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The 2005-2007 Scientific Report

Presented to

The Scientific Committee


Remo Ruffini

Director of ICRANet



ICRAnet was created by an act of the Italian Parliament, signed by the President of Republic on February 10th 2005, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Italy, the Vatican State, ICRA, the University of Arizona and the University of Stanford being the Founding Members. All of them having ratified the Statute, ICRANet activities started with the creation of two bodies: its Board of Governors and its Scientific Committee. Professors Remo Ruffini and Fang Li-Zhi were appointed Director and Chairperson, respectively, at the Board's first meeting on September 12th 2005. At the inaugural meeting of the Scientific Committee in Washington DC on December 19th 2006, Prof. Riccardo Giacconi was appointed Chairperson and John Mester Co-Chairperson.

Since then we have simultaneously

  1. recruited Faculty, Lecturers, Research Scientists, visiting Scientists, and graduate students for the International Relativistic Astrophysics (IRAP) Doctoral program, jointly sponsored by ICRANet and ICRA;

  2. worked out, in a sequence of meetings with the Municipality of Pescara and the Italian Foreign Ministry, the text of the Seat Agreement for the ICRANet Center in Pescara;

  3. addressed some critical and urgent aspects of security of the building in Pescara and acquired new spaces essential to our activities;

  4. obtained from the Nice Municipality the right to use Villa Ratti for ICRANet activities for at least the next thirty years;

  5. promoted the entrance of additional Members in ICRANet (Brazil);

  6. obtained signed agreements with certain leading Universities and research Centers encouraging teaching and research exchanges between them and ICRANet;

  7. organized the teaching program for the IRAP Ph. D.;

  8. organized and/or co-sponsored international meetings in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Korea and Vatican; and

  9. fostered the lines of research and publication activities which are the objects of the present report.

1) The ICRANet Scientific Staff

We have adopted the following two-point strategy when recruiting Faculty:

  1. To appoint talented younger scientists, as well as senior scientists who have already contributed significantly to those areas which led to the establishment of ICRANet.

  2. To create an adjunct Faculty containing many renowned scientists who have made internationally recognized contributions to the field of relativistic astrophysics and whose research interests are closely related to those of ICRANet. These scientists spent from one to six months at the Pescara Center, thereby linking this with their home institutions.

This strategy has created an outstanding research institute with strong connexions to some of the most advances research centers in the world. The establishment of the adjunct Faculty has also been crucial in keeping contacts with the ICRANet Members institutions. In this light:

  • The appointment of Prof. Vahe Gurzadyan will grant the connections with the activities of the Yerevan Physical Institut, the leading scientific institution in Armenia.

  • The appointment of Prof. Mario Novello will analogously grant the connections with the Centro Brasiliero de Pesquita Physicas (CBPF).

  • The appointment of Prof Walter Greiner, one of the most productive nuclear physicist in the world is crucial. In this moment ongoing research on black holes quantum process appear to be closely related and the natural ultrahigh energy extrapolation of the work on critical fields by Greiner and his school.

  • The same applies to the appointment of Vladimir Popov, whose classical work appear to be propedeutic to the establishment of the electrodynamics of Black Holes.

  • The appointments of Nino Panagia bring to ICRANet and promotes discussions and further work on his multiyear activities on Supernovae at the Space Telescope Institute.

  • The work of Lev Titarchuck on Black holes accretion further extend, with an advanced spectral analysis, the work on accretion on Black Holes developed by Ruffini and his school at Princeton in close contacts with Riccardo Giacconi and Herb Gursky.

In some cases it has been appropriate to appoint some of these professors to "Named Chair" positions. The aim of this has been to recall some of the personal relations of them and of ICRANet members with great scientific personalities of the past:

  • The "Pascual Jordan ICRANet Chair" to Prof. Jurgen Ehlers recalls that Ehlers had been a disciple of Pascual Jordan, one of the founders of quantum field theories. Jordan also invited as postdoctoral fellow Remo Ruffini in 1967 in Hamburg.§

  • The "Richard Feynmann ICRANet Chair" to Prof. Hagen Kleinert celebrates a classic paper co-authored by Hagen with Richard Feynmann as well as the connections of Feynmann with John Archibald Wheeler, Demetrios Christodoulou and Remo Ruffini.

  • The "Cesare Lattes ICRANet Chair" to Prof. Mario Novello recalls that Novello had been a disciple of Cesare Lattes; a recipient of the Marcell Grossmann Award.

  • The "Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar ICRANet Chair" to Prof. David Arnett recalls that David was a colleague of Chandra at the University of Chicago. Chandra visited many times the University of Rome, ICRA and received a Marcell Grossmann Award.

  • The "Abraham Taub ICRANet chair" to Prof. Robert T. Jantzen, a disciple of Abe Taub, celebrate a multiyear friendship of Abe whit Ruffini often recalling past experiences in Princeton.

  • The "William Fairbank ICRANet Chair" of Prof. Francis Everitt, co-founder of ICRA and ICRANet, celebrates their many years close collaborations contacts with the University of Rome and ICRA.

  • The "Yevgeni Mikhailovich Lifshitz of Prof. Roy Kerr", whose activity reminds the great scientist, teacher and splendid personality of Y.M. Lifshitz, who has been in the past a close friend a collaborator of ICRA.

In other cases, Chairs have been named after scientists who recalled in scientific style the ongoing researches of the recipient. This is the case of:

  • The "Bernard Rieman ICRANet Chair" to Prof. Demetrios Christodoulou, the first graduate student of Remo Ruffini at Princeton, whose mathematical activities on space-time structure have reached the depth of the work of Bernard Riemann;

  • The "Joseph-Luis Lagrange ICRANet chair" to Prof. Thibault Damour, the first postdoctoral fellow of Remo Ruffini at Princeton, whose mathematical-physical analysis recalls in style and depth the work of Lagrange;

  • The "Xu Guangqi ICRANet chair" to Prof. Fang Li-Zhi, co founder of ICRA and ICRANet, whose activities today present striking analogies with the ones of Xu Guangqi, both from a scientific point of view and for their social commitment for the development of China;

  • The "Karl Gustav Jacobi ICRANet Chair" to Prof. Kjell Rosquist of the University of Stockolm, here associated for his scientific to the prestigious name of Jacobi, whose activity was very prominent in Tartu University and in all the Baltic Countries.

The detailed list of the Faculty follows:




In the following we list the Lecturers and Research Scientists who have been particularly active in the development of our International Relativistic Astrophysics Ph.D. program (IRAP-PHD), as well as in the many schools and meetings organized by ICRANet. Typically, the Lecture series of these Lecturers span from a minimum of a few months to the entire year, depending on their involvement with the students. The research scientists are generally at a post-doctoral level. Much of the success of the ongoing scientific program depends on these scientists, as it will be clear in the scientific reports illustrated below.



In the following we list the intense program of visiting scientists. This includes the visit of some outstanding experts who have been the focal center of scientific activity on some of our scientific meetings during one year: e.g. Prof. Abhay Ashtekar (2006 Stueckelberg Lecturer), Prof. Thomas Thiemann (2007 Stueckelberg Lecturer) and the Nobel Laureate Gerald 't Hooft (planned to be the 2008 Stueckelberg Lecturer). Finally, a special attention is given to scientists originating from Countries in which the field of relativistic astrophysics is having strong signs of important new developments and we are helping them in starting to participate to international researches: e.g., scientists from Colombia, Kazakistan, Kirghizistan, Korea, Libya, Vietnam, Uzbekistan.


  • Aksenov Alexey Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow,Russia

  • Alekseev Georgy Steklov Mathematical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

  • Ashtekar Abhay Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry,Penn State,University Park, PA, USA

  • Lattanzi Massimiliano University of Oxford and ICRANet, UK- Italy

  • Mosquera Cuesta Hermann CBPF, Brasil and ICRANet

  • Thieman Thomas Max Plank Institut fuer gravitationnsphysik Einstein Institut, Germany

  • 't Hooft Gerard (Nobel Laureate) Institut for Theoretical Physics, Utrecht Universiteit, Holland

  • Vitagliano Luca Università di Salerno, Italy


  • Kim Jik Su Pyongyang Astronomical Observatory Kim Il Sung University, Korea

  • Lee Hyung Won School of Computer Aided Sciences, Inje University, Korea

  • Mohamed Gadri University of Tripoli, Libya

  • Ri Chang Hyok Pyongyang Astronomical Observatory Kim Il Sung University,Korea

  • Sepulveda Alonso Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

  • Song Doo Jong National Institute of Astronomy Korea

  • Torres Sergio Centro Internacional de Fisica, Bogotà Colombia

  • Zalaletdinov Roustam Dept. of Theoretical Physisc, Institute of Nuclear Physics Uzbek Academy of Sciences,Uzbekistan

Since ICRANet is an intergovernmental research institution, not granting academic degrees, we have initiated an international program on relativistic astrophysics with leading universities of European Countries. The students admitted and currently following courses and doing research in such a program are given in the following:

International Relativistic Astrophysics Ph. D.

Third Cycle 2004-07

-Chiappinelli Anna France

-Cianfrani Francesco Italy

-Guida Roberto Italy

-Rotondo Michael Italy

-Yegoryan Gegham Armenia

Fourth Cycle 2005-08

-Battisti Marco Valerio Italy

-Dainotti Maria.Giovanna Italy

-Khachatryan Harutyun Armenia

-Lecian Orchidea Maria Italy

-Pizzi Marco Italy

-Pompi Francesca Italy

Fifth Cycle 2006-09

-Caito Letizia Italy

-De Barros Gustavo Brasil

-Minazzoli Olivier Switzerland

-Patricelli Barbara Italy

-Rangel Lemos Luis Juracy Brasil

-Rueda Hernandez Jorge Armando Colombia

Sixth Cycle 2007-2010

-Izzo Luca Italy

-Pugliese Daniela Italy

-Kanaan Chadia Lebanon

-Ferroni Valerio Italy

-Siutsou Ivan Belarus

-Sigismondi Costantino Italy

In addition to the above the administrative and secretarial staff of the Center are:

2) The Seat Agreement

This document defines the precise geographical location and extension of the ICRANet Centre in Pescara as well as the privileges and immunities of the ICRANet members.

In a series of meetings of the Director with the municipality of Pescara and the Ministry of foreign affairs, we have agreed on the limits of the area surrounding the ICRANet Center which will have, together with the Center itself, the privileges and immunities of the extra territorial status of ICRANet. In parallel, the Seat Agreement of the Pescara Center has been formulated and signed between the Italian Government, the Municipality of Pescara and ICRANet. The text has been just approved by all the Italian Ministries and has received its final form on November 12th 2007, (see Enclosure 1). It will be now submitted for final ratification to the Italian Parliament and Senate.

3) Securing the ICRANet building in Pescara

In the recent past, the cellars underlying the Center had been submitted to vandalisms, leading in three cases to fire hazards. These cellars were practically not usable and origin of danger for the Center's activity. For this reason, we have proceeded to a drastic action of restructuring, sanitizing and putting in security the building. Much to our surprise, in this action we have encountered an unexpected architectural structure underlying the building and overreaching the structure of the building itself: a very impressive sequence of arches characterizing this ancient, unexpected, and still unexplained structure. The new spaces will be dedicated to library and common discussion rooms (Ground floor; Underground floor). During this work, the decision has been taken also to create a small amphitheatre in the open air, dedicated to lectures, including public ones, in the summer, spring and autumn. We plan to complete these works by the month of February 2008.

4) Villa Ratti

We have been very pleased to receive the enthusiastic and friendly invitation by the Municipality of Nice to open ICRANet activities in France, in order to maximize our contacts with other European Countries and more generally with Countries all over the world. The appeal for the town of Nice and his splendid surroundings, the existence of an extremely modern and efficient airport, the electronic backbones for internet communications are all important elements which add to the splendid decision of the Nice Municipality to offer the historical Villa Ratti as a seat for ICRANet in Nice. In addition to the Villa, and to the generous offer of the Conseil General des Alpes Maritimes of 500,000 Euros as a contribution to the restructurings, the Municipality has offered a splendid park surrounding the area. The first stone for the restructuring of the Villa has been laid down on November 23rd 2007 (see Picture 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and the works are expected to be completed by the month of June 2008.

5) New members of ICRANet

Special attention has been given to the entrance of new Members in ICRANet. On September 21st 2005 the Director of ICRANet received the Ambassador of Brazil Dante Coelho De Lima, specially appointed by President Luiz Ignácio Lula Da Silva to request the adhesion of Brazil to ICRANet (see Enclosure 2). The exchange of signature was then imposed on the common document, having the Director received the unanimous approval by the ICRANet board (see Enclosure 3). After almost two years of discussions, first in the Brazilian Parliament, and finally in the Brazilian Senate, the entrance of Brazil has been unanimously ratified by the Brazilian government. In parallel to this, the Director has been pursuing the preliminary steps toward the adhesion of New Zealand to ICRANet, in order to foster the formation of a research group around Prof. Roy Kerr and establish direct contacts with the scientists in the southern hemisphere. This step by ICRANet follows the multi-year activity successfully started between ICRA and research centers in Chile (CECS in Valdivia) and Western Australia (University of Nedlands in Perth).

6) Agreements with Universities and Research Centers

Essential to the development of teaching and research activities has been the signature of the bilateral agreements between ICRANet and the University of Nice Sofia Antipolis (see Enclosure 4), between ICRANet and the University of Rome "La Sapienza" (see Enclosure 5), as well as the one between ICRANet and ENEA in Italy (see Enclosure 6). These collaborations are crucial in order to give to ICRANet scientists the possibility to give courses and lectures in the Universities and, vice versa, to provide to the Faculty of these Universities the opportunity to spend research periods in ICRANet institutions.

7) The International Relativistic Astrophysics Ph.D. (IRAP-PhD) program

As we have already mentioned, ICRANet does not grant academic degrees. We have therefore sponsored the IRAP-PhD program with the participation of: ETH Zurich, Freie Universität Berlin, Institut Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Università di Ferrara, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Université de Savoie. We enclose the teaching activities of the IRAP-PhD for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 (see Enclosure 7).

8) International Meetings

In addition to the above teaching and research activities, a maximum effort has been made by ICRANet in promoting international meetings with scientists originating from all over the world:

In addition, we have sponsored:

  • The Workshop on Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) held at Castelgandolfo from October 3rd to 6th 2005, proceedings to be published;

  • The Formation and Evolution of Galaxy Disks Meeting, held in Rome from October 1st to 5th 2007, proceedings to be published;

  • The XII Brazilian School of Cosmology and Gravitation from September 10th to 23rd 2006 held in Mangaratiba (Rio de Janeiro), proceedings published by American Institute of Physics as volume 910 in the AIP Conference Proceedings series.

Similar activity is expected to be further extended in forthcoming years:

  • The SNBNCBS-ICRANet Workshop on Black Holes, Neutron Stars and Gamma Ray Bursts, to be held February 2008 in Kolkata (India);

  • The Fift Sino-Italian Workshop on Relativistic Astrophysics that will be held in Taiwan in June 2008;

  • The 12th Marcel Grossmann Meeting to be held in 2009 in Paris. This meeting will occur as one of the high points of the celebration of the 2009 Year of the Astronomy, recently announced by UNESCO under the proposal of the Italian government.

9) Lines of research

We turn now to the research activity of ICRANet, which statutory address the developments of research in Astrophysics in the theoretical framework assigned by Albert Einstein in the theories of special and general relativity. Thanks to an unprecedented developments of observational techniques from the ground, from Space, and even in underground experiments in astroparticle physics, we are today capturing signals never before conceived and received in all the history of homo sapiens.

The Einstein theory of relativity, for many years relegated to the boundaries of physics and mathematics, has become today the authentic conceptual and theoretical "backbone" of this exponentially growing field of relativistic astrophysics. I hereby enclose (The Ergosphere and Dyadosphere of Black Holes) a recent text which I wrote as a testimony for the 70th birthday of Roy Kerr, which traces this extremely exciting moment, which started with the understanding on the nuclear evolutions of stars, and had then led to the discovery of neutron stars, and through the splendid work of Riccardo Giacconi and colleagues, to the first identification of a black hole in our galaxy. The existence of the Kerr solution (On the Discovery of the Kerr Metric), and of its electrodynamical generalization in the Kerr-Newman black hole, allow us today to address for the first time the issue of gravitational collapse on a yet much more grandiose scale.

In this race we are supported, in addition to the knowledge made possible by general relativity, also by the enormous developments in understanding of relativistic quantum field theory, gained from the many particle accelerators, nuclear reactors and underground observatories distributed worldwide. This gives us the tool to interpret the signal originating in the "moment of gravitational collapse" leading to the birth of a black hole, gaining information on that vast "terra incognita" in ultrarelativistic regimes never explored. In fact, the splendid facilities orbiting in space, from the Chandra to the XMM, to the Swift and many other satellites, the VLT and Keck telescopes (Supernovae) on the ground, as well as the radio telescope arrays offer us the possibility, for the first time, by the observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts (Gamma-Ray Bursts), to expand our frontier of knowledge. These observations allow to explore new regimes in relativity (Relativistic effects in Physics and Astrophysics), in quantum field theory (Critical Fields in Physics and Astrophysics of Neutron Stars and Black Holes), in astroparticle physics (Theoretical Astroparticle Physics).

ICRANet is devoted a special effort to this program of research. The knowledge acquired from these researches is used to foster understanding also in other fields. The cosmology and large scale structure of the universe, which is amply discussed in the report by Fang Li-Zhi and his school (Cosmology and Large Scale Structures), will certainly gain if it will be possible to use GRBs as standard candles. The entire field of Magnetohydrodynamics of black holes (Magnetohydrodynamics of Black Holes) may gain also some additional understanding from the knowledge of the dyadosphere. The classical work on neutron stars and black holes, as well as the possibility the GRBs are generated in binary systems, gives additional reasons for developing further the splendid mathematical procedure developed by Thibault Damour and his school in the analysis of relativistic binary systems and gravitational radiation (Relativistic Binary Systems and Gravitational Radiation). This research is particularly important for trying to find a coincidence between electromagnetic radiation, high-energy particles, ultra high-energy cosmic rays and gravitational radiation, possible observable for existing or future detectors.

All this frontier work can be developed thanks to the very strong basis of general relativity, exact solutions and quantum field theories. It is clear that, also in this field, remarkable progresses are being achieved, and ICRANet is present in the field of the study of exact solutions of Einstein and Einstein-Maxwell equations (Exact Solutions of Einstein and Einstein - Maxwell Equations) and of symmetries in general relativity (Symmetries in General Relativity), as well as of applied quantum field theory (Applied Quantum Field Theory) and non linear relativistic field theories (Non Linear Relativistic Field Theory). The problem of galactic structure and galactic dymanics, which is one of the classical aspects of astronomy, is being also followed and further developed (Self Gravitating Systems, galactic Structures and Galactic Dynamics), The problem of early cosmology, with the interpretation of the cosmic microwave background maps, in connection with Boomerang and WMAP missions and, in the future, with the Planck mission, are also discussed (Dynamical Systems in Astrophysical and Cosmological Problems: Cosmic Microwave Background Maps). Still, early cosmology and fundamental relativity are discussed (Early Cosmology and Fundamental General Relativity), as well as quantum gravity and unification theories (Quantum Gravity, Quantum Fields and Unification Theories).

In addition to these physical and astrophysical large effects of general relativity, particular attention in ICRANet is given to follow and to propose the theoretical framework of high-precision tests of general relativity from space around the Earth in collaboration with the Stanford University (Precision Attitude and Translation Control for Fundamental Physics Missions in Space). Some attention is also given to possible consequences of these enormous conceptual developments on theoretical physics methods in medicine (Interdisciplinary Complex Systems: Theoretical Physics Methods in Medicine).

Finally, in addition to all these scientific activities, ICRANet is very sensitive to promote publications and translations of classical textbooks in all possible languages. In this sense, we present the ACER project and the translation into Vietnamese and Arabic of the text "Gravitation and Spacetime" by Hans Ohanian and Remo Ruffini, which has been already published in English, Italian, Korean and Chinese, as well as a book to be published on cosmology (Hấp dẫn và không thời gian).


I am very happy to express, on behalf of all the Members of ICRANet and myself, our profound gratitude to the Italian Foreign Ministry, to the Director General Gherardo La Francesca, to Cons. Barbara Bregato and to Prof. Immacolata Pannone, as well as to the Ragioneria Generale of the Italian Ministry of Treasure, for their economical support and continuous attention to our scientific activities. We are also very grateful to the Municipality of Pescara, the Municipality of Nice, and the Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes for their generous support in granting to ICRANet the logistics of the Centers in their respective townships.

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