Sergio Ferrara (born May 2, 1945) is an Italian physicist working on theoretical physics of elementary particles and mathematical physics. He is renowned for the discovery of theories introducing supersymmetry as a symmetry of elementary particles (super-Yang–Mills theories, together with Bruno Zumino) and of supergravity, the first significant extension of Einstein's general relativity, based on the principle of "local supersymmetry" (together with Daniel Z. Freedman, and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen). He is a senior staff member at CERN and a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sergio Ferrara was born on 2 May 1945 in Rome, Italy. He graduated from the University of Rome in 1968. Since then he has worked as a CNEN and INFN researcher at the Frascati National Laboratories; as a CNRS Visiting Scientist at the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and at the Theoretical Studies Division at CERN, Geneva.
In 1976, Sergio Ferrara, Daniel Z. Freedman, and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen discovered Supergravity at Stony Brook University in New York. It was initially proposed as a four-dimensional theory. The theory of supergravity generalizes Einstein's theory of general relativity by incorporating the principles of supersymmetry.
In 1980 he was made a full professor of theoretical physics in Italy. He became a staff member of the Theory Division at CERN in 1981. In 1985, he became a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1986 he has been a senior staff member of the Physics Department at CERN. He is also Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Advanced Grant SUPERFIELDS.
- "for their discovery of supergravity theory in 1976 and their major contributions in the subsequent developments of the theory. Their discovery led to an explosion of interest in quantum gravity and it transformed the subject, playing a significant role in very important developments in string theory as well as Kaluza-Klein theory "
- Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, 2006, American Physical Society. (Shared with Daniel Z. Freedman, and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen)
- "For constructing supergravity, the first supersymmetric extension of Einstein's theory of general relativity, and for their central role in its subsequent development."
- Enrico Fermi Prize, 2005, Societa' Italiana di Fisica.
- "he honoured italian physics with his discoveries, substantially contributing to the discoveries leading to the development of modern gravity theories. For his contribution to the discovery of supergravity theory."
- Amaldi medal, 2008, SIGRAV,
- "for his relevant contributions to supergravity models, their matter couplings and their implications for black hole physics, such as the attractor mechanism"
- 2006 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics Recipient
- Sergio Ferrara's profile at UCLA
- SUPERFIELDS web page