LARES Prof. Ignazio Ciufolini

Principal Investigator for ASI and INFN of the space mission LARES (LAser RElativity Satellite) for testing fundamental physics.

University of Salento and INFN, Lecce (Italy);
Centro Fermi, RoPrincipal Investigator for ASI and INFN of the space mission LARES (LAser RElativity Satellite) for testing fundamental physics.

University of Salento and INFN, Lecce (Italy);
Centro Fermi, Rome (Italy).


personal website:

Research Field: Gravitational Physics, General Relativity and Their Tests

Main Honours, Awards, Fellowships and Mentions

  • 2010: International Occhialini Prize and Medal of the UK Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Italian Physical Society (SIF) for "for providing further experimental confirmation of Einstein's theory of General Relativity through the use of laser-ranged satellites to study and measure frame-dragging".
  • 2007: Cover of the 6th September 2007 issue (n. 449) of Nature dedicated to his review paper on Dragging of Inertial Frames and General Relativity.
  • 2001: International Tomassoni-Chisesi Award for Physics of Sapienza, University of Rome. The prize is awarded to recognize and encourage outstanding achievements in physics; other recipients of the international prize were, among the others, Edward Norton Lorenz, pioneer of Chaos Theory, and Gabriele Veneziano, one of the pioneers of String Theory.
  • 1996: Award of the US ‘American Association of Publishers’ ( PROSE Award ) as author (with John A. Wheeler) of the best 1995 professional and scholar book in physics and astronomy (Gravitation and Inertia, Princeton University Press).


  • 2013: Nomination for the 2013 World Technology Awards, category ‘Space‘.
  • 2012: Team Award of the Italian Space Agency for the LARES mission.
  • 2006: ‘Chiamata per chiara fama’, as full professor by Scuola di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Sapienza University of Rome.
  • 1987: First place of the USA National Research Council for the 1987 JPL-Caltech Fellowship (not accepted).
  • 1983: Ph.D. in Physics of the University of Texas at Austin. Thesis title: "Theory and experiments in general relativity and other metric theories of gravity". Members of the Supervisign Commettee were: Richard Matzner, Lawrence C. Shepley, Marek Demianski, Steven Weinberg, James W. Vick, Brice DeWitt and John A. Wheeler.
  • 1980: Magna cum Laude, with honors, Laurea in Mathematics of the Sapienza University of Rome.

10 Selected Publications

  • I. Ciufolini, et al.,‘A test of general relativity using the LARES and LAGEOS satellites and a GRACE Earth gravity model’, The European Physical Journal C, March 2016, 76:120. 
    DOI 10.1140/epjc/s10052-016-3961-8 LINK
  • Ignazio Ciufolini, Antonio Paolozzi, Erricos Pavlis, John Ries,Vahe Gurzadyan,Rolf Koenig,Richard Matzner,Roger Penrose, Giampiero Sindoni ‘Testing General Relativity and gravitational physics using the LARES satellite’, The European Physical Journal Plus, 127, 133 (2012).
  • Ignazio Ciufolini, Erricos C. Pavlis, John C. Ries, Rolf Koenig, Giampiero Sindoni, Antonio Paolozzi and Hans Neumayer, ‘Test of Gravitomagnetism with the LAGEOS and GRACE Satellites’, in: General Relativity and John Archibald Wheeler, I. Ciufolini and R. Matzner eds., 371-434 (Springer, 2010). 
  • I. Ciufolini, ‘Dragging of Inertial Frames’, Nature (Review), 449, 41-47 (2007).
  • I. Ciufolini and E. C. Pavlis, ‘A Confirmation of the General Relativistic Prediction of the Lense-Thirring Effect&rsquo, Nature (Letters), 431, 958-960 (2004).
  • I. Ciufolini, et al., ‘Measurement of the Lense-Thirring Effect with Two Laser Ranged Satellites Orbiting Earth’, Science, 279, 2100-2103 (1998).
  • P. Bender, A. Brillet, I. Ciufolini, et al., ‘LISA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna for the detection and observation of gravitational waves: Pre-Phase A Report’, Max-Planck Institut (1998) at: NASA - LISA documentation.
  • I. Ciufolini and J. Wheeler, ‘Gravitation and Inertia’, Princeton University Press, (1995).
  • I. Ciufolini, et al., ‘New Test of General Relativity: Measurement of the De Sitter Effect‘, Physical Review Letters, 58, 1062-65 (1987).
  • I. Ciufolini, ‘Measurement of the Lense-Thirring Effect on Lageos and Another High Altitude Laser Ranged Artificial Satellite’, Physical Review Letters, 56, 278-281 (1986).

Curriculum Vitae 

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Scarica il CV in PDF. Aggiornamento al 2014 (in italiano).

Publication List (n.146) 

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Invited Talks at International Meetings 

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Citation Metrics (March 2016) 
Citations: 4116 (Google Scholar). 
H-Index: 33 (Google Scholar).