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The University of Insubria CV
The University of Insubria CV
The University of Insubria CV The University of Insubria CV Paolo Di Trapani
The University of Insubria CV

Contact data

Associate Professor of Optics and Experimental Physics
Department of Physics and Mathematics
Via Valleggio 11, 22100 Como, Italy
Tel: +39 031 238 6225
Fax: +39 031 238 6209



- 1980 Diploma in Classic High School

- 1987: Degree (Laurea) in physics at the University of Pavia, with a thesis entitled: “liquid-state theories for critical phenomena: approximate enclosures and core conditions for the Hierarchical Reference Theory of fluids”.

- 1992: Ph.D. in physics at the University of Pavia with a thesis entitled: parametric generation of coherent and tunable ultra-short pulses for ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy” (PhD advisor: Prof G. P. Banfi).

- 1992/1993: Post Doctoral positions at

(i) Department of Electronics, Pavia Univeristy;
(ii) European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy (LENS), Firenze;
(iii) Department of Quantum Electronics, Vilnius University (EU-COST fellowship);
(iv) CISE of Segrate (Milano) (consultant)

- 1993: Permanent research staff at the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University of Milano at Como (future University of Insubria).

- 2000: Associate professor at the School of Sciences in Como at the University of Insubria


Qualifications and awards

- Responsible of the femtosecond laser facility in Como

- Director of the Virtual Institute for Nonlinear Optics (VINO)

- Winner of a Marie Curie Chair position (2006-2009)

- Director of the School for Training in Experiments with Lasers and Laser Applications (STELLA)

- Responsible of the broad-audience educational science-and-art programme: “light in light” at the Genoa Science Festival

- Since 1996, coordinator of 17 national and international research projects, for a total budget of 2454 K€

- The results obtained at the fs laser facility in Como have been commented in broad-audience journals like Nature, Physics Today, Physical Review Focus.

Research interests

Nonlinear Optics, Laser physics, Quantum Optics

During his career has been working at:

- modeling and computation of liquid-gas phase transitions in simple fluids;

- development mode-locking techniques for ps lasers, of optical parametric generators in the ps and in the fs regime and of Raman generators/amplifiers for Q-switched ns lasers;

- characterization of ultrafast non-linear responses by pump-and-probe and four-wave-mixing techniques;

- generation and light-by-light control of optical solitons supported by quadratic interaction;

- investigation of spatio-temporal optical nonlinear processes supported by quadratic as well as by cubic nonlinear interaction, and particularly of non-linear X bullets and of the modulational instability of extended waves;

- study of the interplay between light filaments in Kerr media and conical waves;

- study of quantum correlation and entanglement in high photon-number regime.

The currently active researches include:

- A “quantum” research line, which targets the experimental demonstration of genuine quantum effects (e.g. sub-shot-noise quantum correlations, quantum entanglement, etc) in the very high photon number regime, and so the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying the apparent transformation from quantum to classical regimes.

- The study of spatial solitons supported by quadratic non-linear response and, particularly, the analysis of the soliton instability caused by the interaction of the soliton with classical and with quantum noise.

- A research activity devoted to the investigation of spatio-temporal effects in quadratic nonlinear interaction and, particularly, to evidence the key role played by X-type bullets in governing the parametric instability of extended waves.

- The study of the beam filamantation process supported by the Kerr non-linear response, both in normal-dispersion and in anomalous-dispersion regimes. Here the goal is the demonstration that filaments are not self-sustaining, soliton-like objects but, in contrast, conical waves.

- As to educational activity, Paolo Di Trapani is working at the realization of indoor reconstruction of spectacular, outdoor, light-and-color phenomena, and at the investigation of the impact of scientific knowledge on art (see the description of the “light-in-light” project below.

Teaching experience and appointments

School of Sciences in Como at the University of Insubria

a. y. ‘93/‘94, 94/’95, “Physics Laboratory II”, assistant
a. y. ‘95/’96 – ‘01/ ‘02 “Experimental-physics laboratory III”, titular
a. y. ‘02/’03, ‘03/’04 “Optics” (1 semester) titular
“Physics Laboratory” (1 semester) titular

In the laboratory courses has installed experiments on: Compton scattering; Rutherford scattering; Sonoluminescence; Fourier Optics and image processing; Characterization of CCD detectors; Speckle-field statistics; Q-switched and mode-locked Nd:YAG lasers (including the first demonstration of the double-harmonic mode-locking technique); Study of the generation of virtual voices (the “quintina”) in the Castelsardo Sardinian chorus; Indoor reconstruction of spectacular open-air optical phenomena related to the light scattering (e.g. the colour of the sky, of the air, of the sunset, of the storms, of the fog etc) and to refraction (i.e. the rainbow, including all droplet-size interference effects).


Representative  publications

- P. Di Trapani, G. Valiulis, W. Chinaglia and A. Andreoni, “Two-dimensional spatial solitary waves from traveling-wave parametric amplification of the quantum noise”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 80 (1998) 265-268

- P. Di Trapani, D. Caironi, G. Valiulis, A. Dubietis, R. Danielius, and A. Piskarskas, “Observation of temporal solitons in second-harmonic generation with tilted pulses”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 81 (1998) 570-573

- P. Di Trapani, A. Berzanskis, S. Minardi, S. Sapone, and W. Chinaglia, “Observation of optical Vortices and J0-Bessel beams in quantum-noise parametric amplification”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 81 (1998) 5133-5136

- P. Di Trapani, W. Chinaglia, S. Minardi, A. Piskarskas, and G. Valiulis, “Observation of quadratic vortex solitons”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 84 (200) 3843-3846

- P. Di Trapani P., Bramati A., Minardi S., Chinaglia W., Conti C., Trillo S., Kilius J., Valiulis G. : "Focusing versus defocusing nonlinearities in self-trapping due to parametric frequency conversion", EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 (2001) 183902

- A. V. Buryak, P. Di Trapani, D. V. Skryabin, S. Trillo, “Optical solitons due to quadratic nonlinearities: from basic physic to futuristic applications”, EN,
Physics Reports, 370, (2002) 63-235.

- P. Di Trapani, G. Valiulis, A. Piskarskas, O. Jedrkiewicz, J. Trull, C. Conti, and S. Trillo, “Spontaneously generated X-shaped light bullets”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 (2003) 093904.

- C. Conti, S. Trillo, P. Di Trapani, G. Valiulis, A. Piskarskas, O. Jedrkiewicz, J. Trull, “Nonlinear electromagnetic X-waves”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett., 90, (2003) 170406.

- S. Minardi, Jin Yu, G. Blasi, P. Di Trapani, A. Varanavi¡cius, G. Valiulis, A. Ber¡zanskis and Algis Piskarskas “Red solitons: evidence of spatio–temporal instability in x(2) spatial-soliton dynamics”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett., 91, (2003), 123901.

- D. Salerno, S. Minardi, J. Trull, A. Varanavicius, G. Tamasauskas, G. Valiulis, A. Dubietis, D. Caironi, S. Trillo, A.Piskarskas and P. Di Trapani, "Spatial versus temporal deterministic wave break-up of nonlinearly coupled waves”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett., 91, (2003) 143905.

- O. Jedrkiewicz, Y.-K Jiang, E. Brambilla, A. Gatti, M. Bache, L. Lugiato, and P. Di Trapani, “Detection of sub-shot-noise spatial correlation in high-gain parametric down-conversion”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett., 93 (2004) 243601.

- Audrius Dubietis, Eugenijus Gaizauskas, Gintaras Tamosauskas, Paolo Di Trapani, “Light Filaments Without Self Guiding”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett., 92 (2004) 253903.

- Miguel A. Porras, Alberto Parola, Daniele Faccio, Audrius Dubietis, and Paolo Di Trapani, “Nonlinear unbalanced Bessel beams: Stationary conical waves supported by nonlinear losses”, EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett, 93 (2004) 153902

- S. Jenkins, D. Salerno, S. Minardi, G. Tomasauskas, T.A.B. Kennedy, P. Di Trapani, "Quantum noise initiated symmetry breaking of spatial solitons", EN,
Phys. Rev. Lett. (2005), in press


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