Giorgio Chiarelli is new CDF co-spokesperson

Giorgio Chiarelli

On June 1, longtime CDF scientist Giorgio Chiarelli began his two-year term as the experiment’s new co-spokesperson. He succeeds physicist Giorgio Bellettini and will serve alongside current co-spokesperson David Toback of Texas A&M University.

According to Bellettini, there are very few as qualified to lead the CDF collaboration as Chiarelli, who has been with CDF since the beginning, 35 years ago. In fact, Chiarelli’s Ph.D. was the second doctorate earned for work on CDF. He’s held numerous leadership positions at the experiment, including the principal investigator for the CDF Pisa Group and chair of the CDF Speakers Committee. He also led one of the detector upgrades.

“Giorgio is brilliant,” said Bellettini, a scientist at the University of Pisa and INFN. “His productivity and concentration are superior in both leadership and in science. It’s natural for him to serve as spokesperson.”

Chiarelli, whose home institution is INFN, Pisa, says that as CDF researchers begin wrapping up several of their analyses, it’s going to be a compelling time to lead the experiment.

“There’s some very interesting physics to be done, and it will be intriguing to pull people together and combine their efforts,” Chiarelli said. “Some of our analyses — measurements of the W and top quark mass, just to mention two — can stand as CDF legacies for a long time.”

The CDF experiment began as a three-nation collaboration between the United States, Italy and Japan. The strong connection between CDF and Italian scientists continues in the passing of the baton from Bellettini to Chiarelli. And, in this case, it also passes through a kind of academic genealogy: Chiarelli was Bellettini’s thesis advisee at the University of Pisa and his first student at CDF 35 years ago.

“We have a joke that we have to have a Giorgio as a spokesperson,” said Toback, who is a member of the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M. Joking aside, he said, “Since Italy has been a central player on CDF since inception, it’s good to get an Italian collaborator of his caliber in his rightful place as spokesperson. He is one of the most sensible, reasonable and well-rounded scientists I know.”

That well-roundedness is demonstrated, Bellettini says, by Chiarelli’s knowledge of both the science and history behind CDF.

“He’s a real expert on CDF,” Bellettini said. “He’s knowledgeable on all the details, even the historical details, and this allows him to run the collaboration well because you’re sensitive to the people running it.”

Chiarelli notes, for example, the tight-knit relationships in the collaboration.

“We’re a family, and as a collaboration, CDF relies on this as people continue to fulfill their duties on other experiments,” Chiarelli said, adding his gratitude to his colleagues. “We feel very close to each other, and we hope to help each other in this enterprise. Thanks to everybody who’s been with CDF for so many years.”