Franco Vazza (@franco_vazza) is an astrophysicists who uses large cosmological simulations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dep9RicS2Ts) to understand how elusive processes in the Universe work.
After getting is PhD from the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2009, he spent several nice years of Post-Doc at the Jacobs University in Bremen and at the Observatory of Hamburg (Germany). He is currently a Post-Doc Fellow co-funded by the Italian Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and the the Horizon2020 initiative of the European Union, through the Marie Slodowska Curie Initiative Astrofit2.
In particular, he is interested in non-thermal processes in galaxy clusters and in cosmic filaments, like the acceleration of cosmic rays, the onset of plasma turbulent motions and the origin of extragalactic magnetic fields.
Complex simulations (often involving ad-hoc code development) are necessary to model how each of these processes may emerge during the formation of cosmic structure, and in order to compare as closely as possible with the real observations coming from radio, X-ray and gamma telescopes.
His long term project MAGCOW (The MAGnetised COsmic Web) has recently received and ERC Starting Grant from the European Union, and will be based from the 1st of September 2017 at the University of Bologna and at the University of Hamburg. The most ambitious goal of this project is to enable the Square Kilometer Array to use its future deep observations to have sure detections of the rarefied cosmic web (https://vimeo.com/204163883), and to assess the most likely origin of magnetic fields.
His homepage (including pretty pictures and movies of his work) is http://cosmosimfrazza.myfreesites.net
He is also a long time contributor to the Italian astro-amateur magazine “Le Stelle”.