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School of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Rodolfo Russo


Reader in Theoretical Physics

Telephone: 020 7882 5810
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 613


I did my undergraduate studies at the universities of Pavia and Torino, Italy and obtained my PhD from Politecnico di Torino. I was a postdoc at the university of Neuchâtel (1998-200), École Normale Supérieure, Paris (2000-2003) and CERN, Geneva (2004-2005) before joining QMUL in 2006.

My research focuses on String Theory, Quantum Field Theory and the relation between the two. In particular I am currently working on various aspects of the AdS/CFT duality in presence of heavy states and on the eikonal limit of gravitational scattering. Both problems provide interesting insights on black hole dynamics, which has been at centre of my interests in the past few years.


I teach the modules "Functional methods in Quantum Field Theory" SPA7024. I am the programme director of the postgraduate taught programmes MSc physics and MSc Euromasters. I am coordinating the master projects modules SPA7012 and SPA7026.

I also offer 3rd year, 4th year and master research projects in the areas of black hole physics, AdS/CFT and string amplitudes.


Research Interests:

My current research focuses on the study of holographic correlators in the AdS/CFT context and in particular on the analysis of the heavy operators representing the microstates of supersymmetric black hole. I have also been systematically finding new exact and smooth supergravity solutions dual to these microstates in the context of the Strominger-Vafa black hole.

More generally, I am interested in how black hole physics can be described within a string or QFT approach, including the study of the gravitational eikonal limit as a tool to describe black hole inspiral in the post-Minkowksian approximation, as well as a way to probe the high energy regime of consistent gravitational theories. I am exploring how amplitude based techniques can help in describing the radiation emitted by black hole binaries.

I have a longstanding interest in perturbative string theory and the mathematical structure of higher loop string diagrams, both in the bosonic and the supersymmetric cases. 


 Current Grants

  • Science and Technology Facilities Council: Amplitudes, string theory and duality, Brandhuber, Buican, Green, Monteiro, Papageorgakis, Perry, Ramgoolam, Russo, White, £890,210 (2020-2023)
  • I was the director of BUSSTEPP@50 which was supported by the STFC grant, £105,808 (held at QMUL, Jan-Feb 2021) 

Past grants

  • INFN (Italy): grant supporting the 2-month programme "String Theory from a Worldsheet Perspective" at the Galileo Galilei institute (2019)
  • INFN (Italy): grant supporting the conference "50 Years of the Veneziano Model:
    From Dual Models to Strings, M-theory and Beyond" (2018)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council: String theory, gauge theory and duality, Berman, Brandhuber, Buican, Papageorgakis, Ramgoolam, Russo, Shigemori, White, £710,337 (2017-2020)
  • U.K. coordinator for the "Projet International de Coopération Scientifique” (2009-2012) with the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Hautes Energies at Sorbonne Université in Paris.
  • Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (2010-12) “Matrix Models Recursions in Topological Strings and Beyond” to host Sara Pasquetti
  • Grant of the Foundation Boncompagni-Ludovisi to host Valeria Gili (2007-2010)



The list of my publication is available here


This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.

Project Title
Black holes in String theory


I'm currently the PhD advisor of Marcel Hughes and supervised the PhD projects of

  • Dario Duò (graduated in 2009)
  • William Black (graduated in 2012)
  • Sam Playle (graduated in 2014)
  • Emanuele Moscato (graduated in 2017)
  • Nejc Ceplak (graduated in 2020)

I co-supervised the work of Arnau Koemans Collado (graduated in 2020), Moritz McGarrie and David Turton (graduated in 2011)