Alessandro Pilloni

Alessandro Pilloni

Tenure-track Assistant Professor (RTDb)

Dipartimento MIFT,
Università di Messina


I am an Assistant Professor in physics at Messina University and affiliated to the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), unit of Catania, Italy. Previously, I was a “Fellini” Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the INFN unit in Rome, Italy; a Postdoctoral Researcher at the European Centre for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas (ECT$^*$) in Trento, Italy; a postdoc at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA, USA; and a graduate student at “Sapienza” University in Rome, Italy.

Most of my research work has been focused on the low-energy regime of Quantum Chromodynamics, in particular on the spectroscopy of exotic states, that do not fit the usual quark model. I developed several models to parameterize the reactions involving exotics, as the $XYZ$ in the heavy quarkonium sector, or the hybrid mesons in the $\eta^{(\prime)} \pi$ system. My interests do not only focus on spectroscopy but span several different aspects of QCD phenomenology. This research is located at the frontier of theory and experiment, and has allowed me to establish close connections with the experiments. To achieve this, we established the JPAC collaboration. I am a member of the BaBar Collaboration, and I am affiliated to LHCb.

My path to academia was nonlinear. In high school, two classmates and I created a website to collect educational material and help other students with their homework, After my BSc, we founded a company to manage this website, that has become one of the most important in the Italian educational landscape. After working there for five years, I decided to switch back to academia. I also studied as a classical guitarist, as you can see here.


  • Hadron Spectroscopy
  • ML applications to Nuclear Physics
  • Precision tests of the SM


  • PhD in Physics, 2016

    "Sapienza" University

  • MSc in Physics, 2012

    "Sapienza" University

  • BSc in Physics, 2006

    "Sapienza" University


Hadron Spectroscopy

The last two decades have witnessed the discovery of a myriad of new and unexpected hadrons. The future holds more surprises for us, thanks to new-generation experiments. Understanding the signals and determining the properties of the states requires a parallel theoretical effort. To make full use of available and forthcoming data, a careful amplitude modeling is required, together with a sound treatment of the statistical uncertainties, and a systematic survey of the model dependencies, for example with the use of Machine Learning tools.

Models of QCD

Although QCD cannot be solved analytically in the nonperturbative regime, there are simplified models that capture some of its features. One can thus benchmark the model predictions against the experimental information. These models allow to calculate the excited spectrum, as well as to obtain estimates about the production of resonances at colliders.

Precision tests of the Standard Model

The Standard Model of particle physics is the most successful theory in the history of physics. Despite this, it suffers from theoretical limitations that call for searching for new particles. Hints of those can appear as small anomalies in seemingly well known observables. For example one can study multibody heavy meson decays, whose description is hindered by our limited understanding of the strong interactions in the low energy regime. Another example is the precise measurement of neutrino scattering.