Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, France

The Kastler Brossel Laboratory (LKB; www.lkb.ens.fr) is one of the main actors in the field of fundamental physics of quantum systems. Many new themes have appeared recently in this field, like quantum entanglement or Bose-Einstein Condensation in gases, which leads to a constant renewal of of the research carried out in the laboratory. Presently the activity of its twelve research teams takes many forms: cold atoms (bosonic and fermionics systems), atom lasers, quantum fluids, atoms in solid helium; quantum optics, Cavity quantum electrodynamics; quantum information and quantum theory of measurement; quantum chaos; high-precision measurements. These themes lead not only to a better understanding of fundamental phenomena, but also to important applications, like more precise atomic clocks, improvement of interferometric gravitational wave detectors or new methods for biomedical imaging.

  

 

The LKB is part of the Physics department of Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS; www.ens.fr). The ENS is at once a grande école, due to its selective recruitment process, and a research university. As a central actor in the training of French elites for more than two centuries, it has nourished the majority of the great intellectual movements of the 20th century and has considerably widened the scope of French scientific influence. The impressive achievements made possible through the training it dispenses, distinguish the École normale supérieure from all other French establishments of higher education. Former students include all eight French winners of the Fields Medal, twelve Nobel Prize winners and half of the recipients the CNRS Gold Medal

Its physics department has two essential missions, research and teaching. Its research activities are performed in five laboratories, covering a wide range of fundamental physics:

  • - The Laboratoire Kastler Brossel deals mainly with matter-field interaction, quantum optics and quantum information, laser cooled atoms and degenerate quantum fluids.
  • - The Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain works on condensed matter physics, mesoscopic systems and optical properties of semiconductors.
  • - The Laboratoire de physique statistique deals with complex systems, non-linear physics, wetting and biological system properties.
  • - The Laboratoire de physique théorique works on quantum field theory, statistical physics, particle physics and unification theories, disordered systems theory and applications to condensed matter, optimization and biophysics
  • - The Laboratoire de radioastronomie, part of the LERMA laboratory hosted at ENS, is focused on the observation and theoretical understanding of the large structures in the Universe (galactic magnetic fields…)

The department has 147 permanent members (92 from CNRS, 55 from ENS or universities), an equivalent number of PhD students and post-doctoral fellows, 82 technical, administrative and engineering staff. The department hosts the physics curriculum of ENS (three years comprising the last year of the Licence degree and the two years of the Master). It also provides lectures and seminars aimed at PhD students. All teaching activities are in close connection with research, through seminars or tutoring activities in particular.