The Institute of Theoretical Physics (IPhT) is an Institute of the Direction of Fundamental Research (DRF) of the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA). The Institute is also a joint research unit (UMR 3681) of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), attached to the Institute of Physics (INP).
Many different research subjects are pursued done at IPhT. Their main purpose is to formulate and study the physical and mathematical laws that govern our universe, its structure and its organisation. They cover almost all the major topics of modern theoretical physics: They range from the study of fundamental interactions, aimed for instance at understanding the primordial universe, up to the elaboration of models to understand certain biological structures. They also go through the mathematical study of complex systems in statistical physics and quantum field theory. Under the diversity of the systems under study lies a deep unity between the various mathematical formalisms used to describe them.
Among the main themes are:
Cosmology and astrophysics (large structures of the universe, dark matter, dark energy)
High-energy physics (physics beyond the standard model, neutrino physics, gauge theories and amplitude theories, QCD and hadronic matter)
Quantum gravitation, string theory
Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (Integrable Models, Conforming Theories, Matrix Models, Enumerative Geometry)
Physics of condensed matter and quantum systems (high Tc superconductors, quantum magnetic systems, graphene, cold atoms)
Statistical physics and out of equilibrium systems (disordered systems, vitreous systems, exclusion processes)
Interfaces of statistical physics: biological systems (biopolymers, biological networks), complex systems, dynamic networks, statistical inference.
IPhT hosts currently about fifty permanent physicists, about two thirds of whom are researchers from the CEA and a third are from the CNRS. The laboratory also welcomes many postdocs and visitors as well as a dozen young researchers preparing a doctoral thesis. The laboratory activity relies on various support tasks (documentation, computer science and administration) provided by a few people.
IPhT is located on the Orme des Merisiers site, which is part of the CEA Paris-Saclay Center, on the Saclay plateau. It is part of all the sites forming the Paris-Saclay University campus. The set is located 20 km southwest of Paris, in the county Hurepoix, and is easily served by public transport from Paris.