Luca Visinelli

Luca Visinelli

Tenure-track Associate Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Fellow, Tsung-Dao Lee Institute

Tsung-Dao Lee Institute (TDLI), Shanghai


I am an Associate Professor in physics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a Fellow at the Tsung-Dao Lee Institute (TDLI) in Shanghai, recently founded by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek. Previously, I was a “Fellini” Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Italy, a Fellow at the Gravitation, AstroParticle Physics Amsterdam (GRAPPA), and a postdoc at NORDITA in Stockholm, Sweden. I graduated from The University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT (USA).

My research activity spans various interesting topics including particle astrophysics, dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. I have focused on exploring the role the axion as a dark matter candidate, for which I co-wrote a review on Physics Report in 2020. Recently, I have collaborated on an impactful review on the Hubble tension that also includes Nobel Laureate Adam Riess.

In 2022, I have been the co-recipient of the prestigious Buchalter Cosmology Prize for “opening new, unforeseen vistas for the scientific scope of direct detection dark matter experiments”.

My h-index is 32 according to Inspire-HEP, and my Erdös number is 4.


  • Particle Astrophysics
  • Dark Matter modeling
  • Black Holes signatures (shadows, gravitational waves)


  • PhD in Physics, 2011

    The University of Utah

  • MSc in Physics, 2011

    The University of Utah

  • BSc in Physics, 2007

    University of Bologna, Italy



Dark Matter

Dark matter is an hypothetical form of matter that makes up a large fraction of the mass in the Universe. The existence of dark matter is inferred through its gravitational interaction with ordinary “baryonic” matter and light, and it is essential in driving gas and dust to build up into stars and galaxies.

Dark Energy

Measurements of supernovae distances first showed that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. This finding is consistent with the idea that a large part of the energy of the Universe is stored into dark energy. Further evidences from surveys of distant galaxies and from gravitational lensing corroborates this interpretation.


The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle that is associated with the solution of the Strong-CP problem proposed by R. Peccei and H. Quinn in 1977. Axions are a also a viable dark matter candidate and the archetype of bosons that contribute to the energy density of the Universe as an ensemble of coherent waves.

Black Holes

A black hole is a region of spacetime from which no particles or even electromagnetic radiation can escape, because of the strong gravitational field. Black holes are astrophysical objects that can be formed through various scenarios, for example they are the ultimate fate of extremely massive stars. I am working on the shadow of spinning black hole and on the interplay between dark matter and black holes.


Selected media coverage of my research

Upcoming Talks

The full list of invited talks and seminars can be found here
Direct detection experiments and dark energy
Future probes of the axion landscape
Recent and future developments in dark matter axion physics
Constraints on Reheating to SM Particles due to Large Effective Higgs Boson Mass
Axion Miniclusters: Tidal Disruption and Radioastronomy

Selected Publications

Ten representative publications

For full list of publications and preprints with bibliometric details see

my INSPIRE profile, my ORCID profile, and my Google Scholar profile.

Direct detection of dark energy: The XENON1T excess and future prospects
In the Realm of the Hubble Tension: A Review of Solutions
The landscape of QCD axion models
Late time transitions in the quintessence field and the H0 tension
Dilute and dense axion stars