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LPSC - Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie

by Yannis Karyotakis - 8 March 2012

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The “Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie de Grenoble” (LPSC)” is a research laboratory operated jointly by several funding agencies; the CNRS (IN2P3 and INSIS) and two of Grenoble’s Universities UJF and INP). Created in 1967, the laboratory staff is composed of about 225 people (40 CNRS researchers, 27 University researchers, 100 ITA, 35 PhD students and 25 post-docs or temporary technical positions). The annual budget (including salaries) of the lab is around 13 M€ and the sources of funding are diverse: operating agencies and an increasing part from other agencies (ANR, regional contributions, European Frameworks, international exchange programmes, technology transfer and patent royalties).
Rated A+ after the recent review of AERES, with special notices on the management of the laboratory and its projects, the LPSC is not only a major actor in the local Grenoble research environment but also plays an important role at both the national and international level. Our laboratory is involved in several scientific or technical projects driven by large international collaborations; let us quote Particle and Fundamental Interactions experiments (ATLAS at LHC and UltraCold Neutrons at ILL), spatial missions (Planck, AMS) or ground base experiments (Auger, LSST) for astroparticles or cosmological issues, the innovative research on electronuclear power reactor (ADS GUINEVERE in SCK Mol, Molten Salt or Thorium cycle based concepts), the nuclear structure study (ILL and SPIRAL), hadron physics (JLab experiments and ALICE at LHC). Also an accelerator pole, with both ion source and accelerating device skills, is involved in several major developments in nuclear physics (SPIRAL2). Hadron therapy issues (CNAO in Italy) or future machine (HL-LHC, SuperB, CLIC, etc.) are also addressed by this pole. The size and complexity of these projects are such that they are organized on time scales exceeding sometimes decades and involve worldwide collaborations formed by hundreds of people. The LPSC technical staff has acquired a strong reputation of providing its deliverables in time and budget. Among the recent projects, one can list strong contributions in major projects like: assembly, tests and calibration for the ALICE EMCal calorimeter supermodules, the ATLAS cryogenics and presampler, the GENEPI-3C accelerator for the GUIVENERE project, the low energy beam line operation for the SPIRAL 2 project, the RICH for the AMS spectrometer and electronics for the sorption cooler of the HFI device for Planck, half of the G0 experiment at JLab, etc. A LPSC theory group finally supports this experimental effort allowing better scientific return. It is worth noticing that the Grenoble scientific context, with a unique set of large scale facilities (ILL, ESRF, IRAM, LNCMI …), is beneficial to develop synergies on both scientific and instrumentation. Another important feature of the laboratory is cross-disciplinary physics collaborations like the design and development of new types of nuclear reactor for energy production and waste reduction, the interface between physics and other sciences like biology and medicine. Finally spin-offs arise from the knowledge and know-how acquired by the members of the lab like teaching tasks in the UJF and INP universities in Grenoble and technology transfer, consulting and know-how for various fields such as electronics, computing, low activity measurements, surface treatments and ion implantation, cancer treatment (medical imagery and hadron-therapy).
All this work leads to a strong publication rate (more than 500 published papers and 75 invited talks in conferences, and an h-index of 78, over the last 4 years), as well as numerous distinctions of various domains in research, techniques and valorisation. The laboratory is also attractive with a large number of PhD students and postdoc positions as well as candidates on positions open.

See online : Official website