The pandemic playbook: A physicist take.

From 26/8/2020

Professor, Ph.D. Francesco Sannino is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology (CP³-Origins) at SDU. He is also one of the Founders of DIAS. At the age of 27, professor Francesco Sannino earned two PhDs in physics, one from Syracuse University in the United States, and the other from the University Federico II in Naples Italy where he also previously earned the Laurea degree. 

Francesco Sannino has been recognised with several awards and research grants, including the Excellence Team Leader Grant of the European Commission, the Elite Researcher Prize of the Danish Ministry of Science and the Danish National Research Foundation Centre’s of excellence grant.

He is also member of the Royal Danish Academy and Finish Academy of Science and Letters. Since 2014 he has been on an ERC panel for Consolidator Grants for Fundamental Constituents of Matter that includes High Energy Physics, Quantum Information, Cold Atoms, Laser, Plasma and Nuclear Physics.


The COVID-19 pandemic is raging across the world with an immense toll in terms of human lives and devastating economic impact. We use powerful theoretical physics methods to unveil the pandemic dynamics and timing. As a result we show projections for the European second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporal playbook of the pandemic can be used by governments, financial markets, the industries and individual citizens, to efficiently time, prepare and implement local and global measures. We will show how to mine mobility data released by Google and Apple to investigate the effects of social distancing on the spreading dynamics of COVID-19 in Europe. We identify and quantify different degrees of social distancing and characterise their imprint on the first wave of the pandemic.

The analysis allows us to classify countries according to their level of mobility. Our framework and results are functional to a quantitative understanding of future pandemics, which are expected to become a recurrent threat to our society.