## Abstract

Research in modern gravitational physics tries to unify both the guiding
principles of physics and all fundamental interactions in a consistent
framework. Our project is therefore aimed at studying in detail
gravitation and the physics of the Universe within the framework of field
theory, while paying attention to experimental verifications, which are
essential to put the theoretical models on firm ground. The principles of
quantum physics at the Planck scale might have driven the quantum birth of
the Universe and its evolution into the currently observed classical
Universe. Thus, the following key open problems in gravitational physics
will be investigated:
Quantum gravity and quantum cosmology based on functional integrals or
nonperturbative methods. Possible signatures of quantum gravity effects in
the cosmic microwave background and in experiments on earth. Cosmological
singularities in quantum gravity. Impact of geodesic and frame-dragging
precession measurement on theories of quantum gravity.
Why is the Universe undergoing accelerated expansion? What is the 96% of
the Universe made of? Is it necessary to modify the gravitational
Lagrangian and the theory of matter fields coupled to gravity? Dark energy
and relativistic theories of gravity; f(R) and scalar-tensor theories of
gravity; interplay with inflationary models and matter-antimatter
asymmetry in the Universe.
Dark matter problem and gravitational lensing; realistic models of
gravitational lenses; structure formation in the Universe; cosmic defect
theory.

### HIGHLIGHTS OF QUANTUM UNIVERSE

Since October 2001, we have initiated a series of annual workshops, devoted to an informal presentation of our research, with a discussion of results and open problems. We have also contributed to the organization of the Conferences:- SIGRAV CONFERENCES, years 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004.
- PROBLEMI ATTUALI DI FISICA TEORICA (Vietri, April 2014).
- DARK SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE (SISSA, October 2013).
- THE TIME MACHINE FACTORY (Turin, October 2012).
- 15th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENSING (Salerno, January 2011).
- QUANTUM GRAVITY AND SPECTRAL GEOMETRY (Naples, July 2001).

- KARPACZ WINTER SCHOOL 2013, KARPACZ WINTER SCHOOL 2006 (Ladek, February 2013 & February 2006).
- COARSE-GRAINED COSMOLOGY (GGI Florence, January 2009).
- NEW PATHS TOWARDS QUANTUM GRAVITY (Holbaek, May 2008).