Welcome to my website! I am a relativistic astrophysicist, i.e., a physicist who uses Einstein’s theory of general relativity to describe and explain high-energy astronomical observations of black holes and neutron stars. To do this I combine analytical perturbative tools with numerical nonlinear simulations in which I solve the Einstein equations together with those of relativistic hydrodynamics or magnetohydrodynamics. I do this in the endless process of comparing theoretical results and predictions with astronomical observations.
I am the Chair of Theoretical (Relativistic) Astrophysics at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP) of the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany, Senior Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced studies (FIAS) and The Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin.
Relativistic hydrodynamics is one of my main interests and an incredibly successful framework to describe the dynamics of matter from scales as small as those of colliding elementary particles, up to the largest scales in the universe. “Relativistic Hydrodynamics” is also the title of a book I have written with Olindo Zanotti for Oxford University Press. It containts a good part of what you may want to learn about relativistic hydrodynamics, from the mathematical foundations, to the numerical methods and the astrophysical applications. Reviews and more information can be found by clicking on the cover.
Starting from October 2014 a team composed by Heino Falcke, at Radboud University Nijmegen, Michael Kramer, at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, and myself has been awarded a Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). These grants represent the most prestigious and substantial form of funding in Europe and for the first time they have been awarded for an astrophysics proposal. More information on BlackHoleCam can be found here.
Starting from October 2021, my research will concentrate on the physics and astrophysics of relativistic jets thanks to an Advanced Grant from the ERC. More on the JETSET project will be available soon.
At the end of 2020 I have published a public-outreach book in Italian, “The irresistible attraction of gravity”, which attempts to explain what is gravity and why we are so deeply attracted by it. The book is meant for a general audience and will soon appear also in German and English. More details can be found here.