Rector of the Gran Sasso Science Institute, physicist. He is one of the authors of the discovery of gravitational waves and of the first observation of black holes.
He graduated in Physics in Rome University in 1980, in the group of Edoardo Amaldi and Guido Pizzella. He was post-Doc and Fellow at CERN (1981-1985), research scientist (1985-1987) and professor of Physics (1988-2016) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He spent various periods of research activity at CERN, at the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory in Leiden and at the INFN Laboratories of Frascati and Gran Sasso. He directed the gravitatiional wave experiments EXPLORER at CERN and NAUTILUS at the INFN Frascati Laboratories.
He is a member of the VIRGO Collaboration, operating the largest European gravitational-wave laser interferometer detector.
He was the director of the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory (2003-2009), President of the Italian Society of General Relativity and Gravitational Physics (2000-2004) and Chair of the INFN Scientific Committee on Astroparticle Physics (2002-2003). He was also Chair of the Gravitational Wave International Committee (GWIC) and member of the council of the European Physical Society. At present he is member of the council of the Italian Physical Society and member of the executive board of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF).
He was awarded the "Occhialini Medal" and Prize by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Italian Physical Society, for his contribution to the search for gravitational waves. For the discovery of gravitational waves he shared the "Special Breaktrought Prize" for Fundamental Physics and the "Gruber Cosmology Prize" with the members of the Ligo-Virgo Collaboration.
He is member honoris causa of various Scientific Academies, in particular the “Academia Europaea” and the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino. In 2017 he was elected Fellow of the European Physical Society (EPS).
He received the honor of “Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” by President Giorgio Napolitano in 2011 and was appointed by the Prime Minister in the Committee of Experts for the research policy in 2014.