Microgel e arte: una nuova tecnologia per la conservazione dei beni cartacei

Totale sovvenzione: € 149.989,33
Funding Body: Lazioinnova – Regione Lazio
Coordinatore: Emanuela Zaccarelli
Altri membri del gruppo di Ricerca CNR ISC: Mauro Missori, Barbara Ruzicka, Roberta Read the rest


Chip microfluidici a membrane asimmetriche per il sorting della motilità spermatica

Totale sovvenzione: € 148.027,90
Funding Body: Lazioinnova – Regione Lazio
Coordinatore: Andrea Puglisi
Altri membri del gruppo di Ricerca CNR ISC: Andrea Gnoli, Luca Angelani, Fabio CecconiRead the rest


Monitoraggio di detriti spaziali basato su stereo-rilevazioni intercontinentali

Totale sovvenzione: € 149.940,83
Funding Body: Lazioinnova – Regione Lazio
Coordinatore: Andrea Cavagna
Altri membri del gruppo di Ricerca CNR ISC: Massimo Cencini, Stefania Melillo
Membri del gruppo di Ricerca Università … Read the rest


Enhancing microgels potentialities: ultrasoftness and cultural heritage applications

Funding Body: MIUR (2018-2021)
Emanuela Zaccarelli
The SOFTART project aims to explore the growing potentialities of microgels by focusing on two different aspects that are relevant for both fundamental and applied science. … Read the rest

When is a lubricant effective?

A plate shearing an interstitial granular medium and driven by an always ongoing spring feels less fricion when only few layers are present. Adding more layers results in an increase of friction,
nevertheless the plate slides more often. The ease … Read the rest

Topological Laser

The cascade of resonant PT-symmetric topological structures is shown to emit laser light with a frequency comb spectrum. We consider optically active topological lattices supporting edge modes at regularly spaced frequencies. When the amplified resonances in the PT-broken regime match … Read the rest

NAR: Energetic funnel facilitates facilitated diffusion

Massimo Cencini has published Energetic funnel facilitates facilitated diffusion in Nucleic Acid Research.

Gene transcription is regulated by proteins – Transcription Factors (TFs) – that by binding to short target sequences are able to promote or impede the binding of … Read the rest

Macromolecules Editors’ Choice: In Silico Synthesis of Microgel Particles

Congratulations to Nicoletta Gnan, Lorenzo Rovigatti, Maxime Bergman and Emanuela Zaccarelli whose article In Silico Synthesis of Microgel Particles has been selected as editor’s choice in Macromolecules.… Read the rest

Gaussian, non Gaussian and Anomalous diffusion to improve medical diagnosis

In the biomedical field, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance (DMR) images provide a measure of water proton displacements by probing motion on the mesoscopic length scale (around 10-20 µm), which is orders of magnitude smaller than the macroscopic MR resolution (typically 1-2 … Read the rest


Out-of-equilibrium nanophotinics

Funding Body: H2020 – Marie Curie Fellowship granted to Andrea Marini (2017-2019) 170K
Claudio Conti, Andrea Marini
Photonic sciences profoundly impact our society, enabling the development of high-technology devices that are currently employed in our daily life: … Read the rest

COBBS – Peoples

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Transient spiral arms from far out of equilibrium gravitational evolution: Supplement Material

David Benhaiem [1,2] Michael Joyce [2] and Francesco Sylos Labini [3, 1, 4]

  1. Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via dei Taurini 19, I-00185 Roma, Italia
  2. Laboratoire de Physique Nucleaire et de Hautes Energies, UPMC IN2P3 CNRS UMR
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Protected: Gravitational evolution of rotating ellipsoidal clouds

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Accordo di collaborazione

Funding Body: Centro di Ricerca di Sapienza HYDRO-ECO Idrogeno e Energie Alternative (2016-2018) EURO: 42700
Annalisa Paolone, Oriele PalumboRead the rest

Super Top

Topological Phases of Matter in 2D Superconducting materials

Funding Body: Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale (2017-2019)
Lara Benfatto

Recent advances in 2D materials paved the way to the realization of a robust and tunable superconducting (SC) phase, … Read the rest


Antitubercular drug-loaded multi-liposomes vectors as innovative combinatorial therapy for pulmonary tuberculosis

Funding Body: Phospholipid Research Center, Heidelberg
Simona Sennato
In this project we will develop a new liposome-based multi-drug delivery system loading simultaneously two anti Mycobacterium tuberculosis-drugs, formed by … Read the rest

Dynamic scaling in natural swarms – Nature Physics

Andrea Cavagna, Daniele Conti, Chiara Creato, Lorenzo Del Castello, Irene Giardina, Tomas S. Grigera, Stefania Melillo, Leonardo Parisi & Massimiliano Viale have published an article on the collective behaviour in biological systems which presents theoretical challenges beyond … Read the rest

How to build a quantum Newton’s cradle

A quantum analogue of the popular “Newton’s cradle” toy has been proposed by a duo of physicists in Italy. Like momentum transferred in the toy, the team argues that it should be possible to achieve the nearly perfect transmission of … Read the rest

Newton cradle

Newton’s cradle (Fig. 1) is a valuable paradigm of how physical mechanisms are concealed into nature. It is a device based on classical mechanics that demonstrates the conservation of momentum and energy. On the other hand, Quantum Mechanics has been … Read the rest

The Nobel laureate Karplus has cited Luccioli

The 2013 Nobel laureate in Chemistry Prof Martin Karplus has cited in one publication of 2010:

a publication by

Luccioli, Imparato, Torcini, 
“Free energy landscape of mechanically unfolded model proteins: extended Jarzinsky versus inherent structure reconstruction”
Phys. Rev. E. Read the rest

Meccanica statistica di non equilibrio

Meccanica statistica di non equilibrio: trasporto e diffusione in sistemi complessi

Relatore: Stefano Lepri

Gli argomenti di tesi sono di tipo teorico e riguardano il comportamento di sistemi fuori equilibrio. Una preparazione di base in meccanica statistica e’ essenziale. La … Read the rest

Anomalous Heat Transport in Low Dimensions

Many phenomena in nature occur under nonequilibrium stationary conditions. For instance, an electric current is obtained by applying an electric field along a conductor or heat is transported when a temperature gradient is established between two boundaries of a material.

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Asymmetric Wave Transport in Nonlinear System

Deterministic chaos, fractal structures and other beautiful phenomena are manifestations of the nonlinear character of forces which govern our world. Besides a revolutionary change in our approach to predictability, these discoveries had great impact on technological applications.  Among the most 

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Forthcoming book on Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics

Roberto Livi and Paolo Politi
Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics – A modern perspective
(Cambridge University Press, 2017)


Statistical mechanics has been proven to be successful at describing physical systems at thermodynamic equilibrium.  Since most natural phenomena occur in nonequilibrium conditions, … Read the rest

Molecole magnetiche su grafene per la spintronica

Una ricerca, svolta in collaborazione fra fisici e chimici italiani, tedeschi e spagnoli, mostra che è possibile realizzare nano-sistemi ibridi depositando magneti molecolari su grafene. L’interazione fra gli spin dei magneti molecolari e il gas bidimensionale di elettroni del grafene … Read the rest

Rivelazione di nanoanticorpi in tracce con tecniche di risonanza plasmonica di superficie

Bruno Tiribilli 1, Giancarlo Margheri 1, Federica Pierucci 2 , Ambra Vestri 2, Elisabetta Meacci 2
1 Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019, Sesto Fiorentino (FI).
2 Dipartimento … Read the rest

New porous water ice metastable at atmospheric pressure obtained by emptying a hydrogen-filled ice

Leonardo del Rosso 1,2, Milva Celli 1 & Lorenzo Ulivi

The properties of some forms of water ice reserve still intriguing surprises. Besides the several stable or metastable phases of pure ice, solid mixtures of water with … Read the rest

MOVEMENT ECOLOGY OF SEABIRDS: a mechanistic explanation of their incredible navigation ability

LÉVY 2.0

Seabirds can fly for many days and nights across featureless oceans to their preferred feeding locations and then fly back to their nests without getting lost. How they do … Read the rest

The Bulgarian red deer project

Two researches of the ISC (Stefano Focardi and Sonia Lombardi), together with Federico Morimando (Studio Proeco) have visited dr. Atidzhe Ahmed and Prof. Peter Genov, colleagues at the Institute of biodiversity and ecosystems research of the … Read the rest

The soft side of hard matter

Soft condensed matter is characterized by gigantic responses to  external perturbations which is the reason why these systems are extremely useful for applications, like liquid crystals in our cell phones displays. In contrast, hard condensed matter a.k.a. solids respond more … Read the rest


Collective Response from Individual Behaviour in Groups and Ecosystems

Funding Body: ERANET
(2017-2019) EUR 70K
Andrea Cavagna
Ecosystems are under pressure by global environmental changes and in no other case as in tropical rainforests the stakes are high. In this … Read the rest

Differential and absolute negative mobility in steady laminar flows

  Nonlinear response in out-of-equilibrium systems can show counter-intuitive behaviors, for instance cases where the force increases but the response decreases (negative differential mobility). Sometimes the response crosses zero and changes sign with respect to the force (absolute negative mobility). In … Read the rest

Thermal convection in granular gases with dissipative lateral walls

Convection in molecular fluids is provided by the competition between gravity and an adverse temperature gradient (two thermostats, the hotter below, the colder above). In a granular gas it can be achieved by a single thermostat at the base, for … Read the rest

Heat, temperature and Clausius inequality in a model for active brownian particles

Living matter at the microscale, many kinds of cells, bacteria and other organisms, self-propel through a viscous fluid which acts as a thermal bath, dissipating the energy provided by the internal motor (pseudopoda, flagella, etc.). This energetic balance is ruled … Read the rest

Mechanism of self-propulsion in 3D-printed active granular particles



 We have reproduced the self propulsion of bacteria and animals with 3d-printed “active granular particles”. Those small artificial insects walk on a rough vibrated plate because of a subtle interplay between material elastic properties and solid-on-solid friction. The … Read the rest


Generalized Uncertainty Principle and the Photons

Funding Body: Templeton Foundation
(2016-2018) EUR 188K
Claudio Conti
Modern theories on quantum gravity claim that modifications of the uncertainty principle are expected at the Planck scale. These modifications cannot be studied at energies … Read the rest


Modeling microgels: from microscopic design to macroscopic description

Funding Body: European Research Council – ERC Consolidator Grant
(2016-2021) EUR 1.3 M
Emanuela Zaccarelli
Soft matter provides the ideal playground for exploring physical phenomena that have no counterpart in atomic and … Read the rest


Probing Complex Dynamical Structures in Three Dimensions

Funding Body: European Research Council – ERC Proof of Concept
(2016-2018, EUR 150K)
Irene Giardina
Despite the recent expansion and enormous potential of 3D microscopy and 3D scanning, these technologies currently suffer from … Read the rest

Physical realization of the Glauber quantum oscillator

More than 30 years ago, Glauber theorized the existence of quantum systems to explain the link between the reversible microscopic and irreversible macroscopic scale. The formulation of such model is based on the so-called “rigged Hilbert space” and include irreversibility … Read the rest

Self-Sustained Density Oscillations of Swimming Bacteria Confined in Microchambers

Luca Angelani’s paper on Self-Sustained Density Oscillations of Swimming Bacteria Confined in Microchambers reporting the emergence of spontaneous density oscillations of bacteria confined in microchambers connected by thin channels, has been selected for the Cover of Physical Review Letters.


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Cages and anomalous diffusion in vibrated dense granular media

Caging is the typical microscopic phenomenon that “traps” molecules in a liquid at low temperature. The usual Brownian Motion of a tracer experiences a temporary “dynamical arrest” which eventually is broken restoring normal diffusion. In this work we have shown … Read the rest


Epidemic processes have accumulated over the years a vast amount of research which is coherently reviewed in a comprehensive manner by Claudio Castellano together with Romualdo Pastor-Satorras, Piet Van Mieghem, and Alessandro Vespignani in an article published in Epidemic processes Read the rest

Olfactory Navigation

Pelagic seabirds rely on olfactory maps for oceanic navigation

Seabirds can fly for days across featureless oceans to their preferred feeding locations and then fly back to their nests without getting lost. How they do this has long been a Read the rest

Replica Symmetry Breaking

Experimental evidence of replica symmetry breaking in random lasers

Spin-glass theory is one of the leading paradigms of complex physics and describes condensed matter, neural networks and biological systems, ultracold atoms, random photonics and many other research fields.

According to … Read the rest

Dynamic Coarsening

Crystal surfaces led out of equilibrium by a growth or erosion process may undergo morphological instabilities and develop distinct structures: ondulations, mounds or pyramids, bunches of steps, ripples.

Emergent pattern may increase in size with time by means of a … Read the rest

Silent Flocks

A paper on the collective behaviour of bird flocks, in which a spin wave model is brought to the continuous limit as in fluid elements of a large hydrodynamic system, has been published in Physical Review Letters and it has … Read the rest


Unfolding the dynamics of creativity, novelties and innovation

Funding Body: Funded by the John Templeton Foundation under contract n. 51663
Vito Domenico Pietro Servedio
Partners: The main partner is Sapienza University of Rome in collaboration with the Institute for Read the rest


Growth And Innovation Policy-modelling: Applying Next Generation Tools, Data, And Economic Complexity Ideas

Funding Body: European Commission FP7-ICT-2013-10 (Challenge 5.4 for Governance and Policy Modelling)
(2013-2016, EUR 2M) cordis
ISC Coordinator: Luciano Pietronero / Andrea Gabrielli
Web Site:

Partners: … Read the rest


ISC Coordinator: Luciano Pietronero

National Coordinator: Luciano Pietronero

European Coordinator:

International Coordinator:

Funding Body: Italian Government (Progetti di Interesse CNR)

Partners: IMT – Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca (Italy)

Starting Date: 2012

Ending Date: 2015

Web site:

Description: Crisis

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Ionic liquids: a spectroscopic investigation

Ionic liquids (IL) are salts formed by organic cations, like imidazolium, pyrrolidinium, ammonium or alkyl phosphonium, and organic/inorganic anions, like hexafluorophosphate, tetrafluoroborate, triflate, dicyanamide, tetracyanamethanide or bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (TFSI). The presence of such bulky and asymmetric ions decreases the ion-ion interactions … Read the rest

Solid state hydrogen storage

Hydrogen is attracting renewed interest as an energy carrier, due to the necessity of finding ecological energy media which may decrease the environmental pollution from fossil fuels. Hydrogen storage represents a nodal point for the development of a hydrogen economy.… Read the rest


Versatile optomechANical GRaphene Device for bio-tissue engineering

Funding Body: European Research Council – ERC-POC – Proof of Concept Grant
(2015-2016, EUR 150k) cordis
Claudio Conti
Tissue and organ failure, caused by injury or other type of damage, accounts for a … Read the rest

Rules and Exceptions in Language Dynamics

In all languages, rules have exceptions in the form of irregularities. Since rules make a language efficient, the persistence of irregularity is an anomaly. How language systems become rule governed, how and why they sustain exceptions to rules? Frequent words … Read the rest

Mixing by degree in signed social networks

Social networks have empirically been found to be assortative (i.e., the degree of neighboring nodes are positively correlated), while other networks (e.g., technological, biological) show the opposite pattern (disassortative). Why is that so?
How do these patterns change in signed … Read the rest

Dynamics of Virus-Host interaction

In the case of fast mutating viruses (e.g., Influenza virus), the virus-host interaction is driven by cross-immunity: after being infected by a strain, the host acquires immunity to a set of other strains antigenically similar to the infecting one (i.e., … Read the rest

Fractures and crack propagation

The intermittent and self-similar fluctuations displayed by a slow crack during the propagation in a heterogeneous medium can be quantitatively described by an extension of a classical statistical model for fracture. The model yields the correct dynamical and morphological scaling, … Read the rest

vitruvian man

Cultural Heritage

see Mauro MissoriRead the rest

Complex Networks

see SapienzaRead the rest

Economic Complexity

see Crisis LabRead the rest

Computational Neuroscience

Computational neuroscience is the study of brain function in terms of the information processing properties of the structures forming the nervous system. It is an interdisciplinary science that links the diverse fields of Neuroscience, Cognitive science and Psychology with Physics, … Read the rest

Soft Matter

see Soft MatterRead the rest

Granular Dynamics

Read the rest

HyperSpectral Imaging

The hyperspectral confocal reflection (HCR) microscope is an instrument that integrates of optical imaging and spectroscopic methodologies. It is designed for the reflectance spectral image as well as for the morphometric imaging of optical sections of vital tissue samples (in … Read the rest

Radio 3 Scienza on “Rappresentanza o governabilità”, A. Petri interviewed

Alberto Petri interviewed on “Rappresentanza o governabilità”, RAI ”Radio 3 Scienza”, February 3rd, 2014

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New “smart” gels in soft matter

Funding Body: MIUR PRIN Progetti di ricerca di interesse nazionale
(2014-2017) EUR 83 k
Emanuela Zaccarelli
Il comportamento inusuale della materia soffice ha spesso sorpreso gli scienziati. Grazie alla loro deformabilità e alla possibilità … Read the rest

Brownian Ratchet in a Thermal Bath Driven by Coulomb Friction

A Brownian Ratchet is a small engine which is conceived to extract work from molecular fluctuations. Examples of Brownian Ratchets occur in the cell, see for instance this nice movie about kinesin.

As well explained by Richard Feynmann, a Brownian … Read the rest

COBBS – Flocking Experiment

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COBBS – Computer Vision and Tracking

The raw data gathered from the experimental work consists of three sequences of images, one from each camera, for each flocking/swarming event. Each sequence may consist of up to 2700 images, meaning a single event could have a total of … Read the rest

COBBS – Non-biting Midge Experiment

Our search for midge swarms has taken us to many of the public parks within Rome including Riserva Naturale Valle dell’Aniene, Villa Paganini, Villa Torlonia, Parco dell’Acquedotto, Villa Ada, Laghetto dell’EUR and Ponte Tazio. Basically any place with an aquatic … Read the rest

COBBS – Collective Behaviour in Biological Systems

From bird flocks to fish schools, from insect swarms to cell colonies, collective behaviour is a very widespread phenomenon in many biological systems. It is hard to define, but easy to recognize. What are the mechanisms regulating collective behaviour in Read the rest


Anisotropies and non equilibrium in soft matter: routes to the self assembly of advanced material

Funding Body: MIUR FIRB (2013-2017) EUR 670k (ISC 240k)
Emanuela Zaccarelli
This research project is a joint experimental, theoretical and computational effort in the field … Read the rest


Strain, Lattice, Interactions and Entanglement in novel Two-Dimensional materials

Funding Body: MC-CIG – Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)
(2013-2016) cordis
Emmanuele Cappelluti
The isolation of graphene in 2004 has triggered the most promising expectations in the … Read the rest

Shaken Granular Lasers


A random laser is usually obtained pumping light through a disordered medium. The dynamics of light through a heterogeneous configuration of scatterers and cavities provides emitted spectra with random and fluctuating peaks which have a wide range of applications … Read the rest


Foundational Research on MULTIlevel comPLEX networks and systems

Funding Body: FP7-ICT-2011-8 CP – Collaborative project
(2012-2016) cordis
Guido Caldarelli
Multiplex is a project gathering together the prominent research institution at the intersection within Network Science, Complex Systems. Algorithms, Statistcal Physics … Read the rest


Funding Body: European Science Foundation (2012-2014)

ISC Coordinator: Claudio Castellano

National Coordinator: Claudio Castellano

European Coordinator: Guenther Knoblich

• Professor Guenther Knoblich, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
• Professor Luc Steels, Free University of Brussels, Belgium
• Dr. Andreas Roepstorff, … Read the rest


Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies

Funding Body: European Community – Marie Curie ITN Project N. 289146
(2012-2016) cordis
Alessandro Torcini
Neural Engineering is an inherently new discipline that brings together engineering, physics, neuroscience and mathematics to design and develop brain-computer interface … Read the rest

Quasi 2D granular dynamics

4000 spheres of steel (diameter 2mm) are deposited on a horizontal rough plate (200mm diameter, only a square 100mm X 100mm is shown) and are put in motion by vertical vibration of the plate (sinusoidal shaking, amplitude 0.7mm, frequency 200Hz). … Read the rest

Empty Liquids and Equilibrium Gels in a Colloidal Clay

CNR researchers (CNR-ISC and CNR-IPCF) in collaboration with University La Sapienza and ESRF (Grenoble) have observed a new kind of extremely light and stable gel in a suspension of colloidal clay. The so-called equilibrium gel, predicted 4 years ago by … Read the rest

COBBS – Laboratory

The COBBS Laboratory is housed on the 4th floor of the Fermi Building, Sapienza University. This is our main lab space and houses the experimental team. The numerical analysis and computer vision teams are located two doors down the hallway … Read the rest

Soft matter

The term “soft matter” refers to a very large class of materials, whose common characteristic is that they are composed of mesoscopic particles, i.e. particles with typical sizes ranging from 1 nm to a few microns. These particles are normally … Read the rest

Volume collapse transition in Ce

Crystalline Ce has a remarkable phase diagram in that is the solid state analogue of a Van der Walls system with a line of discontinuous transitions ending at a critical point.

The two phases alpha and gamma have the same … Read the rest

Granular Dynamics Laboratory

Since July 2010, the Granular Dynamics Laboratory is operative – originally in room “010” and (from november 2012) –  in room “012” (ground floor of Fermi Building of the Physics Department) at the Sapienza unit of ISC. The laboratory includes … Read the rest

Granular Phases

Steel spheres move on a plate. The “thermostat ” is a vibrating wall, following a sine law with frequency 20 Hz . Weak gravity (the plate has a small angle of inclination) draws the spheres toward the vibrating wall. In … Read the rest


New density functionals for the electronic structure of correlated materials.

Funding Body: Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
José Lorenzana
Correlated systems are poorly described by the local density approximation. The main aim of this project is to develop new … Read the rest


Forecasting Financial Crises.

Funding Body: European Union (FET Open) (2010-2013)
Guido Caldarelli

Partners: University of Ancona, ETH Zurich, University of Oxford, City University, Barcelona Media Lab, ECB

FOC is a Scientific Project Financed by FET OPEN Scheme in the field … Read the rest


Hydrides as innovative anodes for lithium batteries

Funding Body: MIUR FIRB (2010) EURO: 19000 (2017)
Sergio Brutti & Annalisa PaoloneRead the rest