The France Excellence 2018 Summer School "Physics for both infinities" will take place from July 1st to July 21st 2018 in University of Aix-Marseille and University of Strasbourg.

Man has always sought to answer the most fundamental questions related to our understanding of

the Universe. If the limits of this understanding could be pushed back thanks to the major advances

of the last decades in the fields of the physics of the infinitely small and the infinitely large, which are

intimately linked, we still have many questions to answer: its origins, the elements that make it up,

the fundamental laws that govern it, its future. The school's theme is the physics of the two infinites

and covers: particle physics, hadronic physics (quark-gluonplasma), nuclear physics, astroparticle

physics (high energy astrophysics) and cosmology. These areas will be addressed through:

presentations on our current understanding, questions and scientific issues, presentations on some

of the major current and planned experiments in which our two laboratories (CPPM and IPHC) are

heavily involved in trying to answer these questions, and mini research projects. This school is also

part of the Franco-Chinese collaboration of the LIA FCPPL (



Marseille and Strasbourg


Please find here the schedule

The Summer School will last 3 weeks, starting on Sunday, July 1st, and ending on Saturday, July 21st.

It will take place in two locations. First in Marseille, at CPPM (, research

laboratory from University of Aix-Marseille (AMU - and CNRS

(, then in Strasbourg at IPHC (, research laboratory from

University of Strasbourg (Unistra - and CNRS (


In Marseille (1-11 July), the stay will be organized by the Direction des Relations Internationales

d’AMU, while in Strasbourg (11-21 July) it will be organized by the Cellule Congrès de l’Unistra



Students will be welcomed on July 1st at Marseille train station, at their arrival by train from the

Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, by a team from CPPM. They will be accompanied back to Marseille

train station for the departure to Strasbourg on July 11th.


For the second part of the school, students will be welcomed on July 11th at Strasbourg train station,

arriving directly by TGV from Marseille, by a team from IPHC. Both Chinese students and local

teachers will be escorted with a private bus to the Art Café of Musée d'Arts Modernes


where a Welcome Reception will take place in the evening.


Students will also be accompanied by a team from IPHC to the Strasbourg train station on July 21th,

where they will depart from to go back to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, directly by TGV.







Student accommodation will be provided by the CROUS Cité-Universitaire on Luminy Campus of Aix-

Marseille Université ( with the following

services: room of 10m2 with three-function cabin (washbasin, shower, WC), weekly cleaning,

internet connection, bed linen, hygiene kit (floor mat, towel, hangers,...). The Cité-U is very close to

the CPPM building where the courses and pedagogical activities of the school will take place.



- Breakfast: they will all be taken by the students at the CROUS restaurant close to CPPM building.

- Lunches:

On working days, they will be taken at the SOGERES administrative restaurant in front of the CPPM

building. On Saturday, lunch trays will be ordered for students and supervisors.

The day devoted to cultural activities (Sunday 8 July), lunch baskets will be ordered for students and


- Dinners: There is no restauration on Luminy Campus in the evening; we will plan meal trays for

dinner every day, except on Tuesday 3 July, Thursday 5 July, and Sunday 8 July, when dinners will be

organized in downtown restaurants.

Coffee/tea breaks will also be provided every day in the middle of the morning and afternoon.



- The students will arrive in Marseille by train from Paris Charles de Gaulle (Roissy). A private bus will

drive the students from Marseille train station to Luminy campus; at the end of their stay

(Wednesday 11 July), a private bus will drive the students to the Marseille train station to take their

train to Strasbourg.

- The vast majority of the activities will be located on Luminy Campus. Occasional trips in the city will

be made by public transportation (bus and subway - RTM).

- A private bus will transport the students during the guided visit of Marseille on Sunday 8 July. On

Sunday 8 July afternoon, the students will take a boat to visit the Calanques.





Accommodation is located in the historical center of Strasbourg in a University district, only 200 m

far away from the cathedral, at FEC (Foyer de l'Etudiant Catholique de Strasbourg, see

Each room is fully furnished and equipped. In particular during their stay, students will benefit from /

have access to:

Individual rooms with bathroom, basin and shower, fridge, cooking hotplate and phone




TV room

Fitness room

Study room

Piano room




- Breakfast: directly taken at the FEC accommodation (see

- Lunch: in a private room at CROUS canteen, on the Cronenbourg campus where the IPHC laboratory

is located.

- Diner: directly at the FEC accommodation.

Coffee breaks are planned each morning and afternoon at IPHC.



- Private bus for tourist activities and social events.

- Public transportation (tramway for travels between FEC and IPHC) in Strasbourg. Tickets will be

provided for free, in quantity large enough to allow for personal travels (individual tourist visits).

- High speed TGV direct train between Marseille and Strasbourg, and between Strasbourg and Paris.

Train tickets for the return travel to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport will be provided.







Particle Physics at the Energy Frontier

Introduction – by Yann COADOU

Particle physics describes at the most fundamental level the elementary blocks that make up the

world around us. These particles, with no known internal structure at the 10-18 m scale, and their

interactions are described by the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which is based on quantum

mechanics and special relativity. The way in which it has been constructed, with a strong interaction

between experimenters and theorists, as well as its various components (and in particular the Higgs

boson) will be presented, as well as its experimental validation over time.


The ATLAS experiment – by Laurent VACAVANT

ATLAS is one of four major experiments at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN. After a brief

presentation of CERN and the LHC acceleration chain, the focus will be on the sub-detectors of this

cathedral of technology and on exploiting the enormous amounts of data collected since 2009.

Various results obtained thanks to the technical, algorithmic and software developments of the

group will be presented, as well as their impact on the precise measurements of the predictions of

the standard model, the discovery of the Higgs boson and the search for signs of new physics.


Flavor Physics


Flavor Physics with the LHCb experiment - by Julien COGAN

LHCb is an experiment running at the LHC. It is dedicated to the search for rare decays and the study

of matter-antimatter symmetry using hadrons containing heavy quarks. By performing precision

measurements in this highly phenomenologically rich area, the LHCb collaboration seeks to evidence

processes beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics. This course will introduce the LHCb

experiment and present its recent results, some of which might be the first signs of a new physics.


Neutrino Physics


Double beta decays and the nature of the neutrino – by José BUSTO

After presenting a brief overview of the Dirac equation and introducing the theory of simple beta

decay, we will move on to the description of the process of double beta decay (ββ) and show the link

with the Dirac or Majorana nature of the neutrino. We will then discuss the experimental

characteristics in the search for (ββ) decays and present a review of the main techniques proposed in

this context. The course will continue with a brief presentation of the problem of very low

radioactivity and will conclude with a description of the main experiments with the results they

obtained and the perspectives for the future.




Introduction to astroparticle physics – by Damien DORNIC

After having presented the cosmic rays and their characteristics, we will introduce the nature of the

astrophysical sources that are supposed to produce them in the Universe. The mechanisms of their

production and acceleration in the sources will be analyzed and the propagation of these messengers

in the interstellar medium to Earth will be described.


Cosmic Ray detection – by Heide COSTANTINI

We will begin with a historical introduction of cosmic ray detection to describe the different

messengers that can be used such as charged particles, high energy photons and neutrinos. The

different detection techniques in space and on Earth will then be described and a review of the main

experiments will be presented.



CTA is an array of Cherenkov imaging gamma ray telescopes that will be built in Chile and on the

island of La Palma in Spain. CTA will be dedicated to the study of the most violent and energetic

phenomena in our Universe such as the explosions of SuperNovae and black hole neighborhoods

which are potential sources for the production of cosmic rays at very high energies. After a

description of the detection technique and of the experiment, we will show CTA's potential in the

field of astroparticle physics. We will also discuss the activities in which CPPM is involved and

research prospects for the coming years.


KM3NeT: ARCA and ORCA – by Vincent BERTIN and Vladimir KULIKOVSKIY

KM3NeT is a neutrino observatory under construction in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea at two

sites: in Sicily in Italy (ARCA at -3500m) and off Toulon in France (ORCA at -2500m). The purpose of

the KM3NeT-ARCA detector is to detect high energy neutrinos from astrophysical sources. As for

ORCA, it is optimized for the detection of lower energy neutrinos and will be dedicated to the study

of the fundamental properties of neutrinos such as the determination of the mass hierarchy of

neutrinos. Neutrino detection techniques with an underwater detector will be presented and the

focus will be on the technological challenges of building such a detector at the bottom of the sea. The

activities in which the CPPM is involved in this project will also be discussed.




Introduction – by William GILLARD

Physical cosmology is a recent scientific field that deals with fundamental questions about the origin,

structure, evolution and future of the Universe. The cosmology course will begin with a short

introduction to physical cosmology followed by a description of the standard model of our Universe.

We will present the fundamental equations that describe its evolution and study the impact of its

contents on its evolution before tackling the problem of the accelerated expansion of the Universe.

This course will be followed by specialized courses that will present different methods used to

measure the properties of our Universe.


Standard candle – by Dominique FOUCHEZ

One of the main remaining questions in physical cosmology is the measurement of cosmological

distances. In this course, the use of supernovae in cosmology will be described. We will discuss the

observation of supernovae and the methods used to infer cosmological parameters from their

observation. We will conclude this course by describing the CPPM's involvement in the future LSST

cosmological survey, which will considerably increase sensitivity in the detection of supernovae, thus

measuring the fundamental properties of our Universe.


Standard ruler – by Stéphanie ESCOFFIER

This course will present another cosmological probe, the baryonic acoustic oscillations, which are

considered as a standard ruler for the Universe. After a short introduction to the physical nature of

baryonic acoustic oscillations, observation methods used to measure their signatures will be

described. We will conclude this course by describing the CPPM's involvement in future cosmological

surveys, LSST and EUCLID, which will provide new and unprecedented accuracy in the measurement

of baryonic acoustic oscillations.


Cosmic voids – by Alice PISANI

This course will present a new and promising probe for physical cosmology: cosmic voids. After an

introduction to these voids, we will present how they can be used to study the structure and

evolution of the Universe.




Accelerator physics:


- Introduction 1 and 2 – by Eric BAUSSAN

Accelerators are indispensable tools for understanding the properties of matter in nuclear and particle

physics. Their technological evolution is continuously driving our progresses in fundamental research

and will keep opening new windows in applied physics as well. These lectures will focus on general

beam principles and will provide an introduction to several accelerator systems used in the current

research facilities.


Particle physics:


- Introduction 1 and 2 – by Isabelle RIPP-BAUDOT

After an introduction to the standard model of particle physics, this lecture will focus on the CKM

matrix, and the effective Lagrangian formalism will be explained and used to describe quantum

manifestations of new physics beyond the standard model as a function of Wilson coefficients and



- Charged particle tracking with silicone detectors – by Auguste BESSON

This lecture will introduce the concept of tracking in particle and nuclear physics. Particle position

and momentum measurements will be explained, and the detectors used for tracking (mainly silicone

sensors) will be presented, as well as track fitting, particle identification, vertex reconstruction and

multiple scattering.


- Search for new physics with radiative B decays in the Belle II experiment at SuperKEKB – by Jérôme BAUDOT

The first part of this lecture will describe the general aspects of the Belle II experiment designed to

evidence effects from physics processes beyond the Standard Model in the leptonic and flavour

sectors. Then, the specific case of time dependent CP violation in radiative B decays, which is te focus

of the Strasbourg group, will be studied.


- Higgs mass reconstruction in the tau tau channel with the CMS experiment at LHC – by Anne-Catherine Le BIHAN

This lecture will present the Higgs mass reconstruction in the decay channel Higgs to tau-tau, with

the CMS experiment at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN, which is a decay channel studied by

the Strasbourg group.


- Quark and Gluon Plasma with the ALICE experiment at LHC – by Yves SCHUTZ

This lecture will be an introduction to the studies of ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions, and in

particular to the research led by the ALICE experiment with proton-proton, proton-Pb and Pb-Pb

collisions delivered by the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN. Current challenges related to the

characterisation of collective strong interactions and of the quark and gluon plasma will be



Neutrino physics:

Since the discovery of the neutrino oscillation mechanism in 1998 and more recently the

measurements made by reactor nuclear experiments in 2012, the neutrino physics is an important

sector to search for physics beyond the standard model.

In these lectures, the fundamental neutrino properties will be introduced from the oscillation

mechanism, followed by a discussion on their nature (Dirac and Majorana). The future challenges will

also be addressed with an overview of the experimental landscape in the next decades.


- Introduction – by Marcos DRACOS

- Neutrinos in the standard model

- Neutrino oscillation physics and PMNS matrix

- Neutrino oscillations with 3 active flavors

- CP violation in the leptonic sector

- Mass hierarchy


- Neutrino physics with the JUNO experiment – by Eric BAUSSAN

- Introduction to reactor physics

- Overview of neutrino physics with th JUNO experiment: mass hierarchy, supernovae, geo-neutrinos,

sterile neutrinos, ...


Nuclear physics:

- Introduction 1 – by (t.b.d.)

The fermionic system which is the atomic nucleus is a complex system and none analytical

description allows to describe the set of all the elements of the nuclei char. Then, this lectures

proposes to give an overview of the main theoretical aspects used to describe a nucleus, with a

particular focus on the mean field theory.


- Introduction 2 – by Gilbert DUCHÊNE

This lecture is in line with the previous one and will address the main experimental approaches used

in Nuclear Physics to understand the reaction dynamics processes occurring during a collision, or the

structure of a dedicated nucleus meaning how to explore the arrangement of the nucleons, namely

protons and neutrons respectively. Some typical experimental set-ups will be described mainly

concerning the gamma spectroscopy studies.


- Exotic nuclei and nucleosynthesis – by Sandrine COURTIN

One of the major challenges nowadays in Nuclear Physics is to study the behavior of nuclei in

extreme conditions like a large exoticity i.e. a large asymmetry between the proton and neutrons

numbers, the spin and the isopsin. The acheviements of new worldwide plateforms of radioactive

beams will give a unique opportunity to study very exotic nuclei and so constraint the description of

forces involved in the nuclear structure as function of the mass or the exoticity of the nucleus. Some

exotic nuclei will be part of the nucleosynthesis and their study may address the question of the

origin of the universe.


- Superheavy elements – by Olivier DORVAUX or Benoît GALL

One of the major challenges of modern Nuclear Physics is to investigate the limits of nuclear existence.

One trivial and yet so fundamental question is: what would be the maximum number of protons a

nucleus could sustain? To answer such a question, the synthesis of new elements with an ever-increasing

number of protons (Z=114 to 122) will be addressed in this lecture motivated by the theoretical prediction

of a new island of stability. Furthermore, superheavy nuclei provide a unique laboratory within which

nuclear structure and dynamics under very intense Coulomb forces can be studied. Then, this lecture will

provide an overview of the experimental and theoretical points of view of the next island of stability.


- Nuclear data for nuclear energy – by Grégoire HENNING

This lecture will present the operation of a nuclear plant from the point of view of the fundamental

nuclear physics processes. The first part of the lecture will focus on microscopic nuclear reactions

occurring in the the nuclear reactor and their impact on its operation. Aspects related to the security

and to the fuel cycle will be scrutinized and will reveal the limits of the current concepts of nuclear

reactors. This will lead us to study the design of the next generation of nuclear reactors and how they

might answer the current challenges of the nuclear energy.



Lectures will last 1h or 1h30, including time allocated to discussions and questions. Precise school

timetables in Marseille and Strasbourg are given in annex 1.

Lectures will take place in Marseille at CPPM on the campus of Luminy, and in Strasbourg at IPHC on

the campus of Cronenbourg.






In Marseille as well as in Strasbourg, 6 hours will be devoted (on each site) to work on mini-research

projects. These projects will be an opportunity for students to put into practice what they have

learned during the lectures. After these 6 hours of personal work (working in pairs) on their project,

students will spend 3 hours on the preparation of a report on their results and of its oral

presentation. These presentations will be done in front of all Chinese students and local teachers.

Students are advised to bring a laptop personal computer with them for use during the mini-projects

and to prepare the presentation they will have to make of their studies and results.


In Marseille: the mini-projects proposed to the students will be on the themes of particle physics

(supervised by Yann COADOU and Julien COGAN) and astroparticle physics (supervised by Heide


- Like the LHC physicists, students will have to analyze data recently collected by the ATLAS and

LHCb experiments. Using specialized software, they will perform a series of measurements

allowing them to experimentally rediscover the Standard Model of Particle Physics and see what

the first signs of new physics beyond this model might look like. This software will be supplied to

them on a USB stick (which they will be able to take with them) in the form of a virtual machine

that they can run on their laptop (preferred solution); if the students do not have a personal

computer, then we will use a computer lab of the UFR Science.

- Detection of hadronic showers produced by cosmic rays in the Earth's atmosphere using data

collected using the ePERON platform developed at the observatory of the Pic du Midi by us for

training in the study of cosmic rays. (éron).


In Strasbourg: research mini-projects will be proposed in Experimental Particle and Nuclear Physics,

as well on detection as on data analysis aspects.

- Particle detection:

All physics domains studied during the school rely experimentally on detection systems based on

particle matter interaction. Depending on the experimental purposes as well as the nature and

energy of the particles to be studied, several kinds of detectors are suitable.

Students will be offered the opportunity to work with experimental setups used for astroparticle,

nuclear, or high energy physics applications.

They will learn the principle and the way to handle the instruments and then build a mini-project to

perform a measurement under the guidance of a supervisor.

IPHC offers own several instruments to study particles emitted by radioactive sources, cosmic rays or

accelerator beams. Examples are: calibration of CMOS sensors with X-rays, muon telescope, gamma

spectrometry with HPGe, NaI and LaBr3 detectors, etc.

- Data analysis and simulation:

Nowadays, many subatomic and astroparticle experiments are declined in large scale projects,

entering thus in the big data frontier. It thus becomes important to learn techniques of large datasets

analysis and information extraction in order to measure fundamental physics properties or


Students will be offered the opportunity to analyze data in the context of large experiments. They

will learn how to treat and analyze the data and then build a mini-project to perform a measurement

under the guidance of a supervisor.

IPHC is involved in many international collaborations and will propose several projects related to

those experiments. Examples are: the CMS experiment at the LHC at CERN in Europe, the Belle II

experiment at the SuperKEKB collider at KEK in Japan, etc.



Visits of CPPM and IPHC laboratories are scheduled during the school on each corresponding site.





Societal applications of particle physics in the field of imaging - by Christian MOREL

The use of positron-emitting isotopes for the localization of brain tumors had been postulated by

Wrenn et al. in the journal “Science” in 1951. Since the construction of the Brookhaven "Hair Dryer"

in the 1960s and the development of X-ray tomography (CT) in the 1970s, detector development and

signal processing have made continuous progress to improve the quality and accuracy of medical

images. The basics of tomography will be presented, from the detection of ionizing radiation to

image reconstruction. The current challenges of imaging will be discussed both from an

instrumentation perspective and from the point of view of applications in various fields.


Machine Learning – by Yann COADOU

In their quest for precision measurements and the search for new rare phenomena, physicists

analyze phenomenal amounts of data. To make the most of them, automatic learning techniques

such as artificial neural networks or decision trees have been developed for several decades and are

increasingly used in physics. The field has undergone a renaissance in recent years with the

emergence of deep learning, which has revolutionized many disciplines related to artificial

intelligence. Different techniques and results of their use in particle physics will be presented.


The future of particle physics – by Steve MUANZA

This talk will present the future of high energy physics. Since the standard model can only partially

account for 5% of the universe's content, many models beyond the standard model have been

proposed to improve our understanding. After an overview of these ideas, the research perspectives

of this new physics will be discussed in the context of current research at the LHC, planned

improvements to the LHC experiments and future collider projects currently under consideration.



- Topic to be confirmed, for instance: invited speaker from International Space University, cf.

This conference will be shared with the France-China Summer School of Green Chemistry also taking

place in Strasbourg during the same period.








Course Format

The French courses will be organized and given by the SUFLE - Service Universitaire de Français

Langue Etrangere ( - of Aix-Marseille University, which has extensive

experience in this type of exercise.


Course duration

11 hours spread over the stay in Marseille (one 2hr-class and six 90’ classes)


Course location

At CPPM on Luminy Campus.




Course format and location

French courses will be insured by Alliance Française organization in Strasbourg, expert in teaching

French language to foreigners (cf. Courses will take place at IPHC

in the same room as the scientific lectures. The teacher in Strasbourg will contact the French teacher

in Marseille to insure the good transition between both courses and properly take into account what

was already studied by Chinese students.


Course duration

6 sessions of 1h30 each, 9h in total in Strasbourg.







Personalized visit with an English speaking guide (see Annex 2) and 2-3 people from CPPM.


- On Tuesday 3 July late afternoon, it is planned for the students to enjoy the Mediterranean See at a

beach close to a restaurant where we will have dinner afterwards. Students should pack a swimming

suit in their luggage.


- On Sunday 8 July :

Morning - Panoramic tour of Marseille with a licensed guide – 3 hour visit by bus, Vieux-Port,

Corniche, Palais du Pharo, Vallon des Auffes à Malmousque, Notre-Dame de la Garde

Afternoon - Visit of the Calanques by boat

Please find here the tour programme




Places and dates of the scheduled activities, details on logistical organization


- Wednesday, July 11th:

Welcome reception (cocktail dinner) will be organized in the Art Café, located on top of the Art

Museum of Strasbourg (see


- Saturday, July 14th:

Free time to visit Strasbourg city and surroundings: visit of the Cathedral, boat trip along the Ill river

in Strasbourg with a bâteau Mouche, visit of the Petite-France district.

Free-time shopping.

Picnic at noon in a public garden.

Fireworks and French National Day in the evening.

More information on Strasbourg city can be found here:


- Sunday, July 15th:

Bus transportation from Strasbourg to Haut-Koenigsbourg castle.

Visit of the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle in the Vosges mountains (

Lunch in an Alsacian restaurant.

Visit of a winery, wine tasting and visit of a typical alsacian village (see

Return by bus to Strasbourg.

Diner (lunch box) at IPHC while watching the 2018 football World Cup.


- Monday, July 16th: (event and date to be confirmed)

A reception will be organised together with the France-China Summer School of Green Chemistry

(taking place in Strasbourg in the same period as this Physics School), in presence of the Consul

General of China in Strasbourg (see and the Mayor of



- Wednesday, July 18th:

Visit of the European Parliament (

Free time for visit and shopping in Strasbourg and Kehl (small city in Germany just beside Strasbourg,

accessible from Strasbourg downtown by tramway in about 15 min from center of Strasbourg: see

Dinner in a typical Alsacian restaurant (Winstub). 








Physics for both infinities

From July 1st to July 21st 2018 in University of Aix-Marseille and University of Strasbourg

The total number of places is limited to 25.

The price does not include the trip from China to Paris.


Accommodation, meals and local transportation are all included.

The summer school will deliver a certificate of attendance.

The summer school is reserved to Chinese master students.

To apply, please follow the application procedure on the main page.

Price: 20.000 CNY

The French Embassy reserves a limited number of grants to students with an exceptional academic background. Grants cover the tuition fees but do not cover the trip from China to Paris.