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Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology Logo

Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology

Durham University Logo Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology Logo

Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology


Email: silvia.pascoli[AT]durham.ac.uk


A list of my publications can be found in the inSpire database: here

Research Area

Neutrino and astroparticle physics

Research Interests

Neutrino physics has revolutionised our understanding of particle physics in the past nearly twenty years. The discovery of neutrino oscillations implies that, contrary to what predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics in its minimal form, neutrinos have masses and pose compelling questions in order to unveil the physics beyond the Standard Model. A very wide and ambitious experimental programme is underway. My work spans all relevant areas: Theory, Phenomenology, in some cases in collaboration with experimentalists, and Astroparticle physics, and more recently Cosmology.
i) Phenomenology: I focus on the physics reach of future neutrinoless double beta decay and long- and short-baseline neutrino oscillation experiments in establishing neutrino properties. This research is very timely to give input in the decision process for future facilities. Part of this activity is done in collaboration with experimentalists and contributes to the work of the DUNE Collaboration, which I have recently joined, and, in the past, of the EU Design Studies EUROnu, LAGUNA and LAGUNA-LBNO and the International Design study on a neutrino factory. I also consider the complementarity and synergy with other searches of new physics, such as the LHC and charged lepton flavour violating decay experiments.
ii) Theory: The origin of neutrino masses is still a mystery and could be related to very high energy scales or new particles and interactions which appear at the TeV scale or below. My activity encompasses both these areas, including the proposal of new models of neutrino masses and mixing, the explanation of the baryon asymmetry via leptogenesis, and links between neutrinos and dark matter.
iii) Astroparticle physics: Neutrinos are the only known component of dark matter: standard neutrinos contribute to hot dark matter. I have extensive expertise on the role of neutrinos in the Early Universe both in standard and non-standard cosmologies. I am also interested in understanding the identity of dark matter, with particular emphasis on non-standard candidates, and its direct and indirect tests. Finally, part of my activity focusses on cosmological tests of dark energy models in collaboration with members of the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University.

Recent Talks

Here are some examples of my recent talks.
Fermilab Colloquium in January 2015
Neutrino 2014
Lepton-Photon 2013


PG lectures in Neutrino Physics

Current PhD students

Mark Ross-Lonergan
Jessica Turner
Tse-Chun Wang
Matteo Leo
Jascha Schewtchenko

Education, Career, Awards and Grants

After getting the "laurea" in physics at the University of Trieste under the supervision of Antonio Masiero, I did my PhD at SISSA (Trieste, Italy) in elementary particle physics under the supervision of Serguey Petcov. From there I moved to UCLA for a postdoc and to CERN for a fellowship, before being hired at Durham University in 2005.
From March 2011 to August 2014 I was Deputy Director of the IPPP.
In 2013 in August 2013 I have been awarded the Occhialini prize and medal jointly by the Institute of Physics (UK) and the Societa ́ Italiana di Fisica (Italy) with the following motivation: “for her major contributions to the study of, and leadership in, the field of neutrino phenomenology”. I was the Durham PI for several grants and currently I am PI for the ERC Consolidator Grant NuMass and the Deputy Coordinator and Chair of the Training Board for the ITN Invisibles.