Prof. Marialuisa Aliotta awarded with the Giuseppe Occhialini Prize 2021


Prof. Marialuisa Aliotta was awarded the Giuseppe Occhialini Prize 2021 “for her major contributions to nuclear astrophysics experiments, in particular to the study of key hydrogen-burning reactions relevant to quiescent stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis, in the framework of the international LUNA experiments at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, INFN.”

The prize is announced on an annual basis alternatively by the SIF and IOP, to award a physicist based in Italy or in the UK or Ireland, respectively, in recognition of distinguished work in Physics research carried out within the past 10 years.

The LUNA collaboration (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear  Astrophysics; \url{}) was the first to propose a new approach to nuclear astrophysics, by exploiting the extremely low background inside the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS). In over 30 years of activity, LUNA has achieved extremely important results with major implications not only in nuclear astrophysics but also in cosmology.

Over the last 10 years, several processes relevant to the hydrogen burning in the Sun and/or more massive stars have
been studied. These studies have contributed to unveil the origin of some meteoric stardust ( and to shed light on the speed at which nuclear networks operate to fuse 4 protons in one helium nucleus ( e 

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LUNA has also measured, with unprecedented precision, the cross section of the most important reaction affecting the primordial abundance of deuterium during the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN). LUNA results have now settled the most uncertain nuclear physics input to BBN calculations leading to an accurate determination of the density of baryonic matter (



REIS - 21.09.2021