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ICRANet Scientific Committee 2010 Print E-mail


The 2010 Scientific Report

Presented to

The Scientific Committee


Remo Ruffini

Director of ICRANet

ICRANet was created by a decision of the Italian Government, ratified unanimously by the Italian Parliament and signed by the President of the Republic of Italy 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 were the Founding Members. All of them have ratified the Statute of ICRANet (see Enclosure 1). On September 12th 2005 the Board of Governors was established and had its first meeting. Professors Remo Ruffini and Fang Li-Zhi were appointed respectively Director and Chairman of the Board. On December 19th 2006 the Scientific Committee was established and had its first meeting in Washington DC. Prof. Riccardo Giacconi was appointed Chairman and John Mester Co- Chairman. On September 21st 2005 the Director of ICRANet signed with the Ambassador of Brazil Dante Coelho De Lima the adhesion of Brazil to ICRANet. The entrance of Brazil has been unanimously ratified by the Brazilian Parliament. On October 24th 2007 the entrance of Brazil into ICRANet was signed by the President of Brazil Luiz Ignácio Lula Da Silva (details in http://www.icranet.org/ ). On February 2009 the board renewed the position of Prof. Fang Li-Zhi as the Chairman of the Board. On December 2009 the Scientific Committee renewed the position of Prof. Riccardo Giacconi as the Chairman of the Committee. On February 2010 the board renewed the position of Prof. Remo Ruffini as the Director of the ICRANet. 

During the 2010, we have:
  1. adjourned and recruited the Scientific Staff of ICRANet, including the adjunct Faculty, Lecturers, Research Scientists, visiting Scientists; adjourned and recruited the Administrative Staff of ICRANet;
  2. completed the ratification of the Seat Agreement for the ICRANet Center in Pescara (see Enclosure 2a , 2b and 2c);
  3. continued the restructuring of the Seat of ICRANet in Nice: Villa Ratti (see Enclosure 3);
  4. completed the proceedings of the meetings of 2009 and organized meetings and PhD schools (see Enclosure 4);
  5. updated and signed co-operation agreements with Universities and Research Centers, including BSU (Belarusian State University, Belarus), CBPF (Brazil), Cearà State (Brazil), ENEA (National Agency for new technologies, energy and the economic sustainable development, Italy), ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Italy), INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Italy), GARR (Italy) LeCosPa (Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics, Taiwan), NAS (National Academy of Science, Armenia), Nice University Sophia Antipolis (France), Pescara University “D’Annunzio” (Italy), Physics Department of University of Rome “Sapienza” (Italy), UERJ (Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil) (see Enclosure 5);
  6. recruited new students, organized the teaching programs and the Thesis works of the International Relativistic Astrophysics Doctoral program (IRAP-PhD), jointly V sponsored by ICRANet and ICRA in collaboration with AEI – Albert Einstein Institute – Potsdam (Germany), Berlin Free University (Germany), CBPF – Brazilian Centre for Physics Research (Brazil), ETH – Zurich (Switzerland), Ferrara University (Italy), IHES (France), Indian centre for space physics (India), Nice University Sophia Antipolis (France), Observatory of the Côte d'Azur (France), Rome University – “Sapienza” (Italy), Savoie University (France), Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (China), Stockholm University (Sweden), Tartu Observatory (Estonia) (see Enclosure 6);
  7. activated the Erasmus Mundus program of the European Commission and recruited the first ten students and started topics of research and teaching (see Enclosure 7a and 7b);
  8. received the contribution of the Brazilian government for the year 2009 – 2010 (see Enclosure 8a and 8b);
  9. fostered the lines of research and publication activities which are the objects of the present report. 

1) The ICRANet Staff

In the establishment of the ICRANet Scientific Staff we have followed the previously adopted successful strategy:
  1. To appoint talented young 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 spend from one to six months at the Pescara Center, thereby linking it with their home institutions.
  3. To develop a program of Lecturers, Research Scientists, Short Term and Long Term Visiting Scientists, necessary to the scientific operations of the Center.

This strategy has created an outstanding research institute with strong connections to some of the most advanced Research Centers in the world. It also promotes the vital connections between all the ICRANet Member Institutions. The Curricula of the ICRANet Staff are given in the Accompanying Document “The ICRANet Staff, Visiting Scientists and Graduate Students at the Pescara Center”.



Typically and Adjunct Professor spends at ICRANet a period varying from one month to six months every year and keeps ongoing collaborations for the rest of the year.
  • Aharonian Felix Albert (Benjamin Jegischewitsch Markarjan ICRANet Chair) - Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin, Ireland Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysis, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Amati Lorenzo - Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Italy
  • Arnett David (Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar ICRANet Chair) - University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
  • Chakrabarti Sandip K. (Center for Space Physics, India)
  • Chardonnet Pascal (Université de la Savoie, France and ICRANet)
  • Chechetkin Valeri (Mstislav Vsevolodich Keldysh ICRANet Chair) - Keldysh Institute for Applied Mathematics Moscow, Russia
  • Christodoulou Dimitrios (Bernard Riemann ICRANet Chair) - ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Coppi Bruno - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Damour Thibault (Joseph-Louis Lagrange ICRANet Chair) - IHES, Bures sur Yvette, France
  • Della Valle Massimo - Osservatorio di CapodiMonte, Italy
  • Einasto Jaan - Tartu Observatory
  • Everitt Francis (William Fairbank ICRANet Chair) - Stanford University, USA
  • Fang Li-Zhi (Xu-Guangqi ICRANet Chair) - University of Arizona, USA
  • Frontera Filippo - University of Ferrara
  • Jantzen Robert (Abraham Taub ICRANet Chair) - Villanova University USA
  • Kleinert Hagen (Richard Feynmann ICRANet Chair) - Freie Universität Berlin
  • Kerr Roy (Yevgeny Mikhajlovic Lifshitz ICRANet Chair) - University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Madey John (University of Hawaii)
  • Misner Charles (John Archibald Wheeler ICRANet Chair) - University of Maryland, USA
  • Nicolai Herman - Albert Einstein Institute, Potsdam, Germany
  • Pian Elena - INAF and Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste
  • Popov Vladimir - ITEP, Russia
  • Punsly Brian Matthew - ICRANet
  • Quevedo C. Hernando - Institute of Nuclear Science, UNAM
  • Rosati Piero - European Southern Observatory, Germany
  • Rosquist Kjell (Karl Gustav Jacobi ICRANet Chair) - Stockholm University, Sweden
  • ’t Hooft Gerard - Institut for Theoretical Physics, Utrecht Universiteit, Holland
  • Titarchuk Lev (Victor Sobolev ICRANet Chair) - US Naval Laboratory, USA


The Lecturers participate in the many schools and meetings organized by ICRANet, as well as in the International Relativistic Astrophysics Ph.D. program (IRAP-PhD), sponsored by ICRANet and ICRA (see below). The Lecture series span from a minimum of a few weeks to the entire year.

  • Aksenov Alexey - Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics
  • Alekseev Georgy - Steklov Mathematical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Bini Donato - CNR and ICRANet, Italy
  • Boccaletti Dino - ICRANet and Università di Roma "Sapienza"
  • Chen Pisin - National Taiwan University Kavli Instit. Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • Chieffi Alessandro - INAF, Rome, Italy
  • Coullet Pierre - Université de Nice - Sophia Antipolis, France
  • Di Castro Carlo - Università di Roma "Sapienza", Italy
  • Filippi Simonetta - ICRANet and Campus Biomedico, Italy
  • Jing Yi-Peng - Shangai Astronomy Observatory
  • Lee Chul Hoon - Hanyang University, Korea
  • Lee Hyun Kyu - Department of Physics, Hanyang University
  • Lee Hyung Won - School of Computer Aided Science,Ingje, Korea
  • Limongi Marco - INAF, Rome, Italy
  • Lou You Qing - Tsinghua University, Beijing
  • Malheiro Manuel - ITA, Brazil
  • Mester John - Stanford University, USA
  • Mignard François - Observatoire de la Côte d‘Azur, Nice, France
  • Montani Giovanni - ENEA and ICRANet
  • Nagar Alessandro - Politecnico di Torino and IHES, Bures sur Yvette, France
  • Ohanian Hans - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, USA
  • Pacheco José - Observatoire de la Côte d ‘Azur, Nice, France
  • Perez Bergliaffa Santiago - Univesidade do Estado de Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • Pucacco Giuseppe - Università di Tor Vergata Roma
  • Sepulveda Alonso - University of Antioquia, Columbia
  • Song Doo Jong - National Institute of Astronomy Korea
  • Starobinsky Alexei - Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russia
  • Sung-Won Kim - Institute of Theoretical Physics for Asia-Pacific, Korea
  • Vissani Francesco - Gran Sasso National Laboratory, Italy
  • Wiltshire David - University of Canterbury, New Zealand


The research scientists are generally at a post-doctoral level and they are extremely active in all research topics.


They include experts who have given essential contributions in ongoing activities at ICRANet.

  • Ahmedov Bobomurat - Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences 
  • Ansoldi Stefano - University of Udine
  • Gao Yu - Purple Mountain Observatory, China
  • Manchester Richard - Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO
  • Nagataki Shigehiro - YITP, Kyoto University
  • Qadir Asgar - National University Of Sciences And Technology, Pakistan
  • Rishi Ram Paudel - Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • Stanley Davis - Universite Bordeaux, France


They are scientists originating from Countries in which the field of relativistic astrophysics is having signs of new developments.

  • Arkhangelskaja Irene - Moscow Engineering Physics Institute 
  • Fimin Nicolaj - Keldysh Institute for Applied Mathematics, Moscow
  • Gadri Mohamed - University of Tripoli, Libya
  • Gert Hutsi - Tartu Observatory, Estonia
  • Goulart Erico - Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, Brazil
  • Hoang Ngoc-Long - IPE, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Mosquera Cuesta Herman - Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, Brazil
  • Motie Iman - Isfahan University of Technology, Pakistan
  • Rohollah Mohammadi - Isfahan University of Technology, Pakistan
  • Torres Sergio - Centro Internacional de Fisica, Bogotà, Colombia
  • Zalaletdinov Roustam - Dept. of Theoretical Physics, Institute of Nuclear Physics Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Uzbekistan


The administrative and secretarial staff of the Center is:

2) The Seat Agreement (see Enclosure 2a , 2b and 2c)

The Seat Agreement on the ICRANet Center in Pescara has been signed on September 9th 2009 by the Italian Government and has been ratified by the Italian Parliament on June 2010. It entered in action on August 17th, 2010.

3) Restructuring the Seat in Nice: Villa Ratti (see Enclosure 3)

We have been very pleased to receive the 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 a 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. The first stone for the restructuring of the Villa has been laid down on November 23rd 2007. Since, an important finding of wall paintings of circa 1750 occurred in the Villa. They are currently being restored. A large amount of activities is being carried out in renovating the building and the park around.

4) International Meetings (see Enclosure 4)

We have completed the proceedings of:

  • Zeldovich 95th Anniversary Meeting, April 20-23, 2009, Minsk, Belarus. Published by AIP, Vol. 1205, Editors: R. Ruffini, G. Vereshchagin
  • Sobral Meeting, May 26-29, 2009, Fortaleza (Ceará), Brazil. To be published on June 2011 by Cambridge Scientific Publishers, Editors: S.E. Perez-Bergliaffa and R. Ruffini
  • XII Marcel Grossmann Meeting, July 12-18, 2009, Paris, France. To be published by World Scientific (Singapore), Editors T. Damour, R. Jantzen, R. Ruffini
  • 1st Galileo – Xu Guangqi Meeting, October 26-30, 2009, Shanghai, China. To be published on Int. J. Mod. Phys. D, Editors D. Blair, R. Ruffini, Y.P. Jing, S.-S. Xue.
  • 11th Italian-Korean Symposium, November 2-4, 2009, Seoul, South Korea. Published on the Journal of the Korean Physical Society - Vol. 57, number 3, part I, September 2010 - Edited by: I. Cho, W. Kim, H.C. Kim, Y. Kim, H.B. Kim, H.W. Lee
  • 3rd Stueckelberg Meeting, to be published by Cambridge Scientific Publishers, Editors N. Carlevaro, R. Ruffini, G. Vereshchagin

We have also organized the following meetings:

  • IRAP PhD School, Nice, February 2010
  • IRAP PhD School, Ferrara, March 22-26, 2010
  • 2nd Galileo – Xu Guangqi Meeting, July 12-17, 2010, Nice (France) and Ventimiglia (Italy)
  • IRAP PhD Erasmus Mundus School, Nice, September 2010
  • Special session at the 2010 Meeting of the Korean Physical Society, October 21-22, 2010, Korea

5) Scientific Agreements (see Enclosure 5)

The following Agreements have been signed, updated and renewed by the Director (see Fig. 1): 

  • BSU (Belarusian State University, Belarus)
  • CBPF (Brazil)
  • Cearà State (Brazil)
  • ENEA (National Agency for new technologies, energy and the economic sustainable development, Italy)
  • ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Italy)
  • INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Italy)
  • GARR (Italy)
  • LeCosPa (Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics, Taiwan)
  • NAS (National Academy of Science, Armenia)
  • Nice University Sophia Antipolis (France)
  • Pescara University “D’Annunzio” (Italy)
  • Physics Department of University of Rome “Sapienza” (Italy)
  • UERJ (Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil)

These collaborations are crucial in order to give ICRANet scientists the possibility to give courses and lectures in the Universities and, vice versa, to provide to the Faculty of such Universities the opportunity to spend research periods in ICRANet institutions.


figure 1


6) The International Relativistic Astrophysics Ph.D. (IRAP-PhD) program (see Enclosure 6)

One of the major success of ICRANet has been to participate in the International competition of the Erasmus Mundus Ph.D. program and the starting of this program from the 2010 (see Fig. 2). The participating institutions are:

  • AEI – Albert Einstein Institute – Potsdam (Germany)
  • Berlin Free University (Germany)
  • CBPF – Brazilian Centre for Physics Research (Brazil)
  • ETH Zurich
  • Ferrara University (Italy)
  • Indian centre for space physics (India)
  • Institut Hautes Etudes Scientifiques – IHES (France)
  • Nice University Sophia Antipolis (France)
  • Observatory of the Côte d'Azur (France)
  • Rome University – “Sapienza” (Italy)
  • Savoie University (France)
  • Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (China)
  • Stockholm University (Sweden)
  • Tartu Observatory (Estonia)


figure 2


The IRAP PHD program intends to create conditions for high level education in Astrophysics mainly in Europe to create a new generation of leading scientists in the region. No single university in Europe today has the expertise required to attain this ambitious goal by itself. For this reason we have identified universities which offers a very large complementarity expertise. The students admitted and currently following courses and doing research in such a program are given in the following:

Third Cycle 2004-07  Chiappinelli Anna  France 
  Cianfrani Francesco Italy
  Guida Roberto Italy
  Rotondo Michael Italy
  Vereshchagin Gregory Belarus
  Yegoryan Gegham Armenia
Forth 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 Ferroni Valerio Italy
  Izzo Luca Italy
  Kanaan Chadia Lebanon
  Pugliese Daniela Italy
  Siutsou Ivan Belarus
  Sigismondi Costantino Italy
Seventh Cycle 2008-2011 Belvedere Riccardo Italy
  Ceccobello Chiara Italy
  Ferrara Walter Italy
  Ferrari Francesca Italy
  Han Wenbiao China
  Luongo Orlando Italy 
  Pandolfi Stefania Italy
  Taj Safia Pakistan
Eight Cycle 2009-2012 Boshkayev Kuantay Kazakhstan
  Bravetti Alessandro Italy
  Ejlli Damian Albania
  Fermani Paolo Italy
  Haney Maria German
  Menegoni Eloisa Italy
  Sahakyan Narek Armenia
  Saini Sahil India
Ninth Cycle 2010-2013
(including Erasmus Mundus  call)
Benetti Micol Italy
  Muccino Marco Italy
  Baranov Andrey Russia 
  Benedetti Alberto Italy 
  Dutta Parikshit India
  Fleig Philipp Germany
  Gruber Christine  Austria
  Liccardo Vincenzo  Italy 
  Machado De Oliveira Fraga Bernardo Brazil
  Martins De Carvalho Sheyse Brazil 
  Penacchioni Ana Virginia  Argentina 
  Valsan Vineeth  India 

We enclose the Posters of the IRAP-PhD for all the above cycles.

7) The Erasmus Mundus Ph.D. program (see Enclosure 7a and 7b)

Each student admitted to the Erasmus Mundus program of the IRAP Ph.D. will be part of a team inside one of the laboratories of the consortium. Each year they will have the opportunity to visit the other laboratories of the consortium and enlighten themselves with new topics in the forefront research from world leading experts. In this way the students will come in direct contact with some of the leading scientists in the world working in General Relativity, Relativistic Astrophysics and in Quantum Field Theory. In addition to the theoretical centers, we associate experimental and observational center as well. This will provide an opportunity to the Ph.D students to obtain a complete education in theoretical relativistic astrophysics and also an experience on how to carry out a specific astrophysical mission.

All the institutions participating in IRAP PhD have an extensive experience in international collaborations including visiting professors, post-doctoral researchers and training of Ph.D. students. All of our partners have enrolled Ph.D. students inside their laboratories in various aspects of astrophysics. 


8) Funding by the Brazil (see Enclosure 8a and 8b)

Brazilian government funded 280,000 Euros for 2009 and 280,000 Euros for 2010. 

10) Lines of research

We turn now to the research activity of ICRANet, which by Statute addresses the developments of research in Astrophysics in the theoretical framework of Albert Einstein’s 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.

figure 3 figure 4

In the Report of 2009, as a testimonial of this developments, I enclosed the paper “The Ergosphere and Dyadosphere of Black Holes” which has appeared in “The Kerr spacetime”, edited by David L. Wiltshire, Matt Visser and Susan M. Scott (Cambridge University Press, 2009). In it, I traced the exciting developments, 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. I also enclosed the paper “Moments with Yakov Borisovich Zeldovich” (appeared in the Proceedings of the International Conference “The Sun, the Stars, the Universe, and General Relativity” in honor of Ya.B. Zeldovich's 95th Anniversary, Editors R. Ruffini and G.V. Vereshchagin, AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1205 (2010) p. 1-10), recalling some of the crucial moments in the developments of relativistic astrophysics in Soviet Union around the historical figure of Ya.B. Zeldovich. I recalled how the initial activities of ICRANet were guided by three major scientific components (see Fig. 3), which have indeed seen, in recent times, further important developments:

  1. The knowledge made possible by general relativity and especially by the Kerr solution and its electrodynamical generalization in the Kerr-Newman black hole (see e.g. the recent development of the dyadotorus concept, Fig. 4).
  2. The great knowledge gained in relativistic quantum field theories originating from particle accelerators, colliders and nuclear reactors from laboratories distributed worldwide (see e.g. the recent developments at CERN, Fig. 5).
  3. The splendid facilities orbiting in space, from the Chandra to the XMM, to the Swift and Fermi missions as well as many other satellites, the VLT and Keck telescopes on the ground, as well as the radio telescope arrays offer us the possibility, for the first time, of the observations of the most transient and energetic sources in the universe: the Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) (see e.g. the recent developments thanks to additional scientific missions, Fig. 6).

figure 5 figure 6

In the last year report I have shown that, thanks to a fortunate number of events and conceptual and scientific resonances, a marked evolution of these topics had occurred. New fields of research had sprouted up from the previous ones at the ICRANet Center in Pescara, at ICRA in Rome and at the other Member Institutions. The synergy created by the theoretical developments and the new astrophysical observations had stimulated novel and important results in a vast range of theoretical topics (see Fig. 7).

The topic about the Kerr-Newman Black Holes had been sprouting up in three new fields: The Kerr-Newman Black holes (L, M, Q); The solitonic equations of GR; GR solutions with L, M, Q, X.

Kerr-Newman Black Holes (L, M, Q): We had and we have the opportunity of the presence in Pescara of Prof. Roy Kerr as ICRANet Adjunct Professor and discussed the fundamental issues of the uniqueness of the Kerr-Newman Black Hole. A distinct progress in this collaboration has appeared in the paper by D. Bini, A. Geralico, R. Kerr, “The Kerr- Shild ansatz revised”.

The solitonic equations of GR: An alternative derivation of the Kerr-Newman solution had been advanced in a classical paper of 1978 by Prof. Belinski and Prof. Zacharov using inverse scattering method. Prof. Vladimir Belinski is now an ICRANet Faculty Member and has further developed this research with the effective collaboration of Prof. Georgy Alekseev which is an ICRANet Lecturer. This activity was presented at the 12th Marcel Grossmann Meeting and has reached a new maturity.

GR solutions with L, M, Q, X: The unsolved problem of a physical solution in general relativity of an astrophysical object which must be characterized necessarily by four parameters, mass, charge, angular momentum and quadrupole moment, has also been debated for years and it is yet not satisfactorily solved. The presence of ICRANet of Prof. Quevedo as an Adjunct Professor has shown an important result published by Bini, Geralico, Longo, Quevedo [Class. Quant. Grav., 26 (2009), 225006]. This result has been obtained for the special case of a Mashhooon-Quevedo solution characterized only by mass, angular momentum and quadrupole moment. It has been shown that indeed such a Mashhoon-Quevedo solution can be matched to an internal solution solved in the post- Newtonian approximation by Hartle and Thorne for a rotating star.


figure 7


Similarly, the Gamma-Ray Bursts topic had been sprouting up two additional new fields: Ultra high energy sources and Supernovae.

Gamma-Ray Bursts: The research on GRBs in ICRANet is wide and has been participated by many Members of the Faculty and of the Adjunct Faculty, as well as by many Lecturers, Research Scientists and graduate students. Traditionally, GRBs are divided into two classes, “short” GRBs and “long” GRBs, arranged in a bimodal distribution with a separation around a duration of 2s. In 2001 we proposed that both short and long GRBs are created by the same process of gravitational collapse to a black hole. The energy source is the e+e- plasma created in the process of the black hole formation. The two parameters characterizing the GRB are the total energy Ee± tot of such an e+e- plasma and its baryon loading B defined as B=MBc2/Ee± tot, where MB is the mass of the baryon loading. The e+e- plasma evolves as a self-accelerating optically thick fireshell up to when it become transparent, hence we refer to our theoretical model as the “fireshell model”. We have defined a “canonical GRB” light curve with two sharply different components. The first one is the Proper-GRB (P-GRB), which is emitted when the optically thick fireshell becomes transparent and consequently has a very well defined time scale determined by the transparency condition. The second component is the emission due to the collision between the accelerated baryonic matter and the CircumBurst Medium (CBM). This comprises what is usually called the “afterglow”. The relative energetics of the two components is a function of B. For B < 10-5 the GRB is “P-GRB dominated”, since the P-GRB is energetically dominant over the second component. The contrary is true for B larger than such a critical value. Since 2001 it has been a major point of our theoretical model that the long GRBs are simply identified with the peak of this second component. As such, they don’t have an intrinsic time scale: their duration is just a function of the instrumental noise threshold. This prediction has been strongly supported by the observations of Swift and now of Fermi and Agile satellites. It is now clear, therefore, that the duration usually quoted as characterizing the so-called long GRB class is not related to intrinsic properties of the source but it only depends on the instrumental noise threshold. This is quite different from the case of the short GRBs. In the last year report we have strengthen our aim to identify different families of GRBs originating from different precursors.

Ultra high energy sources: This additional topic was motivated by the interaction with Brian Punsly and was well documented in his volume “Black hole gravitohydromagnetics” (Springer) as well as in the joining of ICRANet by Prof. Felix Aharonian as representative of Armenia in the Scientific Committee and by his appointment as the Adjunct Professor of ICRANet. Many of the observational work done by Prof. Aharonian are crucial for the theoretical understanding of the ultra high energy sources. Prof. Aharonian started also his collaboration with the IRAP PhD program where he is following the thesis of graduate students as thesis advisor.

Supernovae: GRBs have broaden the existing problematic of the study of Supernovae. In some models, e.g. the “collapsar” one, all GRBs are assumed to originate from supernovae. Within our approach, we assume that core-collapse supernovae can only lead to neutron stars, and we also assume that GRBs are exclusively generated in the collapse to a black hole. Within this framework, supernovae and GRBs do necessarily originate in a binary system composed by an evolved main sequence star and a neutron star. The concept of induced gravitational collapse leads to the temporal coincidence between the transition from the neutron star to the black hole and the concurrent transition of the late evolved star into a supernova. Support to our model was given in last year report by GRB 0606014. The above mentioned binary systems are expected to be by far the most frequent, but they are the less energetics and they are observable only up to redshifts z < 0.5. We gave reason in the lat year report that the most energetic GRBs do originate from the merging of binary systems formed by two neutron stars or a neutron star and a white dwarf, not giving rise to a supernova. This very wide topic has been promoted by the collaboration with Prof. Massimo Della Valle, who is an Adjunct Professor at ICRANet. This kind of 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.

Similarly, the Relativistic Quantum Field Theory topic has been sprouting up two additional new fields: “Von Kerner Zum Sterner” and Plasma Thermalization.

“Von Kerner Zum Sterner”: A multi-year study in ICRA and ICRANet has been devoted to the relativistic Thomas-Fermi equations. The early work was directed to the analysis of superheavy nuclei. In the last years, a special attention has been given to formulate a unified approach which, on one side, describes the superheavy nuclei and, on the other, what we have called “Massive Nuclear Cores”. These last ones are systems of about 1057 nucleons, kept together in beta equilibrium and at nuclear density due to the effect of self gravity. The most surprising result has been that the analytic treatment used by Prof. Popov and his group in their classical work on superheavy nuclei can be scaled to the Massive Nuclear Core regime in presence of gravity. The consequences of this is that an electric field close to the critical value Ec = me 2c3/(e) can be found on the surface layer of such Massive Nuclear Cores. This fortunate result has triggered a great interest and has opened what it can be considered a new approach to the electrodynamics of neutron stars within ICRANet.

Relativistic Quantum Field Theory: A major effort in the last years has been to review the electron-positron creation and annihilation processes in physics and astrophysics. Particularly in the paper by Ruffini, Vereshchagin, Xue [Phys. Rep. 487 (2010) 1-140] there are reviewed the conceptual developments which led Dirac to describe the system e+e- ® 2g, Breit Wheeler to describe the system 2g ® e+e- and the classical papers of Sauter, Euler, Heisenberg and Schwinger to the analysis of vacuum polarization and pair creation in an overcritical electric field Ec = me 2c3/(e). In addition three ultrarelativistic processes have been in depth reviewed. They deal with (1) the vacuum polarization process in the field of a Kerr-Newman black hole; (2) the feedback of the electron-positron pair creation on the overcritical electric field; and (3) the thermalization process of the created e+e- plasma. This reports, with more than 500 references, gives the background necessary to initiate the study of the quantum field theory description of the electrodynamical approach in the process of gravitational collapse.

Plasma thermalization: The physics of electron-positron plasma has appeared to be relevant for GRBs, but also for the Early Universe, in laboratory experiments with ultraintense lasers etc. We study both nonequilibrium effects such as thermalization and associated timescales, as well as dynamical effects such as accelerated expansion in the optically thick regime. Relativistic numerical codes are designed and widely implemented in this research. The basic outcomes include: determination from the first principles of relaxation timescales of optically thick electron-positron plasma with baryonic loading in the wide range of plasma parameters; conclusion that deviations from a simple "frozen radial profile" in spatial distributions of energy and matter densities of expanding electron-positron plasma with baryonic loading are possible. The last conclusion imply in particular the possibility to recover the spatial distribution of matter and energy in the process of collapse of a GRB progenitor to a black hole.


figure 8


Out of these developments twelve scientific presentation were presented in the last meeting of the Scientific Committee. In Fig. 8 there are presented in blue the topics of selected oral presentations to the Scientific Committee on December 14th–15th, 2009.

In this year report all the topics have further developed and strengthened and additional topics have sprouted, as it is shown in Fig. 9. This has led to a deeper understanding of the initial field of research, but has led as well to a wider number of fundamental topics covered by the scientific programs developed at ICRANet. In view of the extent of the recent developments, we will only review a few of them in the oral presentations.

In this 2010 year report, the first contribution is the one by Jaan Einasto of the Tartu Astronomical Observatory. Prof. Einasto has been collaborating in the previous year intensively within ICRA about the large scale structure of the Universe and its possible fractal structure. With Prof. Einasto there is also the collaboration of Prof. G. Hutsi. Since two years Prof. Einasto is an Adjunct Professor of ICRANet and an active member of the Faculty of the IRAP PhD. In this role Prof. Einasto has delivered a set of lectures in the months of February and September 2010 on “The large scale structure of the universe: a powerful probe for fundamental physics”. This topic was covered with a quantitative analysis of the distribution of galaxies, on dark matter, on the cosmological parameters and dark energy. At the moment, Prof. Einasto has been invited to prepare a book reviewing the status of the dark matter and the large scale structure of the universe by World scientific. This book is going to cover the material of the lectures delivered in the IRAP PhD program as well as an historical perspective between the different approaches to the study of the dark matter content of the universe in the west and in the former Soviet union. The full report is on page 1, which is followed by the lecture delivered at the 12th Marcel Grossmann Meeting in the occasion of the presentation to him of the Marcel Grossmann award.

The topic of BKL cosmology is one of the most important and classical contributions of Einstein theory to the study of cosmology. This classic work, developed by Belinski, Kalatnikov and Lifshitz, has already been reviewed in all the major treaties on general relativity, but only recently a new insight has come from the impressive discoveries made by Thibault Damour at the IHES in Paris, by Prof. Mark Henneaux at the University of Bruxelles, and by Herman Nicolai at the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam, on the way to generalize the BKL theory of cosmological singularity to the string theories. The new results can be of essential importance for understanding the problem of cosmological singularity and for the identification of hidden internal symmetries in fundamental physics. Prof. Belinski has already started to write a new book on “Cosmological singularities” with Prof. Damour, which will appear with the Cambridge University Press. A shortened and adapted version of this book has already been presented in the AIP conference proceedings of XIV Brazilian School of cosmology and gravitation (Rio de Janeiro, September 2010). Three graduate students of the IRAP PhD program are actually working on this topic for their theses with Profs. Hagen Kleinert and Hermann Nicolai in Berlin (Dutta, Fleig, and Gruber). An oral presentation of these topics will be given by Prof. Belinski.

On a different topic, during the last year the solitonic solutions of GR has received new interest in respect of the Exact solutions of Einstein and Einstein - Maxwell equations. The new derivation of static equilibrium state for two charged masses in General Relativity was found by V. Belinski and G. Alekseev in the framework of the Inverse Scattering Method in contradistinction to the previous derivation by the Integral Equation Method. This shows that applicability of the Inverse Scattering Method in presence of electromagnetic field is not restricted only to the naked singularities cases (as was conjectured in the literature) but includes the cases with horizons as well. The results ave been presented by Alekseev and Belinski in the Journal of the Korean Physical Society [57 (2010) 571] and by Alekseev in the proceedings of the 12th Marcel Grossmann meeting. The full report is on page 9.

Prof. Kerr continued his presence in Pescara as an Adjunct Professor for the period of 4 months during 2010. He has continued his collaboration with Prof. Donato Bini and Dr. Andrea Geralico. They have continued their search for a generalization of the Kerr-Newman solution (the full report is on page 115). First attempts have concerned the class of metrics in the Kerr-Schild form, to which both Kerr and Kerr-Newman solution belong. Such metrics have been introduced as a linear superposition of the flat spacetime metric and a squared null-vector field multiplied by some scalar function. Since the basic assumptions which led to Kerr solution were that the null vector should be both geodesic and shearfree, Kerr-Bini-Geralico have investigated how to relax these two conditions in order to get new exact solutions. The key idea was to revise the “Kerr-Schild Ansatz” by treating Kerr-Schild metrics as exact linear perturbations of Minkowski spacetime. The analysis of such a perturbation, published in International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics (Bini D., Geralico A., Kerr R.P., The Kerr-Schild ansatz revised, Int. J. Geom. Met. in Mod. Phys. (IJGMMP) vol.7, 693-703, 2010) has allowed the identification of a hierarchy of conditions, associated with the various perturbation orders. While Kerr and Kerr-Newman solutions satisfy all the perturbative orders other interesting solutions satisfying only higher order conditions can be found, whose physical meaning is still to be clarified.

The topic about symmetries in General Relativity (the full report is on page 189) has been developed as an intense collaboration between various research groups. Profs. R.T. Jantzen, L. Stella (Observatory of Monte Porzio, Rome), O. Semerak (Czech Republic), D. Bini and Dr. A. Geralico have studied the problem of motion of test particles in black hole spacetimes, in presence of a superposed radiation field. The scattering of radiation by the test particles causes a friction-like drag force which forces particles on certain equilibrium orbits outside the black hole horizon. This interesting effect, known as Poynting-Robertson effect, has been deeply investigated in many different contexts: besides the Schwarzschild and Kerr black hole, the Vaidya radiation metric and other solutions of the Weyl class with cylindrical symmetry have been examined obtaining a number of physically relevant situations. Other collaborations, again for what concerns the topics included in symmetries in General Relativity, have been started with Profs. A. Ortolan (INFN Legnaro, Padova, Italy) and P. Fortini (University of Ferrara, Italy) to study of the interaction of electromagnetic waves with gravitational waves, with the gravitational waves considered in the exact theory and not in its linear approximation.

It then follows the topic about Theoretical astroparticle physics (the full report is on page 291). It represents the summary of activities during the last year on this topic by the group including: Carlo Luciano Bianco, Massimiliano Lattanzi, Remo Ruffini, Gregory Vereshchagin, She-Sheng Xue. Students working within the group include: Gustavo de Barros, Alberto Benedetti, Eloisa Menegoni, Stefania Pandolfi, Ivan Siutsou. Astroparticle physics is a new field of research emerging at the intersection of particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. We focused on several topics with three major directions of research: a) electron-positron plasma in astrophysics, b) neutrinos and large scale structure formation in cosmology and c) Dark Matter in the Universe.

Electron-positron plasma appear relevant for GRBs and also for the Early Universe, in laboratory experiments with ultraintense lasers etc. We study both nonequilibrium effects such as thermalization and associated timescales, as well as dynamical effects such as accelerated expansion in the optically thick regime. Relativistic kinetic and hydrodynamic numerical codes are designed and widely implemented in this research. Basic outcomes from relativistic kinetic theory include the determination from first principles of relaxation timescales of optically thick electron-positron plasma with baryonic loading in the wide range of plasma parameters 10-30.1 always occurs on a time scale less than 10−9 sec. (A.G. Aksenov, R. Ruffini and G.V. Vereshchagin, “Pair plasma relaxation time scales”, Physical Review E, Vol. 81 (2010) 046401.) We are currently examine the treatment of quantum corrections to the collision integrals and determination of timescales of relaxation towards kinetic equilibrium for high temperature electron-positron-photon plasma with baryon loading. It is shown that timescale of establishment of kinetic equilibrium in electron-positron plasma is substantially affected by the effect of phase space blocking/enhancing of two-particles reaction rates as temperature of the plasma is higher than θ ≃ 1. Degeneracy of the main part of electron-positron pairs increases the timescale in spite of reaction rates enhancement by the coherent effects of photons. We show that the processes rates at θ = 10 are damped so strong that timescale of photon relaxation to kinetic equilibrium is more than three orders of magnitude larger than the corresponding timescale of classical thermalization. It is interesting that on the timescale slightly larger than the classical one some marginally stable solution occurs, that evolves in time towards thermal equilibrium. (A.G. Aksenov, R. Ruffini. I.A. Siutsou and G.V. Vereshchagin, “Degenerate plasma relaxation”, in preparation). These results extend the previous results obtained in A.G. Aksenov, R. Ruffini and G.V. Vereshchagin, “Thermalization of the mildly relativistic plasma”, Physical Review D, Vol. 79 (2009) 043008, “Thermalization of nonequilibrium electron-positron-photon plasmas”, Physical Review Letters, Vol. 99 (2007) No 12, 125003, and oral report on this topic will be made by G.V. Vereshchagin and A.G. Aksenov. Basic outcomes from relativistic hydrodynamics include, motivated by the recent observations of structured P-GRBs, the analysis of the accelerating phase of electron-positron plasma expansion. We examined the possibility that the structure seen in P-GRBs light curves originates from the structure of matter and energy distribution in the sources of GRBs. For this reason we were looking for possible deviations from the frozen radial profile of Piran et al. (1993). We developed a hydrodynamic code based on the operator splitting technique, following Bowers and Wilson (1991) and Wilson and Mathews (2003). The same code was used earlier in Ruffini et al. (2000), who also considered expansion of electron-positron plasma assuming that baryons are engulfed during the acceleration phase of expansion. The difference between the initial conditions adopted in Ruffini et al. (2000) and ours is that we are considering continuous engulfment of baryons uniformly distributed in space (up to a certain cut-off radius) while they considered baryons located in a thin shell at a certain radial distance from the source of the e+e− plasma. Similarly to Ruffini et al. (2000) we also find that the thickness of the unshocked part of the expanding shell is constant in time. The main difference is that our initial conditions result in the formation of long living shocks propagating both in the external medium (FS) and in the expanding shell (RS). The shocked region located in between is the new feature of our solution. It is our main finding that the reverse shock does not propagate in the expanding shell and the width of the shocked region (outer shell) does not increase in the laboratory frame. This means that the inner shell indeed remains unaffected by the external medium, provided that the acceleration is not saturated. (Gustavo de Barros, PhD Thesis, 2010 and A.G. Aksenov, G. de Barros, R. Ruffini and G.V. Vereshchagin “On the hydrodynamics of the optically thick phase at the onset of GRBs”, submitted to A&A, 2010). The proposal to explain duration of PGRBs due to hydrodynamic spreading of the fireshell. We revisited two mechanisms of spreading of relativistically expanding shell. Firstly, we considered thermal spreading proposed by Mészáros et al. (1993). Assuming relativistic Maxwellian distribution function we determined the velocity dispersion depending on temperature and the Lorentz factor of the bulk motion. We then applied these results to GRBs and showed that thermal spreading is largely overestimated by Mészáros et al. (1993) and provides negligible spreading for realistic parameters of GRBs. Secondly, following the proposal of Piran et al. (1993) we estimated hydrodynamical spreading of relativistically expanding shell. Our results imply that for high enough baryon loading and energy of the burst the duration of the P-GRB is not determined by the initial size of the plasma R0, but by the value of the hydrodynamical spreading, reaching up to several seconds. (R. Ruffini. I.A. Siutsou and G.V. Vereshchagin, “Spreading of ultrarelativistically expanding shell: an application to GRBs”, submitted to ApJL, 2010). The oral report on this topic will be made by G.V. Vereshchagin and G. De Barros.

The existence in the Universe of an exotic, non-luminous matter component, the socalled “dark matter” (DM), is supported, at least indirectly, by a large number of astrophysical and cosmological observations at different scales. Understanding the nature of DM and its origin represents one of the longest-standing challenges in particle cosmology. Several possible candidates for dark matter particles exist, and most of them are well-motivated from the point of view of particle physics. We have studied the majoron, a Nambu-Goldstone boson that could be related to the origin of neutrino masses. The majoron was first considered as a DM candidate by Berezinsky and Valle (1993). We have used the most recent and precise cosmological observations in order to constraints the properties of the majoron, i.e. its mass and lifetime, and we have found that the former should lie in the range ~0.1 keV, while the latter should be larger than 250 Gyrs, a considerable improvement over previous limits (M. Lattanzi, “The majoron: a new dark matter candidate ”in J. Kor. Phys. Soc 56, 1677 (2010).). We have also introduced a new DM candidate, the Barbero-Immirzi (BI) axion. The BI axion arises in the framework of theories of gravity with torsion. Ee have shown that it is possible to outline a complete dynamical setting to evaluate the contribution of such an axion to the DM of the Universe. Furthermore, a tight upper bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio production of primordial gravitational waves can be fixed, representing a strong experimental test for the model. (M. Lattanzi, S. Mercuri, “A solution of the strong CP problem via the Peccei-Quinn mechanism through the Nieh-Yan modified gravity and cosmological implications” in Phys. Rev. D81, 125015 (2010).).

We have also investigated more phenomenological aspects of the DM issues. Since all the evidence for the existence of DM comes from its gravitational effects, there is great effort to have an indipendent, non-gravitational, confirmation, either by direct or indirect means. One possibility would be to look for the effect of the DM annihilation products on the ionization history of the intergalactic medium (IGM). The ionization state of the IGM can be probed through observations of the 21cm radiation emitted by neutral hydrogen, corresponding to the spin-flip transition. We have studied in detail how the IGM is affected by the energy injection from the annihilation of DM particles, mainly focusing on supersymmetric candidates like the neutralino, and the 21cm signal that is consequently produced. We have modeled in detail the mechanism of energy injection, and we have taken into account the enhancement of the annihilation rate inside dense substructures, that is particularly important at small redshift. This has led to a reassessment of the capability of a detection by the incoming experiments. In particular, we have found that the more optimistic scenario could lead to a detection if experiments measuring the global 21 cm signal, such as EDGES and CORE, will be abel to reduce the systematics at 50 MHz to below 20 mK. (D. Cumberbatch, M. Lattanzi, J. Silk, “Signatures of clumpy dark matter in the global 21 cm background signal ”, in Phys. Rev. D82, 103508 (2010)). Another topic of study has been the possibility to constraint cosmological models in which the form of the primordial perturbation spectrum is not a simple power-law, as in the simplest inflationary picture. We have considered models in which the spectrum is a broken power-law. These kind of models are interesting because of the claim that relaxing in this sense the hypothesis on the primordial spectrum could allow to fit the cosmic microwave background data without resorting to a cosmological constant. We have shown that these kind of models are somewhat still compatible with cosmological data, but we have confuted the claim that they eliminate the necessity for a cosmological constant, using the proper statistical framework (represented by Bayesian statistic). Finally, on the topic of constraints on extended cosmological models, we have also constrained models with varying fundamental constants, in the framework of dark energy cosmologies. (S. Pandolfi, E. Giusarma,M. Lattanzi, A.Melchiorri, “Inflation with primordial broken power law spectrum as an alternative to the concordance cosmological model” in Phys. Rev. D81, 103007 (2010); E. Menegoni, S. Pandolfi, S. Galli, M. Lattanzi, A. Melchiorri “Constraints on the dark energy equation of state in presence of a varying fine structure constant” in Int. J. Mod. Phys D19, 507 (2010).). Interpretation of the latest data about X-ray emission from the center of the Galaxy suggest existence of 17 keV sterile neutrino particle. It is shown that model of semidegenerate self-gravitating system composed from fermions with mass in the range of tens of keV gives natural explanation of the central object of the Galaxy as well as dark matter halo. This model predicts correct halo profiles for other galaxies and globular clusters and is in perfect agreement with newly obtained result of constant dark matter halo surface density in galaxies. (R. Ruffini, A. Geralico, I.A. Siutsou, “Semidegenerate self-gravitating systems of fermions as central objects and dark matter halos in galaxies”, submitted to Physical Review Letters, 2010). The oral report on this topic will be made by M. Lattanzi and I.A. Siutsou.

We turn now to the report From nuclei to compact stars on page 581. This activity has been carried out by a collaboration between D. Arnett, H. Kleinert, V. Popov, M. Rotondo, J. Rueda, R. Ruffini and S.-S. Xue. One of the most active field of research has been to analyse a general approach to Compact Stars like White-Dwarfs and Neutron Stars, based on the Thomas-Fermi ultrarelativistic equations amply adopted in the study of superheavy nuclei. The analysis of superheavy nuclei has historically represented a major field of research, developed by Prof. V. Popov and Prof. W. Greiner and their schools. In 2007 the ICRANet group found the welcome result that all the analytic work developed by Prof. V. Popov and the Russian school can be applied using scaling laws satisfied by the relativistic Thomas-Fermi equation to the case of nuclear matter cores of stellar dimensions, if the beta equilibrium condition is properly taken into account. Since then, a large variety of problems has emerged, which have seen the direct participation of the above mentioned ICRANet Faculty and Adjunct Faculty staff. In a set of seven appendixes, they have been presented the recent progresses made in the intervening years. First, the consideration made for an isolated core with constant proton density whose boundary has been sharply defined by a step function. No external forces are exerted. Then when the assumption of a sharp proton density profile has been relaxed and, consequently, a smooth surface modelled by a Woods-Saxon-like proton distribution has been introduced. The analysis of globally neutral and compressed configurations composed by a relativistic fluid of degenerate neutrons, protons, and electrons in beta equilibrium has been recently accomplished. It has been generalized the Feynman- Metropolis-Teller treatment of compressed atoms to relativistic regimes, and the concept of compressed nuclear matter cores of stellar dimensions has been introduced. Finally we studied the construction of nuclear equations of state within a fully consistent formulation of the equations of equilibrium in general relativity and strong interactions, which is being covered currently in the Ph. D. thesis of D. Pugliese, R. Belvedere and S. Martins de Carvalho. This entire program has been developed in order to identify the initial boundary conditions for the electrodynamical process occurring at the onset of gravitational collapse leading to a black hole. An oral presentation of these topics will be made by J. Rueda.

In parallel to this work on the neutron star, the introduction of the techniques fo solving a compressed atom in a Wigner-Seitz cell has allowed to give a new approach to the study of degenerate matter in white dwarfs. This problem presents, still today, open issues of great interest such as the equilibrium of the electron gas and the associated nuclear component, taking into account the electromagnetic, the gravitational and the weak interactions formulated in a correct special and general relativistic framework. A complete analysis of the properties of such configurations as a function of the compression can be duly done through the relativistic generalization of the Feynman-Metropolis-Teller approach. It is then possible to derive a consistent equation of state for compressed matter which generalizes both the uniform free-electron fluid approximation, adopted for instance by Chandrasekhar in his famous treatment of white-dwarfs, and the well-known work of Salpeter which describes the electrodynamical and relativistic effects by a sequence of approximations. Apart from taking into account all possible electromagnetic and special relativistic corrections to the equation of state of white-dwarf matter, the new equation of state, which incorporates the beta equilibrium condition, leads to a selfconsistent calculation of the onset for inverse beta-decay of a given nuclear composition as function of the Fermi energy of electrons or equivalently, as a function of the density of the system. This important achievement, leads to a self-consistent calculation of the critical mass of white-dwarfs with heavy nuclear composition. In addition, the numerical value of the mass, of the radius, and of the critical mass of white-dwarfs turn to be smaller with respect to the ones obtained with approximate equations of state. Therefore, the analysis of compressed atoms following the relativistic Feynman-Metropolis-Teller treatment has important consequences in the determination of the mass-radius relation of white dwarfs, leading to the possibility of a direct confrontation of these results with observations, in view of the current great interest for the cosmological implications of the type Ia supernovae. These two topics are leading to the preparation of a new book with Springer with the title “Von Kerner zum Sterner”.

The problem “The electron-positron pairs in physics and astrophysics: from heavy nuclei to black holes” has been the subject of a physics reports of more than 500 references, which is inserted on page 911, by Ruffini, Vereshchagin and Xue. There, all the different aspects of the field has been reviewed: The fundamental contributions to the electron-positron pair creation and annihilation and the concept of critical electric field; Nonlinear electrodynamics and rate of pair creation; Pair production and annihilation in QED; Semi-classical description of pair production in a general electric field; Phenomenology of electron-positron pair creation and annihilation; The extraction of blackholic energy from a black hole by vacuum polarization processes; Plasma oscillations in electric fields; Thermalization of the mildly relativistic pair plasma. Due to the interaction of physics and astrophysics we are witnessing in these years a splendid synthesis of theoretical, experimental and observational results originating from three fundamental physical processes. They were originally proposed by Dirac, by Breit and Wheeler and by Sauter, Heisenberg, Euler and Schwinger. For almost seventy years they have all three been followed by a continued effort of experimental verification on Earthbased experiments. The Dirac process, e+e- → g, has been by far the most successful. It has obtained extremely accurate experimental verification and has led as well to an enormous number of new physics in possibly one of the most fruitful experimental avenues by introduction of storage rings in Frascati and followed by the largest accelerators worldwide: DESY, SLAC etc. The Breit-Wheeler process, 2g → e+e-, although conceptually simple, being the inverse process of the Dirac one, has been by far one of the most difficult to be verified experimentally. Only recently, through the technology based on free electron X-ray laser and its numerous applications in Earth-based experiments, some first indications of its possible verification have been reached. The vacuum polarization process in strong electromagnetic field, pioneered by Sauter, Heisenberg, Euler and Schwinger, introduced the concept of critical electric field. It has been searched without success for more than forty years by heavy-ion collisions in many of the leading particle accelerators worldwide. In view of the recent developments in the free electron lasers, we have invited at ICRANet Prof. John Madey, the inventor of the free electron lasers, to give a set of lectures (see enclosure 9) and to explore the possibility to have, by focusing the free electron laser signals, the realization in the laboratory of the Breit-Wheeler process. Prof. Madey has also accepted the position of Adjunct Professor at ICRANet starting this year, and he is planning a collaboration with us in the forthcoming years.

In the report on page 817, using the formula obtained for the rate of pair production in spatially varying external electric field dynamical equations describing the space and time evolutions of pair-induced electric charges, currents and fields bounded within a given spatial region are solved. These results imply the wave propagation of the pairinduced electric field and wave-transportation of the electromagnetic energy in the strong field region. Analogously to the electromagnetic radiation emitted from an alternating electric current, the space and time variations of pair-induced electric currents and charges emit an electromagnetic radiation. We show that this radiation has a peculiar energyspectrum that is clearly distinguishable from the energy-spectra of the bremsstrahlung radiation, electron–positron annihilation and other possible background events. This possibly provides a distinctive way to detect the radiative signatures for the production and oscillation of electron–positron pairs in ultra-strong electric fields that can be realized in either ground laboratories or astrophysical environments. (Wen-Biao Han, Remo Ruffini, She-Sheng Xue “Electron–positron pair oscillation in spatially inhomogeneous electric fields and radiation” Physics Letters B 691 (2010) 99). We study the frequency of the plasma oscillations of electrons-positron pairs created by the vacuum polarization in an uniform electric field in the range 0.2Ec < E < 10Ec. We work out one second order ordinary differential equation for the velocity from which we can recover the plasma oscillation equation as a limiting case with vanishing E. For this reason, we focus our attention on its evolution in time studying how this oscillation frequency approaches the plasma frequency. Also the time scale needed to approach the plasma frequency and the power spectrum of these oscillations are computed. The spectrum of this dipole radiation shows a unique line-like feature, as discussed above. The position of this feature, is determined as a function of the initial value of electric field strength. (A. Benedetti , W.-B. Han, R. Ruffini, G.V. Vereshchagin, “On the frequency of oscillations in the pair plasma generated by a strong electric field”, submitted to Physics Letters B, 2010). The oral report on this topic will be made by S.-S. Xue.

The collaboration on Supernovae is mainly centred from almost daily scientific contact with Prof. Massimo Della Valle, who is currently PI of a VLT proposal “A spectroscopic study of the supernova/GRB connection”. A short summary of the internationally well-known activities of Prof. Della Valle, who is an Adjunct Professor at ICRANet, is given in the report on page 1211, which contains the many publications in international journals. Prof. Della Valle is also very active following one graduate student of the IRAP PhD program.

The Report on “Cosmology and Large Scale Structures” on page 1227 manifests the progress made by the ICRANet group at the University of Arizona. It deals with three different topics. A. Turbulence behavior of cosmic baryon gas. With hydrodynamic simulation sample of the LCDM universe produced by the WENO algorithm, we show that the intermittency of the velocity field of cosmic baryon fluid at redshift z=0 in the scale range from the Jeans length to about 16h-1 Mpc can be extremely well described by the She- Lévĕque's scaling formula, which is used to describe a fully developed turbulence. We also found that the non-Gaussian features of the cosmic baryon fluid and Ly-a transmitted flux of quasar absorption spectrum can be well described by a log-Poisson hierarchy. B. Wouthuysen-Field coupling. With a state-of-the-art numerical method, we show that the resonant scattering of Ly-a photons with neutral hydrogen atoms will lock the color temperature of the photon spectrum around the Ly-a frequency to be equal to the kinetic temperature of hydrogen gas. The time scales of the onset of Wouthuysen-Field coupling, the profile of frequency distribution of photons in the state of local thermal equilibrium, the effects of the expansion of the universe on the Wouthuysen-Field coupling in a optical thick halos have also been found. These results are essential for studying the 21 cm signal from high redshift sources. C. Time-dependent behavior of Lya photon transfer. Lya photons have been widely applied to study cosmological problems in high redshifts. Since the time scales of high redshift sources, such as GRBs, generally are short, time-dependent solutions of Lya photon transfer becomes serious. However, no reliable numerical solvers of the time-dependent problem of radiative transfer equation with resonant scattering have been developed till 2006. The time-dependent solver (Meiksin, MN, 370, (2006), 2025- 2037) still cannot pass the test of analytical solutions (Field, ApJ, 129, (1959), 551). The solver based on the WENO scheme has been established. It can very well pass various tests (Roy et al ApJ, 716, 2010, 604). It reveals many interesting features of the time evolution of resonant photons Lya in optical thick medium. It provides the solutions of studying the time-dependent effect of resonant scattering on the profile of red damping wing of GRBs. It is crucial to understand the halos of GRBs.

A particularly important set of contributions, critically analyzing the effect of inhomogeneity and anisotropy in a Friedmann Cosmology affecting the entire interpretation of the acceleration of the Universe, have been developed in Pescara by David Wiltshire on sabbatical from the University of Christchurch. See the Reports “Average observational quantities in the timescape cosmology” on page 1273, “Gravitational energy as dark energy: Average observational quantities” on page 1297, and “From time to timescape: Einstein’s unfinished revolution” on page 1307.

A volume dedicated to Fermi and Astrophysics (see report on page 1321) has been edited in the recent years and has been finally completed (“Fermi and Astrophysics”, edited by D. Boccaletti and R. Ruffini, World Scientific, 2011). This book has some different goals: 1) to present some papers which were published at ICRA in the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Enrico Fermi; 2) to translate into English a set of papers by Fermi which were available only in Italian; 3) to try to understand the reason why, having been one of the greatest experts on Einstein theory in the earliest years of his life, after his transfer to Rome and later on to the United States Fermi never published anything on Einstein theory. In the latest part of his life Fermi realized that astrophysics offers a great future to physics. The only paper by Fermi mastering general relativity and cosmology was to prove George Gamow work being wrong. On the contrary, he managed in matter of fact to give one of the greatest contribution to cosmology and to Gamow theory and to Einstein theory of general relativity.

The report on Gamma-Ray Bursts starts on page 1331. Major progresses have been accomplished this year in the following aspects: 1) In well identifying the origin of the new GRB family which we have defined as “disguised short” GRBs, the prototype being GRB 970228, confirmed by GRB 060614, GRB 050509B and by GRB 071227; all these objects appear to be related to progenitors formed by binary systems of neutron stars or a neutron star and a white dwarf. 2) In identifying the offset of disguised GRB host galaxies as a key parameter to classify this kind of sources. 3) In understanding the role of the ``Amati'' relation for the disguised short GRBs. 4) In studying the possible selection effect preventing the identification of ``genuine'' short GRBs. These first topics will be covered in the oral presentation by Dr. C.L. Bianco and Dr. L. Caito. 5) In evidencing a broadening of the spectral energy distribution within the fireshell model for highly energetic GRBs (~ 1053 - 1054 ergs). 6) In identifying a new family of very energetic sources (GRB 080319B and GRB 050904); both these sources are at an energy of 1054 ergs and they offer unprecedented opportunities since one is located at z ~ 1 and the other at z ~ 6.3: the nearby source allow a most significant high-quality data on very short time scale which has allowed to reach a deeper understanding of the instantaneous spectrum vs. the average one. Both of them appear to originate from a collapse of a black hole of 10 solar masses. Still members of this family appears to be GRB 090423 at z ~ 8 and GRB 060607A. 7) New outlook has been brought to this field by the Fermi and AGILE satellites and the very exciting preliminary results have been obtained on GRB 080916C and GRB 090902B. 8) In studying the P-GRB observed spectra. These topics will be covered by the oral presentation of Prof. S. Chakrabarti and Dr. Luca Izzo. 9) Particularly interesting has been the formalization of a possible scenario to explain the origin of the X-ray plateau from a collision between different subshells within a structured fireshell. An initially faster external subshell, slowed down by the interaction with the CBM, collides with an initially slower inner subshell. The plateau phase of GRBs is supposed to originate from the instabilities developed in this collision.

In the report “Relativistic effects in Physics and Astrophysics” (see page 1585) it is studied the distribution of the GRB bolometric luminosity over the EQTSs, with special attention to the prompt emission phase. We analyze as well the temporal evolution of the EQTS apparent size in the sky. We use the analytic solutions of the equations of motion of the fireshell and the corresponding analytic expressions of the EQTSs which have been presented in recent works and which are valid for both the fully radiative and the adiabatic dynamics. We find the novel result that at the beginning of the prompt emission the most luminous regions of the EQTSs are the ones closest to the line of sight. On the contrary, in the late prompt emission and in the early afterglow phases the most luminous EQTS regions are the ones closest to the boundary of the visible region. We find as well an expression for the apparent radius of the EQTS in the sky, valid in both the fully radiative and the adiabatic regimes. Such considerations are essential for the theoretical interpretation of the prompt emission phase of GRBs.

The following four contributions (on page 1647, 1653, 1673 and 1681) have been made by Prof. Titarchuk, who is an Adjunct Professor at ICRANet, and his collaborators at University of Ferrara. We recall that University of Ferrara is an active member of the IRAP PhD program. In a first paper Titarchuk in collaboration with Laurent analyzed the spectral index as a function of mass accretion rate in black-hole. It has been firmly established using RXTE satelllite in black holes observations that the photon index of the X-ray spectrum increase with increasing values of the accretion rate. They explained this phenomena index-accretion rate correlations using a Monte Carlo simulation of radiative processes in the innermost part of a black hole source and with the Comptonization processes in presence of thermal and bulk motions. Using this Monte Carlo simulation, Titarchuk and Seifina have demonstrated that the black hole mass in SS433 is consistent to the previous measurements. In a third article, Titarchuk and Farinelli have explained why the spectral index of thermal Comptonization for LMXBs NS sources is order of 1 using the diffusion approximation. Finally, Titarchuk and collaborators have shown that the compact object in Cygnus X-3 has a mass greater than 4.2 solar mass, which clearly indicates the presence of a black hole.

The report on Quasars and black holes refers to the activity of Prof. Brian Punsly (see page 1707), who is actively participating within ICRANet with the publication of his internationally recognised book on “Black hole gravitohydromagnetics”, the first and second edition (2010) being published with Springer. In addition, Prof. Punsly have been interested in observational properties of quasars such as broad line emission excess in radio loud quasars accentuated for polar line of sight and excess narrow line widths of broad emission lines in broad absorption line quasars, showing that this is best explained by polar lines of sight.

In collaboration with Campus Biomedico in Rome there are ongoing researches on galactic structures. The Reports “Self Gravitating Systems, Galactic Structures and Galactic Dynamics” on page 1713 is focused on analytical and numerical methods for the study of classical self-gravitating fluid/gaseous masses. A series of papers of this group have been devoted in the past to the generalization of the classical theory of ellipsoidal figures of equilibrium using virial methods. The research activities of the group have focused subsequently on functional methods for obtaining equilibrium solutions for polytropic self-gravitating systems that rotate and have a non uniform vorticity. The group has recently published a novel and important result in the context of analogous geometry theory. It is well known that the wave equation for the perturbations of given a perfect barotropic and irrotational Newtonian fluid can be rewritten as an “effective General Relativity”. They have extended this result including the possibility for the fluid to be self-gravitating. This work opens the path for a new interpretation of classical Lane- Emden theory in terms of curved space-time techniques.

We recall the successful attempt of applying methodologies developed in Relativistic Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics to researches in the medicine domain. The Report “Interdisciplinary Complex Systems” on page 1745 adopts analytical and numerical methods for the study of problems of nonlinear dynamics focusing on biological systems and using a theoretical physics approach. It is well established both numerically and experimentally that nonlinear systems involving diffusion, chemotaxis, and/or convection mechanisms can generate complicated time-dependent spiral waves, as in happens in chemical reactions, slime molds, brain and in the heart. Because this phenomenon is global in Nature and arises also in astrophysics with spiral galaxies, the goal of this research activity has been to clarify the role of this universal spiralling pattern. The group has studied numerically the nonlinear partial differential equations of the theory (Reaction-Diffusion) using finite element methods. The group has recently published a novel and important result: an electromechanical model of cardiac tissue, on which spiral moves and causes the domain to deform in space and time. This model is a real breakthrough in the context of theoretical biophysics, leading to new scenarios in the context of computational cardiology.

The most important metrics in general relativity is the Kerr-Newman solution which describes the gravitational and electromagnetic fields of a rotating charged mass, characterized by its mass M, charge Q and angular momentum L in geometrical units. This solution characterizes the field of a black hole. For astrophysical purposes, however, it is necessary to take into account the effects due to the moment of inertia of the object. To attack this problem, an exact solution of the Einstein-Maxwell equations have been proposed by Mashhoon and Quevedo which posses an infinite set of gravitational and electromagnetic multipole moments. It is not clear, however, how this external solution to an astrophysical object can be matched to a physical internal solution corresponding to a physically acceptable rotating mass. The report “Generalization of the Kerr-Newman solution” on page 1767 reports on current progresses in using an explicit solution of the Hartle-Thorne equation to an eternal solution with N independent quadrupole moments.

The report on “Cosmology and non linear relativistic field theories” on page 1853 covered a wide range thematic in cosmology and non linear relativistic field theory studied by Prof. M. Novello and his group. This include the geometrical description of quantum mechanics where it is shown that quantum mechanics could be interpreted as a modification of the euclidean nature of a 3D space into a particular affine space. In this formulation, deformation of physical distances are in the core of quantum effects allowing a geometrical formulation of the uncertainty principle. Prof. Novello also studied the Higgs mechanism without Higgs boson. The purpose of this work is to show that the gravitational interaction is able to generate mass for all body. It is extremely important with the LHC experiment which soon will enlight us about the existing or not of the Higgs particle. A main part of his activity is related to bouncing cosmology.

Complementary 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 (see Report “Fundamental Physics in Space and Required Technologies” on page 2229). A graduate student Valerio Ferroni is approaching his thesis discussion and will present an oral report at the meeting.

The report on “Patch effect in cylindrical geometry” on page 2237 summarizes the Ph.D. thesis of Valerio Ferroni of the IRAP PhD program. This thesis has been particularly timely, being discussed on December 13th, 2010. Dr. Ferroni has already been offered a postdoc position in the LISA mission group, where he will apply the technology he learned at Stanford University.

In the report on “Quantum gravity and unification theories” on page 2345 there have been stressed finally some limits of the applicability to cosmology of the Loop quantum gravity techniques.

Some last minute results on gravitational radiation from a spinning compact object have been presented on page 2499.

Finally, there will be an oral presentation by Pascal Chardonnet of the current situation of the IRAP PhD and the Erasmus Mundus program co-sponsored by the European Commission, as well as a report on the first ten graduate students enrolled on September 1st, 2010 (see enclosure 10).


I am very happy to express, on behalf of all the Members of ICRANet and myself, our profound gratitude to the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Minister of Economy and Finances of Italy. A personal sign of gratitude goes to Gianni Letta, the Under-Secretary of State to the President, for his multi-year support of ICRANet, since its first establishment. A sign of gratitude goes to the Ambassador Giampiero Massolo, to Min. Plen. Vincenza Lomonaco and to Prof. Immacolata Pannone as well as to the Ragioneria Generale of the Ministry of Economy and Finances, for their daily attention in the activities of ICRANet. A special recognition goes to the activities of the many Ambassadors and Consuls who have greatly helped in the intense series of activities carried out by ICRANet in Belarus, Brazil, France, China, Korea and New Zealand. This year has been marked by an intense series of lectures organized by ICRANet at the University of Nice Sofia Antipolis for the graduate students and by the restructuring of the seat of Villa Ratti in Nice. We are grateful for this common effort to the President, Albert Marouani, and the Vice President, Pierre Coullet, of the University of Nice Sofia Antipolis. We are grateful to the Mayor of Pescara, Luigi Albore-Mascia, to the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, to the Adjunct for Science, Research and Culture, Dr. Agnes Rampal, and to the President of the Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes, Eric Ciotti, for their generous support in granting to ICRANet the logistics of the Centers in their respective townships. We are equally very grateful to the Brazilian Institutions, the Foreign Minister of Brazil, the Minister of Science of Brazil, the Governor of the State of Cearà, the Mayor of Rio for their essential support in the establishment of the ICRANet seat in Brazil. A special sign of gratitude goes to Minister Roberto Amaral and to Prof. Francisco José Amaral Vieira for their continuous support. All this work could not have been achieved without the help of all Members institutions of ICRANet. Clearly, a special mention of satisfaction goes to all the Scientific Institutions and Research Centers which have signed with us a collaboration agreement which include BSU (Belarusian State University, Belarus), CBPF (Brazil), Cearà State (Brazil), ENEA (National Agency for new technologies, energy and the economic sustainable development, Italy), ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, Italy), INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Italy), GARR (Italy), LeCosPa (Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics, Taiwan), NAS (National Academy of Science, Armenia), Nice University Sophia Antipolis (France), Pescara University “D’Annunzio” (Italy), Physics Department of University of Rome “Sapienza” (Italy), UERJ (Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil). ICRANet, as sponsor of the IRAP-PhD program, expresses its gratitude to AEI – Albert Einstein Institute – Potsdam (Germany), Berlin Free University (Germany), CBPF – Brazilian Centre for Physics Research (Brazil), Ferrara University (Italy), Indian centre for space physics (India), Nice University Sophia Antipolis (France), Observatory of the Côte d'Azur (France), Rome University – “Sapienza” (Italy), Savoie University (France), Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (China), Stockholm University (Sweden), Tartu Observatory (Estonia), for their joint effort in creating and activating this first European Ph.D. program in Relativistic Astrophysics which has obtained the official recognition of the Erasmus Mundus program of the European Community. Finally, thanks goes to the Physics Department and to the Rector of the University of Rome “Sapienza” for all the collaboration in the teaching, in the electronic links and in the common research. A special mention of gratitude, of course, goes to the administrative, secretarial and technical staff of ICRANet and ICRA for their essential and efficient daily support.









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