Open problems in the Standard Model


Our aim is to study the phenomenological manifestations of Fundamental Interactions in particle physics experiments and to explore the connections with astrophysical and cosmological observations. The final goal is to address the open problems of the Standard Model such as the Hierarchy Problem, the need of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, the origin of Flavor and of neutrino masses.
The activity of our group follows several complementary directions. We work on the formulation of new physics models that may solve some of the above-mentioned problems and we study their experimental manifestations. For what concerns the Hierarchy Problem, strongly motivated scenarios like Supersymmetry and Composite Higgs are being considered. We will also study models of quark and lepton flavor, trying to explain the observed patterns of masses, mixing and flavor-changing transitions with the help of discrete or continuous symmetries. Moreover, we work on the calculation of high order ElectroWeak and Strong radiative corrections, which are essential ingredients to design precision tests of new physics effects. We also pursue a more theoretical approach to the Hierarchy Problem. In the hope of grasping some qualitative aspects that have escaped our understanding so far, we study predictive (though not realistic) four-dimensional theories of gravity, such as N=8 supergravity. Various topics at the interface between particle physics and cosmology is also be addressed. In particular we study Dark Matter candidates in models beyond the SM, focusing in particular on the WIMP paradigm and of the one of axions. Possible observational signatures of these scenarios are being discussed, in direct and indirect detection experiments, in collider physics, as well as in cosmological observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background and of the Large Scale Structure of the Universe. These observations can also be investigated as a tool to improve existing bounds on the absolute neutrino mass scale.