire LISA mission as members of the LISA International Science Team (NASA/ESA) and of its core design body (Observatory Architecture Team)


Group members

Head Stefano Vitale
Professors  Rita DolesiGiovanni Andrea ProdiWilliam Joseph Weber
Researchers Antonio Perreca
Postdocs Gibert FerranValerio FerroniLiu LiPaolo PivatoGiuliana RussanoDaniele Vetrugno
PhD students Eleonora CastelliMatteo Di GiovanniRoberta GiusteriMaria Concetta Tringali
Technical staff Renato Mezzena
Administrative staff Karine Frisinghelli