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Physique Théorique


In memoriam Eric Pilon

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It is with great sadness that we announce that our friend and colleague Éric Pilon passed away, peacefully, on 24 February after a long and heroic battle with cancer. His remarkable fight and courage commands respect. We will remember a colleague who was a physicist of great rigour and a man of conviction with an incredible sense of humour, a humour that was always subtle and sometimes caustic.

Éric joined the CNRS in 1991 with the LPTHE in Orsay. In 1995, he moved to LAPTh in the Particle Physics team. Éric went to the heart of everything he undertook, whether in his work as a physicist, in his passion for cycling and in life in general. He was demanding in his research. He made important contributions to the physics of photon production in hadronic collisions both for direct photon measurements as well as the search for the Higgs boson in the two-photon channel. In this respect, his work was highly commended, especially within the French LHC working groups where he trained many young (and not so young) experimentalists. Éric had a broad scientific interest with a strong foundation in mathematics which allowed him to collaborate with mathematical physicists.

The rigour he was known for was also reflected in the courses he taught at the ENS Paris and ENS Lyon, to the delight of his students.

He was involved in many activities in the laboratory, without ever putting himself forward. He was one of the pillars of the PhysTeV Workshop Series in Les Houches. For many years he acted as the LAPTh correspondent of the SFP (Société Française de Physique).

Éric was also a talented cartoonist. It is through his legendary cartoons that his, sometime mischievous, humour was best revealed. For several years, he summarised physics seminars and various meetings in short comic strips.

His great passion was cycling. Beyond the fabulous sporting exploits of which Éric was capable, cycling was also an object of scientific study to which he brought the same rigour as to his research in physics.

Éric, thank you for all these years in our laboratory. LAPTh will not really be the same after your departure...

In memoriam Eric Pilon website

For those who wish to leave a message for Éric's family, texts can be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We will collate the texts in a booklet that will be given to the family.