The research activities of the Laboratory of Environmental Physics is mainly directed to the study of the dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere. In particular, the "particulate pollution", often known by the ugly term "particulate matter", has important effects and still largely unknown both on health and on the climate.
The research on the composition, distribution, sources and effects of particulate air pollution is carried out with the development of experimental techniques, ranging from nuclear testing to optical ones, and with the development of computational meteo-diffusive models, which allow us to predict the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere from the local to the continental scale. In the last years, the research activity resulted in the contsruction of the first Italian atmospheric simulation chamber: ChAMBRe (Chamber for Aerosol Modelling and Bioaerosol Research), the facility is part of the ATMO-ACCESS and ACTRIS European consortia.
Many of the experimental techniques find applications in areas such as materials analysis and conservation of cultural heritage. The line of research in the physical environment has also resulted in the creation of a university spin-off (PM_TEN), which operates within the Department.