Laboratoire de Physique des Solides
The Laboratoire de Physique des Solides (Laboratory of Solid State Physics) is a research institute of the University of Paris-Sud, associated to the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) as a joint research unit. It is located in Orsay, France, about 25 km southwest of Paris.
The physics of condensed matter is addressed in all its diversity, but the current activities can be loosely divided into three main topics, each one involving about thirty permanent researchers:
# New electronic states of matter # Physical phenomena with reduced dimensions # Soft matter and physics-biology interface
Topic 1: theoretical and experimental studies, related to the properties of correlated fermions (superconductivity, magnetism, metal-insulator transition, and so on).
Topic 2: studies related to “nanosciences”, broadly speaking. They are approached from the point of view of fundamental properties, and cover the situation when the size of an object becomes comparable to certain characteristic scales (coherence length, mean free path,...)
Topic 3: studies of “soft matter” including biological systems. Topics range from complex systems to living tissues, from liquid crystals to foams, passing through polymers or granular systems. These studies are often done at the interface with physical chemistry and biology.
The faculty (but also the CNRS researchers) are actively involved in various undergraduate and graduate courses and programs aimed at students of the Orsay and Paris universities and at students of engineering schools (“Grandes Écoles”). The laboratory hosts a graduate program leading to a degree in solid state physics: the “Physics of Condensed Matter” master, common to the Paris VI, VII and XI universities, to the École Normale Supérieure and to the École Polytechnique.
More generally, research and technical training is a major concern of the laboratory, which, besides PhD students, hosts a large number of interns at many levels.
The laboratory hosts a research team entirely dedicated to innovating the way modern physics is taught.
Other major contributions are the involvement in large-scale actions such as: