Lorenzo Sironi, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, Stars and Compact Objects, CCA , Flatiron Institute
Professor in the Department of Astronomy , Columbia University

Lorenzo Sironi is a research scientist at CCA and an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University. His research group investigates how fundamental plasma processes, shocks, magnetic reconnection and turbulence can power the non-thermal signatures of a wide variety of astrophysical objects, especially the most powerful and compact sources in our universe: neutron stars and black holes. Most recently, Sironi has become fascinated with the rich and puzzling phenomenology of fast radio bursts and with the hard X-ray “coronal” emission of X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei. He has a decade-long interest in magnetic dissipation and particle acceleration in relativistic black hole jets, focusing both on their multi-wavelength emission as well as on their potential role as multi-messenger sources (ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and high-energy neutrinos).

By modeling the plasma physics of high-energy astrophysical sources from first principles, Sironi and his group aim to build self-consistent, falsifiable models of their observables. By creating a diverse and inclusive environment that benefits everyone’s scientific efforts, he strives to foster the growth of the next cohort of plasma astrophysicists.

Sironi became passionate about astronomy and plasmas at the University of Pisa before moving to the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University for his Ph.D. After working as a NASA Einstein Fellow at Harvard University, he moved to Columbia in 2016. He has been awarded the 2019 Sloan Fellowship in Physics, the 2020 Cottrell Scholar Award and the 2023 Department of Energy Early Career Award.

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