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Augusto Sagnotti

Full Professor


050 509253
Palazzo della Carovana, terzo piano, stanza 63

See also:

Present Position: Professor of Theoretical Physics at Scuola Normale (since 2005)

  • Laurea in Ingegneria Elettronica (U. Roma, 29-07-1978), 110/110 e lode
    Thesis: Propagazione di luce parzialmente coerente in fibre ottiche. Applicazione alla misura del profilo d’indice.
    Advisors: Prof. B. Crosignani e Prof. Paolo Di Porto. Carosio Prize, 1979.
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (Caltech, USA, 06-1979)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Theoretical Physics (Caltech, USA, 06-1983)
    Thesis: Topics in supersymmetry theory
    Advisor: Prof. J.H. Schwarz

Academic career:

  • Research Fellow (Caltech) 1983-84
  • Miller Research Fellow (U.C.Berkeley) 1984-86
  • Junior Faculty (U. Roma “Tor Vergata”) 1985-93
  • Associate Professor (U. Roma “Tor Vergata”) 1994-99 • Professor (U. Roma “Tor Vergata” ) 2000-05
  • Professor (Scuola Normale Superiore) 2005-

Awards and Honors:

  • Carosio Prize (U. Roma “La Sapienza”, 1979)
  • Miller Fellowship (U. of California, Berkeley, 1984)
  • SIGRAV Prize 1994 (with M. Bianchi)
  • Andrejewski Lecturer (Humboldt Universitat, Berlin, 1999)
  • Margherita HACK Prize for Science (INAF and Italian Ministry of Culture, Venice, 2014)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2018
  • Roberto Petronzio Lecture (Univ. Roma “Tor Vergata”, 2024)

Research activity:

Field Theory, Quantum Gravity, String theory, 2D Conformal Field Theory, Supersymmetry Breaking, Higher-Spin Gauge Fields, Early Universe and String Theory

INSPIRE profile: about 12300 citations, h=55, 3 TOP 500, 11 TOP 250, 21 TOP 100, 24 TOP 50 (April, 2024)


  • “String Theory”, eds. C. Procesi and AS (Academic Press, 1988)
  • “String Theory, Quantum Gravity and the Unification of the Fundamental Interactions”, eds. M. Bianchi, F. Fucito, V. Marinari and AS (World Scientific, 1992)
  • “Classical and Quantum Statistical Physics. Fundamentals and Advanced Topics”, C. Heissenberg and AS (Cambridge University Press, 2022) [Cover][Errata & Additions]


  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Statistical Physics
  • Classical Field Theory
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Mathematical Methods
  • String Theory
  • Classical Mechanics

Encyclopedia articles:

  • “Teoria delle Stringhe”, Enciclopedia della Scienza, vol. IX (Ist. Enc.Treccani, 2003)
  • “Supersimmetria”, Enciclopedia della Scienza e della Tecnica (Ist. Enc. Treccani, 2006, with F. Fucito)

Some visits to other Institutions:

U. Warsaw (1988,2014), DESY (1989,2019), IHES (1990,1996), UCLA (1992,2015), Caltech (1992,2001,2015), E. Polytechnique (1992,1994,1995,1999,2005,2008,2014,2016,2018), CERN (1996,2004), CERN Scientific Associate (2005,2014), Inst. for Adv. Study, MIT, Harvard (1996), Humboldt U. (1999), E. Normale Superieure (2000), LPT-Orsay (2001), U. Cambridge, U. Oxford (2001), U. Uppsala (2004), LMU Munich (2008), U. Wien (2012), U. Paris VII (2007,2008,2009), Tokyo Metropolitan U. (2013)

Research Management:

  • National Theoretical Physics Committee, Gr. IV INFN (1988-1996)
  • Coordinator of the Italian nodes in three successive EU contracts
  • Coordinator of two successive INTAS contracts
  • Coordinator of the “Tor Vergata” node in two successive PRIN contracts
  • Coordinator of the “Tor Vergata” node for the contract INFN-TS11
  • National Coordinator of the PRIN project 2008-024045
  • Coordinator of the Italian nodes of the ERC-SUPERFIELD Project (Senior Grant awarded to Prof. Sergio Ferrara)
  • National Coordinator of the PRIN project 2009-KHZKRX
  • National Coordinator of the PRIN project 2017-CC72MK

Referee for:

  • Phys. Rev. and Phys. Rev. Lett.
  • Phys. Lett. B and Nucl. Phys. B
  • Phys. Reports
  • Class. Q. Gravity
  • JHEP

Member of International Committees in: Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Israel, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, USA

Main contributions:

- The analysis of the 2-loop divergences in Einstein's theory of General Relativity:

  • M.H. Goroff and AS, “Quantum Gravity At Two Loops”, Phys. Lett. B160 (1985) 81 [434 cites],
  • M.H. Goroff and AS, “The Ultraviolet Behavior Of Einstein Gravity”, Nucl. Phys. B266 (1986) 709 [835 cites].

- Constraints on Chan-Paton groups (only U, O, USp) and Open strings:

  • N. Marcus and AS,  “Tree Level Constraints on Gauge Groups for Type I Superstrings”, Phys. Lett. B119 (1982) 97 [151 cites]
  • N. Marcus and AS,  “Group Theory from Quarks at the Ends of Strings”, Phys. Lett. B188 (1987), 58 [138 cites]

- The discovery of the link between type-I and type-IIB superstrings (now regarded as the prototype “orientifold” construction):

  • AS, “Open Strings And Their Symmetry Groups”, in Cargese '87, “Non-perturbative Quantum Field Theory”, eds. G. 't Hooft et al., p. 521, reprinted in arXiv:hep-th/0208020 [493 cites].

- The elucidation of the key properties of “orientifolds” (strings with different boundary conditions, spectra including different numbers of (anti)self-dual two-tensors, discrete deformations, generalized Green-Schwarz mechanism):

  • G. Pradisi and AS, “Open String Orbifolds”, Phys. Lett. B216 (1989) 59 [452 cites]
  • M. Bianchi and AS, “On The Systematics Of Open String Theories”, Phys. Lett. B247 (1990) 517 [580 cites]
  • M. Bianchi and AS, “Twist Symmetry And Open String Wilson Lines”, Nucl. Phys. B361 (1991) 519 [449 cites]
  • M. Bianchi, G. Pradisi and AS, “Toroidal compactification and symmetry breaking in open string theories”, Nucl. Phys. B376 (1992) 365 [400 cites]
  • AS, “A Note on the Green-Schwarz mechanism in open string theories”, Phys. Lett. B294 (1992) 196 [arXiv:hep-th/9210127] [553 cites]

- The elucidation of the key properties of Conformal Field Theory on non-orientable surfaces:

  • D. Fioravanti, G. Pradisi and AS, “Sewing constraints and nonorientable open strings”, Phys. Lett. B321 (1994) 349 [arXiv:hep-th/9311183] [105 cites]
  • G. Pradisi, AS and Y.S. Stanev, “Planar duality in SU(2) WZW models” , Phys. Lett. B354 (1995) 279 [arXiv:hep-th/9503207] [166 cites]
  • G. Pradisi, AS and Y.S. Stanev, “The Open descendants of nondiagonal SU(2) WZW Models”, Phys. Lett. B356 (1995) 230 [arXiv:hep-th/9506014] [162 cites]
  • G. Pradisi, AS and Y.S. Stanev, “Completeness Conditions for Boundary Operators in 2D Conformal Field Theory”, Phys. Lett. B381 (1996) 97 [arXiv:hep-th/9603097] [226 cites]

- The first example of a chiral four-dimensional open-string spectrum with three generations of matter:

  • C. Angelantonj, M. Bianchi, G. Pradisi, AS and Y.S. Stanev , “Chiral asymmetry in four-dimensional open- string vacua” , Phys. Lett. B385 (1996) 96 [arXiv:hep-th/9606169] [271 cites]

- The discovery of a 10D superstring theory (commonly referred to as the 0B' string), including both open and closed strings, non-supersymmetric but free of tachyons:

  • AS, “Some properties of open string theories”, arXiv:hep-th/9509080, presented at SUSY '95 (Palaiseau, giugno 1995) [205 cites]
  • AS, “Surprises in open-string perturbation theory”, Nucl. Phys. Proc. Suppl. 56B (1997) 332 [arXiv:hep-th/9702093] [190 cites]

- The identification of two novel phenomena related to the breaking of supersymmetry that can manifest themselves in the presence of open strings, “brane supersymmetry” and “brane supersymmetry breaking”, and a study of supersymmetric magnetic deformations of open-string spectra (equivalent to the introduction of suitably rotated branes, of interest for recent attempts to extend the Standard Model of Particle Physics):

  • I. Antoniadis, E. Dudas and AS, “Supersymmetry breaking, open strings and M-theory”, Nucl. Phys. B544 (1999) 469 [arXiv:hep-th/9807011 [160 cites]
  • I. Antoniadis, E. Dudas and AS, “Brane supersymmetry breaking”, Phys. Lett. B464 (1999) 38 [arXiv:hep-th/9908023] [321 cites]
  • C. Angelantonj, I. Antoniadis, G. D'Appollonio, E. Dudas and AS, “Type I vacua with brane supersymmetry breaking’‘, Nucl. Phys. B572 (2000) 36  [hep-th/9911081] [218 cites]
  • C. Angelantonj, I. Antoniadis, E. Dudas and AS, “Type-I strings on magnetised orbifolds and brane transmutation”, Phys. Lett. B489 (2000) 223 [arXiv:hep-th/0007090] [348 cites]

- A review article for Physics Reports on orientifold constructions:

  • C. Angelantonj and AS, “Open strings”, Phys. Rept. 371 (2002) 1 [Erratum-ibid. 376 (2003) 339] [arXiv:hep-th/0204089] [496 cites]

- The geometrical description, along the lines on the spin-1 (Maxwell) and spin-2 (Einstein) cases, for free higher-spin gauge fields:

  • D. Francia and AS, “Free geometric equations for higher spins”, Phys. Lett. B543 (2002) 303 [arXiv:hep-th/0207002] [252 cites]
  • D. Francia and AS, “On the geometry of higher-spin gauge fields”, Class.Quant. Grav. 20 (2003) S473 [arXiv:hep-th/0212185] [224 cites]
  • D. Francia and AS, “Minimal local Lagrangians for higher-spin geometry”, Phys. Lett. B624 (2005) 93 [arXiv:hep-th/0507144] [94 cites]
  • AS and M. Tsulaia, “On higher spins and the tensionless limit of string theory”, Nucl. Phys. B682 (2004) 83 [arXiv:hep-th/0311257] [264 cites]
  • D. Francia, J. Mourad and AS, “Current exchanges and unconstrained higher spins”, Nucl. Phys. B773 (2007) 203 [arXiv:hep-th/0701163] [131 cites]
  • D. Francia, J. Mourad and AS, “(A)dS exchanges and partially-massless higher spins'', Nucl. Phys. B804 (2008) 383 [arXiv:0803.3832 [hep-th]] [54 cites]
  • A. Campoleoni, D. Francia, J. Mourad and AS, "Unconstrained Higher Spins of Mixed Symmetry. I. Bose Fields", Nucl. Phys. B815 (2009) 289 [arXiv:0810.4350 [hep-th]] [91 cites]
  • A. Campoleoni, D. Francia, J. Mourad and AS, "Unconstrained Higher Spins of Mixed Symmetry. II. Fermi Fields", Nucl. Phys. B828 (2010) 405 [arXiv:0904.4447 [hep-th]] [71 cites]
  • AS, “Notes on Strings and Higher Spins’’, J. Phys. A46 (2013) 214006 [arXiv:1112.4285 [hep-th]] (Lectures at Erice 2010) [124 cites]

- The identification, starting from String Theory, of conserved currents and cubic couplings for massless higher-spin fields:

  • AS and M. Taronna, “String Lessons for Higher-Spin Interactions’’, Nucl. Phys. B842 (2011) 299 [arXiv:1006.5242 [hep-th]] [198 cites]

- The proposal of a mechanism linking (high-scale) SUSY breaking and the onset of inflation, motivated by the “brane SUSY breaking” mechanism described above, and the investigation of its possible role in connection with the low value of the CMB quadrupole:

  • E. Dudas, N. Kitazawa and AS, “On Climbing Scalars in String Theory’‘, Phys. Lett. B694 (2010) 80 [arXiv:1009.0874 [hep-th]] [55 cites]
  • E. Dudas, N. Kitazawa, S.P. Patil and AS, “CMB Imprints of a Pre-Inflationary Climbing Phase”, JCAP 1205 (2012) 012 [arXiv:1202.6630 [hep-th]] [82 cites]
  • AS, “Brane SUSY breaking and inflation: implications for scalar fields and CMB distortion”, Phys. Part. Nucl. Lett. 11 (2014) 836 [arXiv:1303.6685 [hep-th]]
  • P. Fré, AS and A.S. Sorin, “Integrable Scalar Cosmologies I. Foundations and links with String Theory”, Nucl. Phys. B877 (2013) 1028 [arXiv:1307.1910 [hep-th]] [76 cites]
  • N. Kitazawa and AS, “Pre-inflationary clues from String Theory?”, JCAP 1404 (2014) 017 [arXiv:1402.1418 [hep-th]]
  • A. Gruppuso, N. Kitazawa, N. Mandolesi, P. Natoli and AS, “Pre-Inflationary Relics in the CMB?’’, Phys. Dark Univ. 11 (2016) 68 [arXiv:1508.00411 [astro-ph.CO]] [52 cites]
  • A. Gruppuso, N. Kitazawa, M. Lattanzi, N. Mandolesi, P. Natoli and AS, “The Evens and Odds of CMB Anomalies’’, arXiv:1712.03288 [astro-ph.CO], Phys. Dark Univ. 20 (2018) 49 [arXiv:1712.03288 [astro-ph.CO]]

- Constrained superfields and non-linearly realized supersymmetry, with applications to Cosmology:

  • I. Antoniadis, E. Dudas, S. Ferrara and A. Sagnotti, “The Volkov-Akulov-Starobinsky supergravity”, Phys. Lett. B733 (2014) 32 [arXiv:1403.3269 [hep-th]] [221 cites]
  • E. Dudas, S. Ferrara, A. Kehagias and AS, “Properties of Nilpotent Supergravity’’, JHEP 1509 (2015) 217 [arXiv:1507.07842 [hep-th]] [99 cites]
  • S. Ferrara, M. Porrati and AS, “Scale invariant Volkov–Akulov supergravity’’, Phys. Lett. B749 (2015) 589 [arXiv:1508.02939 [hep-th]]
  • E. Dudas, S. Ferrara and AS, “A superfield constraint for N= 2 → N = 0 breaking’’, JHEP 1708 (2017) 109 [arXiv:1707.03414 [hep-th]]

- Abelian Multi-Field Generalizations of Born-Infeld Theory:

  • S. Ferrara, M. Porrati and AS, “N = 2 Born-Infeld attractors’’, JHEP 1412 (2014) 065 [arXiv:1411.4954 [hep-th]]
  • S. Ferrara, M. Porrati, AS, R. Stora and A. Yeranyan,“Generalized Born--Infeld Actions and Projective Cubic Curves’’, Fortsch. Phys. 63 (2015) 189 [arXiv:1412.3337 [hep-th]]

- String Vacua with Broken Supersymmetry and Stability Issues:

  • E. Dudas, J. Mourad and AS,“Charged and uncharged D-branes in various string theories’’, Nucl. Phys. B620 (2002) 109 [hep-th/0107081] [73 cites]
  • E. Dudas, G. Pradisi, M. Nicolosi and AS, “On tadpoles and vacuum redefinitions in string theory’’, Nucl. Phys. B708 (2005) 3 [hep-th/0410101] [83 cites]
  • J. Mourad and AS, “AdS Vacua from Dilaton Tadpoles and Form Fluxes’’, Phys. Lett. B768 (2017) 92
      [arXiv:1612.08566 [hep-th]]
  • J. Mourad and A. Sagnotti, “An update on brane supersymmetry breaking,'' [arXiv:1711.11494 [hep-th]].
  • I. Basile, J. Mourad and AS, “On Classical Stability with Broken Supersymmetry’’, JHEP 1901 (2019) 174  [arXiv:1811.11448 [hep-th]]
  • J. Mourad and AS, “On boundaries, charges and Fermi fields’’, Phys. Lett. B804 (2020), 135368 [arXiv:2002.05372 [hep-th]]
  • P. Pelliconi and AS, “Integrable Models and Supersymmetry Breaking’’, Nucl. Phys. B965 (2021), 115363 [arXiv:2102.06184 [hep-th]]
  • J. Mourad and AS, “String (In)Stability Issues with Broken Supersymmetry’’, [arXiv:2107.04064 [hep-th]]. Invited contribution to the special issue of Letters in High Energy Physics (LHEP) on “Swampland and String Theory Landscape”, edited by I. Antoniadis, K. Benakli and E. Dudas.
  • J. Mourad and AS, “On Warped String Vacuum Profiles and Cosmologies, I. Supersymmetric Strings’’, [arXiv:2109.06852 [hep-th]], JHEP 12 (2021), 137 [arXiv:2109.06852 [hep-th]].
  • J. Mourad and AS, “On Warped String Vacuum Profiles and Cosmologies, II. Non-Supersymmetric Strings’‘, [arXiv:2109.12328 [hep-th]], JHEP 12 (2021), 138 [arXiv:2109.12328 [hep-th]].
  • J. Mourad and AS, “A 4D IIB Flux Vacuum and Supersymmetry Breaking. I. Fermionic Spectrum’’, [arXiv:2206.03340 [hep-th]], JHEP 08 (2022) [arXiv:2206.03340 [hep-th]] 301.
  • J. Mourad and AS,``Non-Supersymmetric Vacua and Self-Adjoint Extensions’’, JHEP 08 (2023) 041[arXiv:2305.09587 [hep-th]].
  • J. Mourad and AS, ``A 4D IIB Flux Vacuum and Supersymmetry Breaking. II. Bosonic Spectrum and Stability’’, JHEP 11 (2023) 061 [arXiv:2309.04026 [hep-th]].
  • J. Mourad and AS, ``Effective Orientifolds from Broken Supersymmetry’’, J. Phys. A 57 (2024) no.3, 035401 [arXiv:2309.05268 [hep-th]].