Giorgio Parisi
Parisi in 2006
Born (1948-08-04) 4 August 1948 (age 75)
Rome, Italy
EducationSapienza University (BS, MS, PhD)
Known forReplica trick
Parisi–Sourlas stochastic quantization
Altarelli–Parisi equations
Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation
AwardsBoltzmann Medal
Dirac Medal
Enrico Fermi Prize
Dannie Heineman Prize
Nonino Prize
Microsoft Award
Lagrange Prize
Max Planck Medal
Lars Onsager Prize
Pomeranchuk Prize
Wolf Prize
Clarivate Citation Laureates
Nobel Prize in Physics (2021)
Scientific career
Statistical mechanics
Quantum field theory
InstitutionsSapienza University
Columbia University
Academic advisorsNicola Cabibbo

Giorgio Parisi OMRI (born 4 August 1948) is an Italian theoretical physicist, whose research has focused on quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and complex systems. His best known contributions are the QCD evolution equations for parton densities, obtained with Guido Altarelli, known as the Altarelli–Parisi or DGLAP equations, the exact solution of the Sherrington–Kirkpatrick model of spin glasses, the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation describing dynamic scaling of growing interfaces, and the study of whirling flocks of birds.[1] He was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Klaus Hasselmann and Syukuro Manabe for groundbreaking contributions to theory of complex systems,[2] in particular "for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales".[3]

Early life and education

Giorgio Parisi received his degree from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1970 under the supervision of Nicola Cabibbo.


He was a researcher at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (1971–1981) and a visiting scientist at the Columbia University (1973–1974), Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (1976–1977), and École Normale Supérieure (1977–1978). From 1981 until 1992 he was a full professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and he is now professor of Quantum Theories at the Sapienza University of Rome. He is a member of the Simons Collaboration "Cracking the Glass Problem".[4] From 2018 until 2021 he was the president of the Accademia dei Lincei[5] and in 2023 he was elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences.[6]


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Parisi's research interests are broad and cover statistical physics, field theory, dynamical systems, mathematical physics and condensed matter physics, where he is particularly known for his work on spin glasses and related statistical mechanics models originating in optimization theory and biology.[7] In particular, he made significant contributions in terms of systematic applications of the replica method to disordered systems, even though the replica method itself was originally discovered in 1971 by Sir Sam Edwards.[8]

He has also contributed to the field of elementary particle physics, in particular to quantum chromodynamics and string theory. Together with Guido Altarelli, he introduced the so-called Dokshitzer–Gribov–Lipatov–Altarelli–Parisi equations.[9] In the field of fluid dynamics he is known for having introduced, together with Uriel Frisch, multifractal models to describe the phenomenon of intermittency in turbulent flows.[10] He is also known for the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation modelling stochastic aggregation.[11] From the point of view of complex systems, he worked on the collective motion of animals (such as swarms and flocks). He also introduced, together with other Italian physicists, the concept of stochastic resonance in the study of climate change.[12]

Honors and awards

Parisi with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in 2021

Giorgio Parisi is a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences,[13] the American Philosophical Society,[14] and the United States National Academy of Sciences.[15]

"The Boltzmann Medal for 1992 is awarded to Giorgio Parisi for his fundamental contributions to statistical physics, and particularly for his solution of the mean field theory of spin glasses."[16]
"Giorgio Parisi is distinguished for his original and deep contributions to many areas of physics ranging from the study of scaling violations in deep inelastic processes (Altarelli–Parisi equations), the proposal of the superconductor's flux confinement model as a mechanism for quark confinement, the use of supersymmetry in statistical classical systems, the introduction of multifractals in turbulence, the stochastic differential equation for growth models for random aggregation (the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang equation) and his groundbreaking analysis of the replica method that has permitted an important breakthrough in our understanding of glassy systems and has proved to be instrumental in the whole subject of Disordered Systems."[17]
"For his contributions to field theory and statistical mechanics, and in particular for his fundamental results concerning the statistical properties of disordered systems."[18]
"For fundamental theoretical discoveries in broad areas of elementary particle physics, quantum field theory, and statistical mechanics; especially for work on spin glasses and disordered systems."[19]
"World-famous theoretic physicist, Giorgio Parisi is an investigator of the unpredictable, this means of all that happens in the real world and of its probable laws. A pioneer of complexity, his research of rules and balances inside chaotic systems hypothesizing mathematical instruments, may take to great discoveries in all the fields of human knowledge, from immunology to cosmology. His is a research of the next “Ariadne’s thread” of the labyrinth of our existence."[20]
"He has made outstanding contributions to elementary particle physics, quantum field theory and statistical mechanics, in particular to the theory of phase transitions and replica symmetry breaking for spin glasses. His approach of using computers to corroborate the conclusions of analytical proofs and to actively motivate further research has been of fundamental importance in his field."[21]
“For his significant contributions in theoretical elementary particle physics and quantum field theory and statistical physics, especially of systems with frozen disorder, especially spin glasses."[23]
“For developing a probabilistic field theory framework for the dynamics of quarks and gluons, enabling a quantitative understanding of high-energy collisions involving hadrons”.[25]
“For groundbreaking work applying spin glass ideas to ensembles of computational problems, yielding both new classes of efficient algorithms and new perspectives on phase transitions in their structure and complexity”.[26]
“For outstanding results in quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and particle theory”.[27]
“For ground-breaking discoveries in disordered systems, particle physics and statistical physics. The Wolf Prize in Physics is awarded to Giorgio Parisi for being one of the most creative and influential theoretical physicists in recent decades. His work has a large impact on diverse branches of physical sciences, spanning the areas of particle physics, critical phenomena, disordered systems as well as optimization theory and mathematical physics.”.[29]
"For ground-breaking discoveries in quantum-chromodynamics and in the study of complex disordered systems.".[30]
“For the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.”.[31]


Since 2016, Giorgio Parisi has been leading the movement "Salviamo la Ricerca Italiana" to put pressure on the Italian and European governments to start funding basic research above the subsistence level.[33]

Selected publications

See also


  1. ^ Parisi awarded the Nobel prize in physics in 2021. Nuzzo, R. (2006). "Profile of Giorgio Parisi". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (21): 7945–7947. Bibcode:2006PNAS..103.7945N. doi:10.1073/pnas.0603113103. PMC 1472410. PMID 16705030.
  2. ^ Sciences (TWAS), The World Academy of (31 October 2023). "47 new Fellows elected to TWAS". TWAS. Retrieved 6 April 2024.
  3. ^ "All Nobel Prizes in Physics". Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Simons Collaboration: Cracking the Glass Problem". Simons Foundation. 2016.
  5. ^ "Il fisico Giorgio Parisi eletto presidente dell'Accademia dei Lincei". ANSA. 22 June 2018.
  6. ^ "7 new Fellows elected to TWAS". TWAS. 31 October 2023.
  7. ^ Marc Mézard, Giorgio Parisi, Miguel Angel Virasoro (1987), Spin glass theory and beyond: An Introduction to the Replica Method and Its Applications, World Scientific, ISBN 978-9971501150.
  8. ^ Sam Edwards (1971), Statistical mechanics of rubber. In Polymer networks: structural and mechanical properties, (eds A. J. Chompff & S. Newman). New York: Plenum Press, ISBN 978-1-4757-6210-5.
  9. ^ G. Altarelli and G. Parisi, Asymptotic freedom in parton language, in Nuclear Physics B, vol. 126, n. 2, 1977, pp. 298–318, doi:10.1016/0550-3213(77)90384-4.
  10. ^ Uriel Frisch and Giorgio Parisi, On the singularity structure of fully developed turbulence, appendix to Fully developed turbulence and intermittency by Uriel Frisch, in Proc. Int. Summer School Phys. Enrico Fermi.
  11. ^ Kardar, Mehran; Parisi, Giorgio; Zhang, Yi-Cheng (3 March 1986). "Dynamic Scaling of Growing Interfaces". Physical Review Letters. 56 (9): 889–892. Bibcode:1986PhRvL..56..889K. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.56.889. PMID 10033312.
  12. ^ Benzi, Roberto; Parisi, Giorgio; Sutera, Alfonso; Vulpiani, Angelo (1982). "Stochastic resonance in climatic change". Tellus. 34 (1): 10–16. Bibcode:1982Tell...34...10B. doi:10.1111/j.2153-3490.1982.tb01787.x. ISSN 2153-3490.
  13. ^ "Giorgio Parisi". French Academy of Sciences. 1992.
  14. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Giorgio Parisi". National Academy of Sciences. 2003.
  16. ^ "C3 Commission Award – The Boltzmann Medal". International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. 1992.
  17. ^ "Dirac Medallist 1999". International Centre for Theoretical Physics. 1999.
  18. ^ "Enrico Fermi Prize list of winners". Italian Physical Society. 2002.
  19. ^ "2005 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics Recipient". American Physical Society. 2005.
  20. ^ "Nonino Prize 2005 "An Italian Master of our Time"". Premio Nonino. 2005. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  21. ^ Sherriff, Lucy (16 October 2007). "Quantum scientist wins Euro computing prize". The Register. Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  22. ^ "Lagrange-CRT Foundation Prize winners". CRT Foundation. 2009. Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  23. ^ "The Max Planck medal laureates and winners 2011". Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. 2011. Archived from the original on 6 February 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  24. ^ "Nature Prize for Mentoring in Science – Italy". Nature. 2013.
  25. ^ "The High Energy and Particle Physics Prizes". European Physical Society. 2015.
  26. ^ "2016 Lars Onsager Prize Recipient". American Physical Society. 2016.
  27. ^ "2018 Pomeranchuk Prize Recipients". 2018.
  28. ^ "Distinciones y Honores — Portal de la UEX - Bienvenido a la Universidad de Extremadura". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  29. ^ "2021 Wolf Prize Recipients". 2021. Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  30. ^ "Clarivate Unveils Citation Laureates 2021 – Annual List of Researchers of Nobel Class".
  31. ^ "Press release: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2021". 2021.
  32. ^ "Parisi Prof. Giorgio". 2021.
  33. ^ "Italian scientists protest 'serious neglect' of research". Science.

Further reading

Parisi, Giorgio (11 July 2023). In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonder of Complex Systems. Translated by Simon Carnell. Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-1-80-206089-8.