Giorgio Parisi

Giorgio Parisi (born 4 August 1948) is an Italian theoretical physicist, whose research has focused on quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and complex systems. His best known contributions are the QCD evolution equations for parton densities, obtained with Guido Altarelli, known as the Altarelli-Parisi or DGLAP equations, the exact solution of the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model of spin glasses, the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation describing dynamic scaling of growing interfaces, and the study of whirling flocks of birds.[1]

Giorgio Parisi
Giorgio Parisi
Born (1948-08-04) 4 August 1948
ResidenceRome, Italy
Alma materSapienza Università di Roma
Known forstatistical mechanics, quantum field theory, spin glass, complex systems
AwardsBoltzmann Medal
Dirac Medal
Enrico Fermi Prize
Dannie Heineman Prize
Nonino Prize
Microsoft Award
Lagrange Prize
Max Planck Medal
Lars Onsager Prize
Pomeranchuk Prize
Scientific career
InstitutionsSapienza Università di Roma
Notable studentsEnzo Marinari, Roberto Benzi, Guido Martinelli, Francesco Fucito, Zhang Yi-Cheng, Massimo Bernaschi, Raffaella Burioni, Giulia Iori, Romeo Brunetti, Federico Ricci-Tersenghi, Andrea Cavagna, Irene Giardina, Francesco Zamponi

Career highlights

Giorgio Parisi received his degree from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1970 under the supervision of Nicola Cabibbo. He was a researcher at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (1971–1981) and a visiting scientist at the Columbia University (1973–1974), Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (1976–1977), and École Normale Supérieure (1977–1978). From 1981 until 1992 he was a full professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and he is now professor of Quantum Theories at the Sapienza University of Rome. He is a member of the Simons Collaboration "Cracking the Glass Problem".[2] In 2018 he was elected president of the Accademia dei Lincei.[3]

Honors and awards

Giorgio Parisi is a member of the Accademia dei Lincei and a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences[4] and the United States National Academy of Sciences.[5]

"The Boltzmann Medal for 1992 is awarded to Giorgio Parisi for his fundamental contributions to statistical physics, and particularly for his solution of the mean field theory of spin glasses."[6]
"Giorgio Parisi is distinguished for his original and deep contributions to many areas of physics ranging from the study of scaling violations in deep inelastic processes (Altarelli–Parisi equations), the proposal of the superconductor's flux confinement model as a mechanism for quark confinement, the use of supersymmetry in statistical classical systems, the introduction of multifractals in turbulence, the stochastic differential equation for growth models for random aggregation (the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation) and his groundbreaking analysis of the replica method that has permitted an important breakthrough in our understanding of glassy systems and has proved to be instrumental in the whole subject of Disordered Systems."[7]
"For his contributions to field theory and statistical mechanics, and in particular for his fundamental results concerning the statistical properties of disordered systems."[8]
"For fundamental theoretical discoveries in broad areas of elementary particle physics, quantum field theory, and statistical mechanics; especially for work on spin glasses and disordered systems."[9]
"World-famous theoretic physicist, Giorgio Parisi is an investigator of the unpredictable, this means of all that happens in the real world and of its probable laws. A pioneer of complexity, his research of rules and balances inside chaotic systems hypothesizing mathematical instruments, may take to great discoveries in all the fields of human knowledge, from immunology to cosmology. His is a research of the next “Ariadne’s thread” of the labyrinth of our existence."[10]
"He has made outstanding contributions to elementary particle physics, quantum field theory and statistical mechanics, in particular to the theory of phase transitions and replica symmetry breaking for spin glasses. His approach of using computers to corroborate the conclusions of analytical proofs and to actively motivate further research has been of fundamental importance in his field."
  • Lagrange Prize, 2009. Awarded to scientists who have contributed most to the development of the science of complexity in various areas of knowledge.[11]
“For his significant contributions in theoretical elementary particle physics and quantum field theory and statistical physics, especially of systems with frozen disorder, especially spin glasses."[12]
“For developing a probabilistic field theory framework for the dynamics of quarks and gluons, enabling a quantitative understanding of high-energy collisions involving hadrons”.[14]
“For groundbreaking work applying spin glass ideas to ensembles of computational problems, yielding both new classes of efficient algorithms and new perspectives on phase transitions in their structure and complexity”.[15]
“For outstanding results in quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and particle theory”.[16]


Since 2016, Giorgio Parisi has been leading the movement "Salviamo la Ricerca Italiana" to put pressure on the Italian and European governments to start funding basic research above the subsistence level.[17]

Selected publications

  • Parisi, Giorgio (1988). Statistical Field Theory. Addison Wesley. ISBN 978-0201059854.
  • Mézard, Marc; Giorgio Parisi; Miguel Angel Virasoro (1987). Spin glass theory and beyond. Singapore: World Scientific. ISBN 978-9971-5-0115-0.
  • Parisi, Giorgio (2006). La chiave, la luce, l'ubriaco. Roma: Di Renzo Editore. ISBN 978-88-8323-149-0.
  • Parisi, Giorgio; Auletta Gennaro; Fortunato Mauro (2009). Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86963-8.


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