Universal Laws and Structures
>Exploring abstract structures to deduce their intrinsic properties
>Looking for underlying relationships between geometry and algebra, between infinitely small and infinitely far away
>Understanding the mathematical structure of physics equations to deduce new solution classes and discover new particles.
Research is conducted into all of these topics at the École Polytechnique and driven solely by the incentive to learn more about the world we live in. Occasionally, new concepts emerge that lead to ground-breaking innovations.
Some ongoing projects:
CPHT on the dark side of matter
Dark matter represents the majority of matter in the universe, but is not represented in the standard particle physics models because they only describe known matter. The missing link, the Higgs boson, was recently discovered at CERN, and led to the theoreticians winning the Nobel Prize in physics in 2013. The challenge taken up by researchers from the Theoretical Physics Center (CPHT), is to extend this model to dark matter. Unlike the string or super symmetry theory, this new model has the advantage of simplicity: it takes just a new intermediate boson, named boson Z, and very few free parameters. The model also makes it possible to perfectly reproduce the quantity of visible matter produced in the cosmos and detected by the FERMI satellite. In addition, its predictions are in line with the very weak quantity of dark matter that may be created in particle accelerators.
Awards for the Higgs boson and the Leprince Ringuet Laboratory
On July 22, 2013, the ATLAS and CMS experiments conducted in the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) were rewarded with the prestigious European Physical Society award for discovering the Higgs boson. Involved in the CMS experiment from the start, the physicists as well as technicians from the Leprince-Ringuet Laboratory (LRR) for Particle physics and Astrophysics played a leading role in the discovery of this particle. In October, the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Peter Higgs and François Englert for their theoretical prediction of a mechanism responsible for the mass of particles, which was confirmed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments.