Leopoldo Sarra

  • Doctoral Student
  • Theory Division
  • Room A.2.448
  • Phone +49 9131 7133 460
  • Email

I am an Italian theoretical physicist with a background in statistical mechanics.

During my PhD, I focused my research on Machine Learning applications in Physics. In particular, the recurrent theme of my work has been what we called "Artificial Scientific Discovery".

This long-term ambitious goal concerns the question of how a machine can infer knowledge and set up models from observations of the world, produce hypotheses and decide on which experiments to perform to validate or reject its predictions, in a similar way to what human scientists do.

The tools needed to take the first step in this field are adapted from machine learning and involve representation learning and feature extraction, active learning and bayesian experimental design, information theory.

For more information about Machine Learning in Physics, please look at the online courses offered by the head of our group, Prof. Florian Marquardt, both the introductory course and the advanced course.

You can find more information on the theme of Artificial Scientific Discovery by watching the videos of the talks of the Artificial Scientific Discovery workshop Prof. Florian Marquardt and I organized during Summer 2021.

Visit Google Scholar for the updated list.



2018 - now: PhD student at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Theory Division of Prof. Florian Marquardt, Erlangen
Research Topic: Machine Learning in Physics, Artificial Scientific Discovery;
Member of the International Max Planck Research School - Physics of Light

2016 - 2018: Master Degree in Physics, Sapienza University of Rome, Theoretical Physics curriculum; thesis "Study of the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick spinglass" (with prof. Giorgio Parisi); "summa cum laude"

Student at Sapienza Superior School for Advanced Studies in Rome, "Science and Technology" academic area; thesis on "Device Independent Tests of Quantum Channels" (with prof. Fabio Sciarrino)

2013 - 2016: Bachelor Degree in Physics, Sapienza University of Rome; thesis "Negative Temperatures in Statistical Mechanics" (with prof. Andrea Pelissetto); "summa cum laude"

2005 - 2015 Diploma in Piano, Santa Cecilia Music Conservatory in Rome (with M. Elisabetta Pacelli). Here is a short video clip with me playing Debussy!

2013: Maturità Scientifica (final high school exam), Liceo Scientifico Statale "Augusto Righi", Rome, final grade 100/100.

Click here for the full cv.


Other activities

  • For information about hbaromega, the local student chapter of Optica (formerly OSA) and EPS Young Minds section, whose board I am a member of since 2019, please visit  their website or write us an email to hbaromega@mpl.mpg.de
  • For information about the "Science Communication at MPL" initiative that I am pushing forward together with other PhD students, please write to science-communication@mpl.mpg.de.

MPL Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with MPL’s latest research via our Newsletter. 

Current issue: Newsletter No 25 - January 2023

Click here to view previous issues.

MPL Research Centers and Schools