Institut Polytechnique de Paris
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Department of Physics

Disciplinary research at Institut Polytechnique de Paris is based on the expertise of its founding schools. Physics is one of ten disciplinary research departments bringing together top researchers and PhD students at state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities on the Institut Polytechnique de Paris campus.
Department of Physics

The field of Physics aims to understand the world around us. Researchers use the scientific method to observe, reason, experiment and innovate in order to model the laws of nature and their applications for a wide variety of phenomena. Physics also plays a central role in other disciplines since many modern technologies rely on advances stemming from fundamental research in this area. Examples include electronics, telecommunications, geolocation and medical imaging. 

In 2022, Alain Aspect, CNRS Research Director Emeritus at the Institut d'Optique Graduate School (Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS) and Professor at IP Paris department of Physics, is co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics. This Nobel Prize rewards his discoveries and underlines the excellence of education in Physics at IP Paris (read more).

From left to right: Eric Labaye, President of École Polytechnique and Institut Polytechnique de Paris; Silke Biermann, President of IP Paris Department of Physics; Alain Aspect, Professor at IP Paris Department of Physics and 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. 


Fundamental and applied research activities in the field of physics at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris aim to:

  • produce new knowledge from fundamental research using methodologies, processes and equipment at the cutting-edge of knowledge and technology
  • develop new methods and tools to test, observe and model phenomena 
  • take advantage of opportunities to develop innovations to benefit society 

World-class research areas

  • Condensed matter and materials physics
    • Quantum materials and technologies 
    • Electronic excitations and spectroscopy
    • Physics of semi-conductors
    • Electrochemistry and thin films
    • Physics of surfaces and interfaces
    • Solid state chemistry
    • Nanomaterials and innovative devices
    • Glasses and fiber optics 
    • Defects, disorder and structure of material
    • Physics of irregular systems and growth processes
  • Lasers and plasma physics
    • Laser-plasma electron acceleration 
    • Ultra-fast laser-driven X-ray sources 
    • Fusion plasmas, low-temperature plasmas and space plasmas
    • Plasma transport and turbulence
    • Relativistic plasma and high-field physics
    • New plasma treatment for large-area electronics
  • Optics and biophysics
    • Molecular mechanisms of microbial adaptation
    • Internal dynamics of biomolecules
    • Nano-imaging and quantitative biology
    • Advanced microscopy and tissue physiology
  • Extreme-scale physics
    • Experimental particle physics
    • Neutrinos
    • Gamma-ray astronomy
    • Quark-gluon plasma
    • Wakefield particle acceleration 
  • Applied physics
    • Organic, inorganic and hybrid devices: design and characterization
    • Gas and liquid sensors and constraints  
    • Aqueous Nano-Raman using twisted light
    • Direct energy conversion
  • Theoretical physics
    • Condensed matter theory: Multi-body physics and topology
    • String theory and cosmology
    • Quantum field theory
    • Dynamic systems and statistical mathematical physics
    • Theory of astrophysical plasma and plasmas for thermonuclear fusion
  • Medical applications
    • Proton therapy
    • Biomedical optics: theory and instrumentation
    • Polarimetry for detecting cancer
    • Ultra-short laser pulses for ophthalmology
    • Laser-produced plasma for medical radiotherapy and imaging applications


Members of the Education and Research Departement

The research strategy for this field is implemented by researchers from Institut Polytechnique de Paris schools. They work together to conduct world-class research at state-of-the-art facilities.

Head of the department

Silke Biermann
Silke Biermann

Learn about our schools' research in this field

École polytechnique


Course Finder for Physics

Field(s) : Chemistry Mechanics Physics
Duration : 5 years
Language(s) : English
Field(s) : Physics
Duration : 1 year
Language(s) : English
Field(s) : Biology and health Chemistry Design Economics Electrical engineering Energy Energie nucléaire Computer science Nuclear energy Innovation, industry, society Applied mathematics, statistics Mathematics and applications Mechanics Physics Sociology Transport, mobility, networks
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Language(s) : French
Field(s) : Computer science Innovation, industry, society Applied mathematics, statistics Physics Transport, mobility, networks
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Duration : 2 years
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Engineer program

Engineer Program

Field(s) : Biology and health Chemistry Economics Electrical engineering Energy Computer science Nuclear energy Innovation, industry, society Applied mathematics, statistics Mathematics and applications Mechanics Physics Sociology Transport, mobility, networks
Specialtie(s) : Technological innovations Space science Environment Data Science Finance Biotechnologies Neurosciences Social sciences Humanities Languages Cultures R&D Strategy Research Engineering Entrepreneurship Management Start-up Automatisation Connected objects Embedded systems Nanotechnologies Nanoelectronics Cryptology Quantum computer sciences Networks Statistics Electronics Space Sustainable development Machine Learning Intelligence artificielle Deep Learning Deeptech
Duration : 4 years
Language(s) : French
Field(s) : Physics
Duration : 4 weeks
Language(s) : French