INSPYRE 2024 – Experiments

INternational School on modern PhYsics and REsearch

The 2024 edition of INSPYRE, the INternational School on Modern PHYsics and REsearch, will be held at Frascati National Laboratory (LNF) from 8 to 12 April 2024. 

During the school, participants will experience a full immersion in physics and in the world of scientific research.  

For Italian students, INSPYRE will count as a 36-hour “PCTO” course.

INSPYRE 2024 participants will sign up for two experimental working groups (one per day) which will take place on Tuesday April 9 and Thursday April 11

Experiments - Tuesday, April 9

1 – Experiences with ArduSiPM an all-in-one particle detector (V. Bocci, F. Iacoangeli, INFN-Roma 1)


The construction of a homemade particle detector is a complex task, given the difficulty in sourcing materials and their associated costs. Within the framework of institutional research at INFN, we have developed a compact and affordable scintillation detector based on the Arduino Due, which includes all the functionalities of a modern particle physics detector. ArduSiPM was used in research projects and numerous outreach activities. During the event, we will show how to assemble the sensor, use the acquisition and control programs, explain its functionalities, and teach how to use it in educational experiences to detect cosmic rays or environmental radiation measurements. Information on the detector can be found at

Valerio Bocci
Valerio Bocci is a physicist at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) with expertise in electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments at CERN, LNF, and other laboratories. He is also involved in developing particle detectors for medical physics.
He is a Professor at the Department of Physics of the Sapienza University of Rome for the courses: “Electronics for High Energy Physics” for Ph.D. students and “Solid-State Sensor” for the master’s degree course.
In recent years, he has developed compact detectors using advanced sensors and electronic systems for various scientific fields, including molecular biology and education. Additionally, he is active in scientific dissemination through seminars and public events and has designed instruments for measuring cosmic rays using stratospheric balloons in collaboration with schools.

Francesco Iacoangeli
Francesco Iacoangeli is a physicist at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) with a Ph.D. in Systems and Technologies for Space. He has extensive experience in experimental physics, having worked on various projects and experiments such as the CERN LHCb Experiment, the CERN UA9 Experiment, and space experiments ASI-PAMELA and ALTCRISS. He is involved in developing electronics and particle detectors for high-energy physics experiments, satellites, and medical physics. In recent years, Francesco has focused on creating compact all-in-one detectors that employ advanced sensors and system-on-chip electronics. These detectors have been applied to physics experiments and fields such as molecular biology and education. He actively participates in scientific outreach and has developed instruments to measure cosmic rays with stratospheric balloons in collaboration with schools.

For this activity students should bring their own pc

2 – Diagnostics and preservation of Cultural Heritage (L. Pronti, M. Romani, INFN-LNF)


The theoretical lesson includes an overview of the analytical techniques which use conventional sources in the spectral range from X-rays to Infrared for the characterization of the materials constituting cultural heritage. Moreover, the characterization of stratigraphic sections of painting by using infrared spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation will be discussed. During the experimental session, an experiment will be carried out in the DAFNE-L laboratory on the SINBAD-IR (Synchrotron Radiation based Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) beamline which involves the application of infrared spectroscopy on micro fragments from paintings.

Lucilla Pronti

Post-Doc from 2019-2024 at INFN-LNF for the technological support for the analyses of materials by using synchrotron infrared spectroscopy and for the development of instruments dedicated to the study of cultural heritage materials. 

She has dealt with chemical and physical analyses for the knowledge of materials used in the historical and archaeological objects, supporting restoration/conservation and authentication activities. 


Martina Romani

Post doc 2018-2024 at INFN-LNF to support the experimental activity and scientific programming of the IR and THz Synchrotron radiation beamline (SINBAD-IR) of the DAΦNE-Luce Laboratory of the Frascati National Laboratories. Her research activity is dedicated to the application of IR spectroscopy with Fourier Transform synchrotron radiation spectroscopy (FT-IR) for the characterization of materials in different research fields, including materials science, cultural heritage, biology, cellular imaging and geophysics. In the field of Cultural Heritage (INFN-Cultural Heritage Network), she uses complementary techniques such as UV laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (LIF), Raman spectroscopy, Fiber Optical Reflectance Spectroscopy (FORS), multi- and hyperspectral imaging techniques.

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3 – Plasma sources for particle accelerator (A. Biagioni, G. Costa, L. Crincoli, M. Del Giorno,


The participants in the experience “Determination of nuclides through gamma spectrometry” will learn the basics of gamma spectrometry through Scintillation detectors. Particularly, they will learn about (1) physics of a scintillation detector (2) Analog electronics to transform the light pulses in the scintillator into measurable electrical pulses (3) Digital electronics to measure the electrical pulses and produce a pulse height distribution (4) Basics of nuclide identification though the gamma rays signature.

Angelo Biagioni
Angelo Biagioni has graduated from University of Rome La Sapienza in electronic engineering, where he also earned a doctorate degree in electromagnetism. He made teaching activities at the University of Rome La Sapienza for courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. He is supervisor for the PhD in accelerator Physics. Since 2014, he has conducted research activity at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics – section of National Laboratory of Frascati. He has currently a permanent position at INFN LNF – Accelerator Division. He collaborates to the SPARC_LAB project to implement the plasma module for the plasma-based acceleration. In particular, his research activity is devoted to the design of specific devices for producing and confining plasmas for acceleration. He has gained experience in the field of plasma physics and, in particular, have acquired capabilities to design plasma diagnostic systems for plasma sources characterization. He has contributed to establish the Plasma laboratory at the LNF, of which he is currently the responsible.

Gemma Costa

Gemma Costa is a young technologist in the accelerator division of the Frascati National Laboratories of INFN. She has a degree in physics from the Sapienza University of Rome, and got a Sapienza PhD in Accelerator Physics in 2021, with a project on laser-plasma acceleration carried out in the SPARC_LAB facility at LNF. She is currently part of the laser service and works on plasma acceleration and laser-matter interaction.

Lucio Crincoli

Lucio Crincoli graduated in Nuclear Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2020, with a master thesis regarding the computational design of a magnetic energy selector for laser-drive proton beams, aimed at investigating the FLASH therapy. Then he started the PhD in Accelerator physics at Sapienza University of Rome and is currently conducting his PhD thesis project concerning the experimental and theoretical development of plasma sources for plasma-based particle accelerators. In this regard he is carrying on his research activity at Plasma_Lab (Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, INFN) in the framework of SPARC_LAB collaboration and EuPRAXIA project.

Martina Del Giorno

Martina Del Giorno works as a laser technician at the Accelerator Division of INFN’s Frascati National Laboratories.
She studies physics at Sapienza University of Rome.
Since 2020, she has been in charge of the operation and maintenance of the FLAME laser of the SPARC_LAB research group.
She collaborates on laser plasma interaction research activities at the FLAME laboratory of the SPARC_LAB group and participates in the outreach activities of Frascati National Laboratories.

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4 – Superconductive adventures – (S. Zochling, CERN)


Work with liquid nitrogen to explore the properties of superconductors and learn how superconducting cables are used, for example, at CERN or in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Superconductors are essential to create strong magnetic fields. For example, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) uses superconducting cables for its electromagnets to generate magnetic fields strong enough to bend the particles. Superconducting cables are also commonly used to create the magnetic fields in MRI scanners. 

In this workshop, you will explore the quantum phenomenon of superconductivity. Below a certain temperature, certain materials become superconducting, that is, they lose their electrical resistance. This allows them to conduct extremely high electric currents, and hence, to generate extremely strong magnetic fields. To gain a deeper understanding about superconductivity, participants will first study the effect of electromagnetic induction in different materials before exploring the interaction between magnets and high-temperature superconductors. This workshop was developed by the education team at CERN.

Sarah Zochling

Sarah Zoechling completed her PhD in physics education research (PER) at the University of Vienna, Austria, while working in the PER group at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. For her PhD thesis, she studied students’ types of interest in physics. Sarah earned her Master’s degree in physics, Latin, and education at the University of Vienna. She was a physics teacher at a high school in Vienna and a teaching assistant at the University of Vienna. Currently, she organises different programmes for high-school students at CERN, such as the Beamline for Schools competition. (  and

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5 – Key experiments of quantum mechanics (S. Bertelli, INFN-LNF)


The unit is structured into an introductory part in which the key concepts underlying the development of quantum mechanics are presented and an experimental interactive session. In this second part, the properties of electrons and the related phenomena like, the linear propagation of an electron beam, the deflection of electrons in a magnetic field, electron diffraction, will be investigated. The atomic spectra of some inert gases will be analyzed and the measurement of Planck’s constant  using different LEDs will be carried out.

Susanna Bertelli

Susanna Bertelli is Head of Education and Public Outreach Service at INFN Frascati National Laboratory (INFN-LNF). She obtained her PhD in Physics at the University of Ferrara and a Master in Science Communication at the University of Padua. Her activity is focused on designing and coordinating physics education and communication programs dedicated to students, teachers and broad public at INFN-LNF. Curator of science exhibitions and festivals, she is co-responsible for INFN-kids, science popularization project addressed to kids and member of the editorial board of ScienzaPerTutti, INFN physics dissemination website.

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Experiments - Thursday, April 11

1 – Introduction to simulation techniques for medical applications (A. Filippi, INFN-To)


The simulation of the interaction of particles and radiation with materials is fundamental for the design of particle physics experiments and the study of their expected performances, but it can also be exploited for more everyday life applications, for instance related to medicine. In particular, in medical field it is important to resort to simulations to estimate the energy released in biological tissues following the treatment with particle beams or radiation, its effect and the possible damage.
To this perspective, simulations provide fundamental information to prepare radiotherapic plans with beams or radiopharmaceuticals, for radiodiagnostic and radioprotection purposes, and also for the design of shielding for radiospatial applications in extraterrestrial environments. Complete simulation tools are based on very complicated software packages, of course beyond the scope of this class. Nonetheless, in this working group the students will approach a user-friendly interface based on the GEANT4 simulation package that will allow them to learn how to setup a system with a particle beam of desired shape,energy and intensity, interacting on simplified (but realistic) phantoms of some body organs, as well as on simple solid shapes invented by themselves. The output from the simulation at the microscopical level will be analyzed and discussed in term of the possibile reactions that the particles will undergo in the materials of the experimental setup. The students will visualize the interaction of particles or radiation with the materials, that will disclose the fundamental mechanisms at the basis of the medical investigation techniques, in particular those based on X-rays and radioactive beams or sources.

Alessandra Filippi

Graduated in theoretical physics in 1991, PhD in nuclear physics in 1996, Alessandra is currently Senior Scientist at INFN Torino (Italy).
Her field of interest covers the experimental nuclear and hadronic physics at intermediate and low energies, with activity focus on data analysis, interpretation of the obtained results and the development of codes for the simulation of physical processes and detector setups as well as event pattern recognition and reconstruction.
She’s been working in International Collaborations at several Laboratories (CERN, LNF, Julich, SLAC) also covering leading roles. She’s presently involved in experiments at the Jefferson Laboratory (USA), where her activity is mostly dedicated to hadron spectroscopy and light dark matter searches.
She’s author of more than 400 scientific papers on International Physics Journals.
Since 2019 she’s been holding classes for the Speciality School of Medical Physics at the Torino University, on Information Technology and Montecarlo Methods for Dose Evaluation.


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2 – Nanotechnology for environmental monitoring (A. Gaiardo, P. Tosato, M. Valt, FBK)


The quality of the air we breathe is a central issue in contemporary society; its punctual and distributed monitoring becomes increasingly accessible thanks to low-cost sensors based on nanotechnologies.

The workshop will introduce nanotechnologies and chemical-physical characterization methods used in the realization of solid-state gas sensors based on nanostructured semiconductors and in hands-on hardware and software integration activity. Some of these devices are produced at the Bruno Kessler Foundation and others are commercially available, the integration will take place on a STMicroelectronics STM32-Nucleo platform through Arduino IDE environment.

Andrea Gaiardo

Obtained the M.Sc. degree in Chemistry (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Ferrara, (Ferrara, Italy) in 2013. He received the Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Ferrara in 2018. His work is focused on the research and development of gas sensing systems for several applications, including health screening, precision agriculture and outdoor air quality monitoring. In this field, he has published more than 40 articles (H-Index = 17, source Scopus, 01/2024), and he has been guest editor of three special issues. He has collaborated in both national and European projects. Currently, he is a researcher in the Sensor and Devices center of the Bruno Kessler Foundation.

Pietro Tosato

Obtained the M.Sc. degree in mechatronic engineering and the Ph.D. in electronic engineering from the University of Trento in 2015 and 2019, respectively. His work mainly focused on low-power electronics for Internet of Things and Smart Grid applications. He currently works in the Sensor and Devices center of the Bruno Kessler Foundation developing sensor electronic interfaces for diverse applications, like gas sensing and radiation detectors.

Matteo Valt

Obtained his Ph.D. degree in Physics in March 2020 with a thesis titled: “2D materials for room-temperature chemiresistive gas sensing” at the University of Ferrara (Italy). Previously, he obtained his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry with a thesis on Functionalization of Graphene Oxide for Gas Sensing and Cation Trapping. Currently, he is a researcher in the Sensor and Devices center of the Bruno Kessler Foundation. His research interests cover different aspects of solid state physics and chemistry, from the development and characterization of innovative nanostructured materials for gas sensors for different applications to the study of solid-gas surface phenomena through in-situ/operando spectroscopic techniques.

3 – Cosmic rays: falling from the stars to the ground (G. Felici, M. Beretta, A. Paoloni, P. Ciambrone INFN-LNF)


Primary cosmic rays, produced by galatic and extra-galactic sources, are continuosly hitting the atmosphere.
At ground level, muons, the most penetrating component, can be detected at the rate of about 1 particle per second per square cm.
In the past cosmic rays were used to discover new particles before the use of particle accelerators.
Nowadays, muons are mainly used to test detectors performances.
The aim of the experience is to make students get acquainted with detector technologies like scintillators and silicon photomultipliers.
The study of the muon rate as a function of the angle can be exploited to infer its properties, such as the lifetime.

Giulietto Felici
Senior technologist with pas experience as a high school teacher. Since 1988 held a permanent position at INFN. He contributed to the design of the readout electronics of may experiments at CERN as well as at LNF and LNGS laboratories.

Alessandro Paoloni
Born in Rome in 1971. Currently senior researcher at the INFN Frascati laboratories.
In the last 20 years active in neutrino and cosmic ray physics as well as in research and development of muon detectors.


Matteo Mario Beretta
Degree and PhD in Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications from the Politecnico di Milano.
He has been a technologist in the Electronics Service of the Research Division of the INFN Frascati National Laboratory since 2001 and is currently in charge of the Electronics and Automation Section of the Research Division. He is involved in the design and implementation of acquisition systems for high energy physics experiments. He is an expert in digital electronics, digital signal processing and neural networks. The main experiment he has worked on since he started working at INFN is ATLAS, for which he participated in the construction of the muon spectrometer, while he is now participating in the construction of part of the apex detector upgrade (ITK) of ATLAS. During his woek he has also collaborated with several other experiments including Kloe, OPERA, LHCb.

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4 – Determination of nuclides through gamma spectrometry (R. Bedogni, M. A. Caballero Pacheco, A. I. Castro Campoy, D. Dashdondog, L. Russo, INFN-LNF)


The participants in the experience “Determination of nuclides through gamma spectrometry” will learn the basics of gamma spectrometry through Scintillation detectors. Particularly, they will learn about (1) physics of a scintillation detector (2) Analog electronics to transform the light pulses in the scintillator into measurable electrical pulses (3) Digital electronics to measure the electrical pulses and produce a pulse height distribution (4) Basics of nuclide identification though the gamma rays signature.

Roberto Bedogni
·      Head of the LEMRAP laboratory (Laboratory for Environmental and Medical Radiation Physics) at INFN-Frascati
·      Main fields: Dosimetry and metrology of ionising radiation, development of radiation sensors, irradiation assemblies, spectrometers and related computational tools
·      University of Bologna (Italy): Degree in Physics (1998) + Post degree health physics specialization (2000)
·      Universidad autonoma de Barcelona (Spain): PhD Physics (2006)
·      Researcher at ENEA (national agency for research in new technology, energy    and the environment, from 1999 – 2004,
.       INFN National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Frascati National Labs, 2004 – present).
·      Participation / management of national and international projects in the field.
·      Convenor of ISO TC85/SC2/WG2/ Reference radiation fields/ Neutron subgroup
·      Author of 130+scientific papers, h-index 19
·      Teacher at Ph.D schools & professional courses
·      IAEA expert for in-country missions and regional training courses in the field of dosimetry and calibration


Miguel Angel Caballero Pacheco
Miguel is a Spanish postdoctoral researcher working at LEMRAP group. He
did his bachelor’s in physics at the Universitat de Barcelona, followed
by a master’s degree in physics at the Universidad de Granada. Then,
recently, he got his PhD in physics from Universitat Autònoma de
Barcelona. During his PhD he has been working on the topics of neutron
spectrometry and neutron dosimetry. While doing his PhD he was also
appointed as lecturer on subjects related to radiation physics.


Abner Ivan Castro Campoy
Abner Iván Castro Campoy obtained his PhD in Materials Science at
University of Sonora on 2021, same year he started his Post-doc studies
at INFN-LNF in LEMRAP. His areas of expertise are in radiation detection
and dosimetry, mainly thermoluminescence dosimetry and neutron
detection. His role in the laboratory is the manufacture of new sensors
by different coating methods, electronics, CAD design and 3D printing.


Dolzodmaa Dashdondog
Dolzodmaa Dashdondog is one of the recipients of the Marie
Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP) and is currently doing her
internship at LNF-INFN, LEMRAP contributing to dosimetric and
spectrometric neutron measurements with moderation-based instruments.
She graduated from Mongolian National University with a nuclear
engineering degree for a bachelor in 2018, followed by her master’s
degree from Harbin Engineering University in 2023 for Nuclear Energy and
Technology Engineering.


Luigi Russo
Luigi Russo, post-graduate student at INFN-LNF starting from September
I currently work in LEMRAP (Laboratory for Environmental and Medical
RAdiation Physics) on dosimetry, neutron spectrometry, radiation
protection and medical physics.
I obtained a Bachelor Degree in Physics in 2021 and a Master Degree in
Nuclear and Sub-Nuclear Physics in 2023 from University of Salento
(Lecce, Italy).
I am attending a post-master course on Radiation Protection in Tor
Vergata University (Rome,Italy).


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5 – Atoms, X-rays and Synchrotron Radiation (A. Balerna, INFN-LNF)


Matter is made up of atoms, everything around us is made up of atoms: what is surprising is that this great variety of different things is, in its complexity, composed of a relatively small number of atoms. Atoms, with their size in the nanometer scale (one-tenth of a billionth of a meter) are invisible even to the best light microscopes. To “see” atoms and explore the world beyond their macroscopic properties, you cannot use visible light. X-rays, have a wavelength much shorter than that of visible light and are therefore suitable for studying small elements such as atoms. Particle accelerators, created to study fundamental physics, have, over time, also become excellent sources of light known as synchrotron radiation, that includes in its emission spectrum also X-rays. It is interesting to learn about the evolution of synchrotron light sources, their characteristics, and the new research perspectives they opened in different fields ranging from medicine, biology, cultural heritage, chemistry, and material science in general. It is also important to understand how X-rays interact with matter and learn how to identify atoms using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.

Antonella Balerna

Antonella Balerna is a Senior Scientist of the INFN-Frascati National Laboratories, and she covers the position of Responsible of the DAFNELight INFN synchrotron radiation facility.
Her primary scientific interests are the relations between the local atomic structures and physical properties of advanced materials like nanomaterials, studied using X-ray absorption spectroscopy, the development of detectors and experimental systems. For her studies she uses X-rays produced by synchrotron radiation and conventional sources.

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6 – Superconductivity and COLD experiment (A. D’Elia, A. Rettaroli, INFN-LNF)


The class will give the students an introduction to the fundamentals of superconductivity, starting from the macroscopic properties of superconductors, hints of the microscopic theory (BCS) and coming to discuss research applications of superconductors as well as everyday life implications. Then, in the hands-on session the students will get familiar with the concepts of zero resistivity, cryogenic temperatures and Meissner effect, including the experience with the mockup of a MagLev train

Alessandro D’Elia

Alessandro D’Elia is a young researcher at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, with a background in condensed matter physics. His primary research focus is on developing superconducting devices for the search for axion dark matter. He has directed his efforts towards exploiting the properties of unconventional superconductors to construct new functional devices, such as magnetic field-resistant microwave single-photon detectors”


Alessio Rettaroli

Alessio Rettaroli has a particle physics background and is now a young researcher in the COLD lab of LNF. His main research topic is the hunt for light dark matter, where cryogenic techniques, high magnetic fields and microwave resonant cavities are involved. In particular, he is dedicated to the characterization of superconducting resonant cavities and the integration of ultra-low noise superconducting devices in the signal readout systems of light dark matter detectors.

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