Fabiola Gianotti

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Fabiola Gianotti
Portrait of Fabiola Gianotti.jpg
Born (1960-10-29) October 29, 1960 (age 54)
Rome, Italy
Fields Physics
Alma mater University of Milan
Known for ATLAS experiment
Notable awards
  • Ambrogino d'oro (2012)
  • Special Fundamental Physics Prize (2012)
  • The Niels Bohr Institute Medal of Honour (2013)

Fabiola Gianotti (Italian: [faˈbiola dʒaˈnɔtti]; born October 29, 1960) is an Italian particle physicist, a former spokesperson of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland, considered one of the world's biggest scientific experiments.[1][2] She has been selected as the next (and first female) Director-General of CERN, starting on 1 January 2016.[3][4][5]


Gianotti holds a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Milan, Italy.[6] She joined CERN in 1987, working on various experiments including the UA2 experiment and ALEPH on the Large Electron Positron collider, the precursor to the LHC at CERN. Her thesis was on data analysis for the UA2 experiment.

Gianotti began working on liquid-argon calorimetry at the LHC in 1990 and continued that work for ATLAS when the collaboration began in 1992. Gianotti also worked on LEP2's supersymmetry search between 1996 and 2000.

Gianotti is also a member of the Physics Advisory Committee at Fermilab, the particle physics laboratory at Batavia, Illinois. A trained pianist, she has a professional music diploma from the Milan Conservatory.[2]

Gianotti is member of the Accademia dei Lincei for the category of physics.

She has been selected by CERN Council as the Organization’s next Director-General. The appointment will be formalised at the December session of Council, and Dr Gianotti’s mandate will begin on 1 January 2016 and run for a period of five years. She will be the first woman to hold the position of CERN Director-General.[3]

She has declared herself as religious.[7]

ATLAS career[edit]

The ATLAS collaboration consists of almost 3,000 physicists from 169 institutions, 37 countries and five continents, and is the biggest detector ever built at a particle collider. Gianotti served as ATLAS physics coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and as deputy spokesperson to Peter Jenni from 2004 to 2009. She worked with the collaboration since its inception. After 18 years of working with CERN, Gianotti became 2009 the ATLAS experiment's spokesperson and coordinator, leading the lab's strategic planning and presenting findings to the international media.[8] On July 4, 2012, at the International Conference on High Energy Physics, Gianotti announced that a team at CERN had discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs Boson predicted by the Standard Model of physics.[9] She also was a finalist for the Time's Person of the Year for 2012.[10][11]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ The woman in charge of the world's biggest experiment, New Scientist, March 4, 2009
  2. ^ a b The Large Hadron Collider runs on woman power, CERN Courier, April 16, 2008
  3. ^ a b CERN Council selects next Director-General, CERN Press Release, November 4, 2014
  4. ^ Anon (2012). "We have it: History has been made with the discovery of a Higgs-like particle at CERN". Nature Physics 8 (8): 575. doi:10.1038/nphys2404. 
  5. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide (2014). "Higgs hunter will be CERN's first female director: Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti will take the reins at the European physics powerhouse in 2016.". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2014.16287. 
  6. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti: Brief Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). CERN press office. CERN Accelerating science. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yYO77zjGIU
  8. ^ Hoare, Rose (4 July 2012). "CERN's Fabiola Gianotti: The woman hunting the Higgs boson". CNN Edition: International. Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "New particle fits description of elusive Higgs boson, scientists say". CNN Edition: International. Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Barack Obama edges out Malala Yousufzai to be named Time's Person of the Year". IBNLIVE » WORLD. IBNLive.in.com. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Fabiola Gianotti publications in Google Scholar
  12. ^ "Ecco i 63 nomi dei premiati". Comune di Milano. City of Milan. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Fundamental Physics Prize - News". Fundamental Physics Prize. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti awarded the Niels Bohr Institute Medal of Honour". Niels Bohr Institute. University of Copenhagen. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Fabiola Gianotti: The Higgs boson and our life". UiO, Dep. of Phys. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 

External links[edit]