Pajero will receive the award for the best doctoral thesis in the field of subnuclear physics on 19 May at the INFN in Rome. The thesis was discussed under the supervision of Michael J. Morello.

Pisa, 24 February 2022. The Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) awarded the “Premio Nazionale Marcello Conversi 2021” for the best PhD thesis in Subnuclear Physics to Tommaso Pajero, PhD in Physics at Scuola Normale Superiore.

Born on 16 April 1993 in Trieste, Pajero attended the Corso Ordinario at Scuola Normale Superiore from 2012 to 2017. After graduating at the University of Pisa, he was a PhD student at Scuola Normale, and he defended his thesis in April 2021 under the supervision of Michael J. Morello, Associate Professor in Experimental Physics.

Pajero gave a significant contribution to high-precision measurements of the properties of the neutral D0 mesons, where the violation of the matter–antimatter symmetry in decay processes involving the quark “charm” was observed for the first time in 2019. This observation disagrees with most of the predictions of the Standard Model and still remains a mystery, maybe revealing the presence of new unexpected interactions, or of non-perturbative manifestations of the strong interaction which are currently not precisely controlled by theoretical calculations.

Pajero research was aimed at measuring with unprecedented precision differences between matter and antimatter in the quantum-mechanical oscillation of the D0 meson into its antiparticle, to corroborate the historical observation of 2019 and shed light on its theoretical interpretation. The results of his PhD thesis are based on the data collected by the LHCb experiment, installed at CERN in Geneva, from 2015 to 2018, and have been published in the prestigious journal Physical Review D.

Currently Pajero is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Oxford. The prize will awarded to him on 19 May, by the Presidency of INFN in Rome.

This INFN prize is dedicated to the eminent scientist Marcello Conversi (1917-1988), considered the father of Particle Physics together with Ettore Pancini and Oreste Piccioni, with whom he conducted a crucial experiment leading to the discovery of the “muon” particle. His life is linked to the town of Pisa, where he directed the construction of a pioneering electronic computer. Another former student of Professor Morello, Pietro Marino, had already won the Premio Conversi for his thesis in 2017.

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