Laureates 2009

2009 Past Astrophysics-History of the Universe

Paolo de Bernardis

de bernardis - smallPaolo de Bernardis is Professor of Physics at the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. His fields of expertise are Experimental Astrophysics and Cosmology, in particular the study of cosmic microwave background. He was a member of the second, fourteenth and eighteenth dispatch of the National Program for Research in Antarctica and in the OASIS and the BOOMERANG programs. 

Prof. de Bernardis was the Principal Investigator of the Italian international experiment BOOMERANG stratospheric balloon. During the 1998 Antarctic flight BOOMERANG measured, for the first time, the fluctuations of the primordial plasma and demonstrated the 'lack of curvature' of the universe, so estimating 'the density' of total mass and energy.

These findings, to which the journal Nature devoted its front page, had great exposure in the press nationally and internationally. In 2003, BOOMERanG/B2K was launched again to measure the state of polarization of the radiation background microwave. The results were published in 2005.

Prof. de Bernardis served as state coordinator of the Italian international MAXIMA experiments on cosmic background radiation and as co-investigator of the High Frequency Instrument on the Planck satellite European Space Agency. Prof. de Bernardis was a member of the Astronomy Working Group of the 'European Space Agency; the state coordinator of the Study on Issues and Models in Cosmology and Fundamental Physics Spaceof the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana; and has numerous editorial activities.

Prof. de Bernardis' awards include the Balzan Prize for Observational Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Premio Feltrinelli of the Accademia dei Lincei.