About me

My Photo

I am a researcher in theoretical and mathematical physics at the University of Padova (in Italy) and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as an associate of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN).

Currently, my main research interest is the study of two dimensional conformal field theories, of integrable models (especially integrable quantum field theories and spin chains), and their applications to string theory and to the holgraphic duality (see below!).

On top of my research, I am also lecturing at the University of Padova in the Bachelors', Masters' and PhD programs, as well as in various doctoral schools.

Finally, I am actively working on outreach both within my community and towards the general public, to try to bring my area of research closer to the public and to increase interest in physics and mathematics in general.

Group and open positions

I have the privilege to work with some very talented young researchers in my group at Padova University:

Contact me

You can send me an email at alessandro at ias dot edu (or alessandro dot sfondrini at unipd dot it). For urgent queries you may reach me via WhatsApp at my Italian cell nunumber, 371 3127840 (don't forget to add the Italian country code, +39).

String Theory for Dummies book cover

String Theory for Dummies

Together with the author of the first edition, Andrew Zimmermann Jones, I have co-authored the second edition of String Theory for Dummies, in the famous For Dummies series by Wiley.

The book reviews some of the most important topics in modern physics which paved the way for the formulation of string theory. We try to convey some of the main challenges in formulating a theory of quantum gravity without using advanced mathematics, and sketch how string theory tries to resolve them. We also try to be transparent in explaining the successes and the limitations of string theory, and what are the open challenges that remain to be addressed.

The book is available for purchase both online and in press (I do not get any financial benefit from its sales). If you have read the book and have some feedback, whether you are a string theory expert or an enthusiast (or perhaps both), I aam very curious to read your feedback!

String Theory animated documentary

Here is a video that I contributed creating with the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt on an introduction to String Theory.

The holographic principle animated documentary

Here is a video that I contributed creating with the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt on an introduction to the holographic principle in quantum gravity.