Foto del docente

Franco Vazza

Associate Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics


Dissertation topics suggested by the teacher.

A list possible Master Thesis includes: 

1. The history of shocked baryons in the intracluster medium.  

  •  we do not know how often are particles in the ICM shocked in their lifetime. This “shock frequency” influences the observable spectrum of relativistic protons and electron in galaxy clusters.
  • The project : Study for the first time how often do particles in the ICM get shocked by merger and accretion shocks.
  • Methods: analysis of the propagation of particles in highly-resolved clusters simulated with the ENZO code and using passive "tracer" particles that record the sequence of shocks and energetic events over the cluster lifetime. 


2. The maximal non-thermal emission from the cosmic web


  • Case: the formation of cosmic structure proceeds via the dissipation of gas and dark matter infall kinetic energy, through shock dissipation or other dissipative processes. The non-thermal emission (mostly in the radio band) can use at most a fraction of this kinetic energy: what is this maximum, as a function of spatial scale, cosmic environment and epoch?
  • Aim: derive the physical link between free kinetic energy as a function of environment and radio emission at different frequencies, with a careful evaluation of symplifying physical assumptions.
  • Methods:numerical analysis of cosmological ENZO simulations and analytical calculations. 
  • Thesis done in collaboration with G. Brunetti (IRA)

However, it is always possible to propose a different thesis, if the student has a clear idea and the supervisor is competent on the topic. 

All theses are mostly focused on the usage of numerical simulations (with different level of complexity, depending on the students'skills) as a tool to improve our understanding on the physics of gas and magnetic fields in cosmic large-scale structures. It is necessary just to have a bare minimum knowledge (and interest) for numerical methods, but not in a specific language in particular. The supervisor would typically advise to use / develop algorithms in Julia  ( , arguably the most versatile and performing programming language for the development of new scientific codes. 

All thesis projects are designed to produce, within the duration of the project or shortly afterwards, at least one scientific publication - this is what happened to all projects I have offered so far, either at the Univerity of Bologna or before this at the University of Hamburg.  

Manuel O. Stubbe (2015) ->

Stephan Hackstein (2016) -> e

Paul M. Hinz (2017) -> e

Matteo Angelinelli (2018)-> 

Marco Simonte (2020) ->