Vincenzo BRANCHINA

Associate Professor of Theoretical physics, mathematical models and methods [FIS/02]
Office: DFA 219
Email: vincenzo.branchina@ct.infn.it
Phone: +39 095 378 5336
Office Hours: Monday and Thursday from 12:00 to 12:15


Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy "Ettore Majorana" of the University of Catania. Theoretical physicist of fundamental interactions and elementary particles, internationally known for his work on new renormalization group equations in theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking and in gauge theories, and for his work on vacuum stability in the Standard Model and in theories beyond the Standard Model. National Head of the "Harmonia" Network (in partnership with the University of Warsaw, the University of Lisbon and the University of Dresden). Responsible for the Catania INFN Section of the "QFT-HEP" (Quantum Field Theory- High Energy Physics) project. He was Visiting Scientis at MIT (Boston), CNRS (Strasbourg), CERN (Geneva) and at the University of Geneva. He was Visiting Professor and Associate Professor at the Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg. He has collaborated with scientists from various universities and research institutions, including J. Polonyi (MIT, Boston - Eotvos University, Budapest - L. Pasteur University, Stasbourg), G. Veneziano (CERN, Geneva), CM Bender (Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri), Marc Sher (College of William and Mary, Williamsbourg, Virginia). He has been invited speaker at numerous international conferences. He has directed several bachelor's, master's and doctoral theses. In 1997, 2001 and 2005, the Minister of Research of the French Republic awarded him the prize for "Research and Supervision of Doctoral Theses". He has held courses in Classical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Field Theory, Standard Model Theory.

1988: Laurea (Bachelor + Master) in Physics (110/110 cum laude), University of Catania 

1989-1990: INFN fellow 

1991: Visiting Scientist MIT, Boston

1993: Visiting Scientist, CRN, Strasbourg

1994: PhD in Physics, University of Catania

1994: Visiting Professor, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg

1994-2000: Assistant professor, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg

2001-2006: Associate Professor, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg

2003: Visiting Scientist, CERN, Geneva

2004: Visiting Scientist, University of Geneva

2007 -: Associate Professor, University of Catania

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS - National Head of the “HARMONIA” network in partnership with: (1) University of Warsaw, Poland; (2) Center of Theoretical and Computacional Physics from Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; (3) Institut fur Kern und Teilchenphysik, Technische Universitaet Dresden, Germany.

HONORS - In 1997, 2001 and 2005 the Minister of Scientific Research (France) awarded him the "Prize for the research and supervision of PhD theses".

RESPONSIBILITies AND SERVICES FOR THE COMMUNITY - Responsible for the Catania INFN Section of the INFN Specific Initiative: QFT-HEP (quantum field theory-high energy physics); Referee of: Physical Review Letters, Physical Review D, Nuclear Physics B, Physics Letters B.

TEACHING ACTIVITY - He held courses in: Classical Mechanics, Classical Electrodynamics, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Field Theory, Standard Model. He has been supervisor of numerous bachelor's, master's and doctoral theses.

Below a list of 20 representative publications

  1. Branchina V., Bentivegna E., Contino F., Zappala D. (2019). Direct Higgs-gravity interaction and stability of our universe. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol. 99, p. 1-6, ISSN: 2470-0010, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.99.096029
  2. Branchina, V., Contino, F., Ferreira, P. M. (2018). Electroweak vacuum lifetime in two Higgs doublet models. JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS, vol. 2018, 107, ISSN: 1029-8479, doi: 10.1007/JHEP11(2018)107
  3. Branchina, Vincenzo, CONTINO, FILIPPO, Pilaftsis, Apostolos (2018). Protecting the stability of the electroweak vacuum from Planck-scale gravitational effects. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol. 98, p. 1-16, ISSN: 2470-0010, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.98.075001
  4. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, MESSINA, EMANUELE (2017). Stability and UV completion of the Standard Model. EUROPHYSICS LETTERS, vol. 117, p. 1-6, ISSN: 0295-5075, doi: 10.1209/0295-5075/117/61002
  5. Bentivegna, E., Branchina, V., Contino, F., ZAPPALA', DARIO GAETANO (2017). Impact of new physics on the EW vacuum stability in a curved spacetime background. JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS, vol. 2017, 100, ISSN: 1029-8479, doi: 10.1007/JHEP12(2017)100
  6. Branchina V., Messina E., Zappala D. (2016). Impact of gravity on vacuum stability. EUROPHYSICS LETTERS, vol. 116, p. 1-6, ISSN: 0295-5075, doi: 10.1209/0295-5075/116/21001
  7. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, Messina E, Sher M. (2015). Lifetime of the electroweak vacuum and sensitivity to Planck scale physics. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, PARTICLES, FIELDS, GRAVITATION, AND COSMOLOGY, ISSN: 1550-7998
  8. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, Emanuele Messina, Alessia Platania (2014). Top mass determination, Higgs inflation, and vacuum stability. JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS, ISSN: 1126-6708
  9. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, E. Messina (2013). Stability, Higgs Boson Mass and New Physics. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, vol. 111, ISSN: 0031-9007, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.241801
  10. C.M. Bender C M, Branchina V, E. Messina (2013). Critical behavior of the PT-symmetric iphi^3 quantum field theory. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, PARTICLES, FIELDS, GRAVITATION, AND COSMOLOGY, vol. 87, ISSN: 1550-7998, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.87.085029
  11. Carl M.Bender, Branchina V, E. Messina (2012). Ordinary versus PT-symmetric phi^3 quantum field theory. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, PARTICLES, FIELDS, GRAVITATION, AND COSMOLOGY, vol. 85, ISSN: 1550-7998, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.85.085001
  12. BRANCHINA V, D. ZAPPALA (2010). Dilution of zero point energies in the cosmological expansion. MODERN PHYSICS LETTERS A, vol. 25, p. 2305-2312, ISSN: 0217-7323 
  13. BRANCHINA V, D. ZAPPALA (2010). Time evolution of Tμν and the cosmological constant problem. GENERAL RELATIVITY AND GRAVITATION, vol. 42, p. 141-154, ISSN: 0001-7701, doi: 10.1007/s10714-009-0822-x
  14. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo (2008). Effective potential and vacuum stability. JOURNAL OF PHYSICS. G, NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE PHYSICS, vol. 36, p. 015006-9pp, ISSN: 0954-3899
  15. BRANCHINA V, H. FAIVRE (2005). Effective potential (in)stability and lower bounds on the scalar (Higgs) mass. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, PARTICLES, FIELDS, GRAVITATION, AND COSMOLOGY, vol. 72, p. 065017-1-065017-17, ISSN: 1550-7998, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.72.065017
  16. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, K. A. MEISSNER, G. VENEZIANO (2003). The Price of an exact, gauge invariant RG flow equation. PHYSICS LETTERS. SECTION B, vol. 574, p. 319-324, ISSN: 0370-2693
  17. BRANCHINA, Vincenzo (2001). Nonperturbative renormalization group potentials and quintessence. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol. 64, p. 043513-1-043513-4, ISSN: 0556-2821
  18. A. BONANNO, BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, H. MOHRBACH, D. ZAPPALA (1999). Wegner-Houghton equation and derivative expansion. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol. 60, p. 065009-1-065009-11, ISSN: 0556-2821
  19. J. ALEXANDRE, BRANCHINA, Vincenzo, J. POLONYI (1999). Instability induced renormalization. PHYSICS LETTERS. SECTION B, vol. 445, p. 351-356, ISSN: 0370-2693
  20. Branchina V, Castorina P, Zappala D (1990). Convexity property of the variational approximations to the effective potential.. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol. 41, p. 1948-1952, ISSN: 0556-2821

 

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Vincenzo Branchina's research work is mainly aimed at the study of non-perturbative aspects of quantum field theories, both from the theoretical and from the phenomenological point of view. Among the different themes we mention in particular: (1) a Wilson-style renormalization group applied to quantum field theories; (2) extension of PT-symmetric quantum mechanics to field theories; (3) study of the impact that interactions at the Planck scale have on the stability of the vacuum in the Standard Model and in theories beyond the Standard Model. In the latter field, results (breakthroughs) have been obtained which have radically changed the previous paradigm. Aspects and works of particular importance in the above-mentioned sectors: (1) A new equation of the renormalization group for spontaneous symmetry breaking theories has been derived in "Instability induced renormalization", J. Alexandre, V. Branchina, J. Polonyi, Phys. Lett. B445 (1999) 351, which represents an important point of reference on the subject. Furthermore, by combining methods of the renormalization group with the Vilkovisky-De Witt definition of effective action, a new renormalization group equation for gauge theories was derived in "The Price of an exact, gauge invariant RG flow equation", V Branchina, KA Meissner, G. Veneziano, Phys.Lett. B574 (2003) 319. This equation allows to study non-perturbative phenomena in gauge theories and in quantum gravity. (2) The renormalization properties of PT-symmetric field theories are studied for the first time in "Ordinary versus PT-symmetric \ phi ^ 3 quantum field theory", C.M. Bender, V. Branchina, E. Messina, Phys.Rev . D85 (2012) 085001, and in “Critical behavior of the PT-symmetric i \ phi ^ 3 quantum field theory”, C. M. Bender, V. Branchina, E. Messina, Phys.Rev. D87 (2013), 085029. PT-symmetric theories have been applied with great success in several areas of quantum mechanics; the articles cited above constitute an important reference for the extension of PT-symmetry to field theories. (3) The results (breakthrough) related to the impact of physics at the Planck scale on the vacuum stability are contained in several articles. The pioneering works are: “Stability, Higgs Boson Mass and New Physics”, V. Branchina, E. Messina, Phys.Rev.Lett.111 (2013) 241801; "Top mass determination, Higgs inflation, and vacuum stability", V. Branchina, E. Messina, A. Platania, JHEP 1409 (2014) 182; “Lifetime of the electroweak vacuum and sensitivity to Planck scale physics”, V. Branchina, E. Messina, M. Sher, Phys.Rev.D91 (2015) 013003.

Among the main activities of Vincenzo Branchina connected with his research work in physics and his teaching activity:

- participation in numerous international conferences as an invited speaker;

- referee for several international journals;

- training courses for high school physics teachers;

- numerous dissemination seminars for the general public;

- scientific articles in newspapers (non-specialized press)

- numerous seminars for high school students;

- numerous seminarss for the orientation of high school students in their choice for university studies;

- participation in "open days" organized by the physics department for high school students.