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Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de
Physique Théorique


LAPTh, an overview

LAPTh is a mixed research unit (UMR 5108) of the CNRS lapth-lapp(within the Institute of Physics, INP) and the Université de Savoie. It is  located in Annecy-le-Vieux, 5km from the centre of Annecy and about 40km from CERN and Geneva.  The activities of LAPTh are centred around three main areas of research:

  • phenomenology of particle physics,
  • astroparticles and cosmology,
  • mathematical physics in particular field and string theory and  aspects of symmetry. 


The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics

bandeau nobel 2013The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to François Englert (Belgium) and Peter W. Higgs (U.K). higgs englertThe press release of the Nobel committee is very careful in its wording. First of all the prize is awarded to two theorists "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particle". This Nobel refers to the BEH mechanism (for Brout, Englet and Higgs). In 1964 Brout and Englert wrote a paper putting forth the idea. Within a few weeks the same proposal was made by Higgs albeit in a slightly different language. The mechanism itself was a way to counter a theorem (Goldstone theorem, which in fact was put on firm ground by Goldstone, Salam and Weinberg). The theorem predicts the appearance of massless spin-0 bosons (Nambu-Goldstone bosons) whenever there is spontaneous symmetry breaking. In short this refers to the situation where the dynamics and the equations describing the physics have a symmetry that is not shared by the solution of the equation, in particular by the ground state of the theory.

Read more: The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics


Pasquale Serpico, CNRS Bronze Medal Ceremony


The CNRS Bronze Medal Ceremony Award  was held in Grenoble on 4 October 2013 in Grenoble. The award is in recognition of the work of Pasquale in astroparticles. Pasquale received his medal from Bart van Tiggelen the Associate Director of the Institute of Physics of the CNRS.

Prior to the formal handing of the medal, a presentation of the work of Pasquale was shown to the audience. This was followed by a humorous portrait of Pasquale made by friends and colleagues of Paquale. See both videos here.

Bart van Tiggelen conveyed the congratulations of the CNRS. Upon receiving the medal, Pasquale gave a thank you speech.



GDR Terascale in Annecy

gdrterascale oct2013

LAPP and LAPTh will host the GDR Terascale from 28 to 30 Oct 2013. The GDR Terascale is a working group involving French theorists and experimentalists working on High energy particle physics and astroparticles with a focus on Higgs, BSM, Dark Matter and Tools and Monte-Carlos needed to pursue such investigations. The Full programme is to be found here.


When non science journalists describe LAPTh

lepointsep2013 imgIn the 26 September 2013 issue of Le Point Magazine (no 2141), LAPTh (and LAPP) physicists are some modern version of Professor Tryphon Tournesol : absent minded, gazing at the stars and the mountains surrounding them while dreaming of dark matter and hunting the Higgs, unshaven nonchalantly walking in flip-flops....Yet this tribe of mostly foreign origin chaps is a dream team of Higgs hunters...


LAPTh in Sciences et Vie, Sept. 2013

setv sep2013 coverWith the front page announcing that now that the Higgs boson is found a New Physics was about to emerge, the magazine lists 9 revolutionary ideas to reinvent the World. While we may be at the dawn of a new era, referring to Pasquale Serpico of LAPTh who calls for the need of a new Einstein, not all 9 revolutionary ideas are so revolutionary and so new.


Yet, it is true that the discovery of the Higgs comes with an enigma. Many arguments pointed that such a fundamental Higgs ought to be accompanied by a host of new particles, one of these could be the candidate for dark matter. Moreover, gravity at the quantum level poses a fantastic challenge in need of …revolutionary ideas and a new paradigm.


Graspa 2013

graspa 2013
The Graduate School in Particle Physics and Astroparticles of Annecy-le-Vieux was held from 22 to 26 July 2013. The School is attended by students in physics from universities around the world in their 3rd or 4th year. Lecturers are members of LAPP and LAPTh. The 4-day lectures cover LHC Physics, Neutrinos, Heavy Flavours, dark matter and cosmic rays and gravitational waves. Apart from the lectures hands-on sessions are organised around the usage of computation tools. With the lectures being held in a research laboratory, the students benefit from discussions with all members of LAPP and LAPTh.graspa 2013 students

Link to the page of the school


Accademia Lincei award for Pasquale Serpico

Tlynxhe prestigious Alfredo di Braccio Prize for physics of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei goes to our colleague Pasquale Serpico. This award recognises the work of a young Italian scientist. The creation of the Academy (Academy of the Lynx) dates back to 1603. Several illustruous scientists are associated with this institution, starting with Galileo. The Lynx academy counts among its members, Einstein, Fermi, Heisenberg, Planck and Pasteur.

The prize award ceremony will be held on June 21 at the Palazzo Corsini in Rome in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. Pasquale who has been recognised for his work in astrophysics shares the 2013 prize with F.M.D. Pellegrino (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa) for his work on graphene.


Pasquale Serpico in Science&Vie


pict cosmic ray

The 1149 issue (June 2013) of the magazine Science & Vie devotes a special article to cosmic rays, these particles that travel through the galaxy and end up bombarding the earth. Our colleague Pasquale Serpico was one of two experts that was consulted for the write-up.

Since their discovery in 1912, the origin of these ionizing particles of very high energy has long remained a mystery. Much evidence has now accumulated to trace back their origin to the explosion of massive stars known as supernovae. The latest results from the Fermi space telescope seem to confirm this hypothesis.


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