Fabio Pacucci

16.09.2021 | 18.40 – 19.00 CET
Black holes: The most efficient energy source in the universe
Fabio Pacucci, astrophysicist, Harvard University (offline)


Fabio Pacucci is widely known for his contributions to the study of black holes and the early Universe and currently is the BHI and Clay Fellow at Harvard University and at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. His main field of research as a theoretical astrophysicist aims at understanding the formation, growth and properties of the first black holes formed in the Universe. He led the team that was able to discover the first two direct collapse black hole candidates known thus far and developed the tool which allowed them to do so, namely the first code to accurately predict the observational properties of high redshift black hole seeds GEMS (Growth of Early Massive Seeds). Pacucci was also part of the team that discovered the first strongly lensed quasar in the epoch of reionization in 2019, known as “the brightest quasar in the world”.

His work on black holes earned him several prizes including the International Astronomical Union Prize as well as the “Livio Gratton” Prize in 2017 for his Ph.D. Thesis on “The First Black Holes in the Cosmic Dark Ages”, which he received at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy.

Science education and outreach is another field where Fabio is active, with his most notable collaboration being with TED, which led to 5 educational video productions about black holes and astronomy that have been watched by millions of people and translated into 25 languages. Furthermore, he works as a student mentor, is a reviewer for several scientific magazines contributed to numerous talks and seminars and is the author of several scientific contributions to newspapers, magazines and books.