Laboratoire de Physique des Solides

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Laboratoire de Physique des Solides
Logo of the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides in Orsay, France
Established 1959
Mission Fundamental research
Location Orsay, France
Coordinates 48°42′26″N 2°10′46″E / 48.707134°N 2.179332°E / 48.707134; 2.179332
Geographical position of the Laboratory of Solid State Physics in France
Geographical position of the Laboratory of Solid State Physics in France
Position in France

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.


Levitating magnet
Magnet levitating above a superconductor.

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:


The Laboratory of Solid State Physics was founded by André Guinier, Jacques Friedel and Raimond Castaing in 1959 on the Orsay campus.[1]



  • Friedel, Jacques (1994-04-01). Graine de mandarin (in French). Paris: Odile Jacob. ISBN 2738102549. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  • Brouzeng, Paul; et al. (2005-04-21). Orsay, un jardin pour la science (in French). EDP Sciences. ISBN 9782868837561. Retrieved 2014-02-16.