Master 1 & 2
High Energy Physics
High-energy physics is devoted to the study of the elementary blocks of matter and of the associated forces. The tools for these studies are the particle collider experiments at very high energy or very large beam intensities, as well as imposing highly sensitive detectors. These experimental devices give access to the laws of physics at very short distances. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), launched in September 2008 at CERN, is the most spectacular realization of such an apparatus to date. The theoretical description of the laws of Nature is based on mathematical theories which are characterized by their intrinsic simplicity and their predictive power, and which incorporate the symmetries of the physical phenomena.
The goal of the « High-Energy Physics » master is to offer a complete training of very high level in high-energy physics, both theoretical and experimental, covering a wide range of fields and applications: particle physics, astroparticle physics, standard model of electroweak interactions and its extensions, strong interactions and quantum chromodynamics, tools and methods in experimental physics, general relativity, string theory and cosmology.
One of the strong points of our master is to offer an international track which leads to a dual degree from two prestigious institutions, École polytechnique and ETH Zürich. It should be emphasized that the offer of courses in each of the two institutions is the result of a common design and selection and not simply the combination of two existing national Masters. To qualify for the joint master, students must validate (at least) 55 credits in each of the two institutions, with at least a total of 120 credits for both years.
Language of instruction: M1 50% English and French, M2 100% English
Duration: 2 years
Courses Location: École polytechnique (France) and/or ETH Zürich (Switzerland)
The HEP Master is structured over two years and aims to provide a coherent training, both theoretical and experimental, in high energy physics, addressing a broad spectrum of fields and applications: particle physics, astroparticle physics, standard model of electroweak interactions and its extensions, strong interactions and quantum chromodynamics, tools and methods in experimental physics, general relativity, string theory and cosmology. Students are supervised by research professors recognized in their field of research and able to train them in the state of the art, both theoretical and experimental. The objectives expected at the end of master’s degree are a mastery of the following knowledge and skills:
• fundamental knowledge and understanding of high energy physics;
• knowledge of standard methods and techniques in this field of study;
• in-depth knowledge in at least one advanced field of research (in theoretical physics or experimental physics)
• in-depth awareness of the interfaces between their field of specialization and other disciplines, ability to become involved in interdisciplinary projects.
At the end of the master project, each student is in a position to start a doctoral thesis and an independent research activity either in theoretical physics or experimental physics.
The academic year is organized in 2 administrative semesters each amounting to 30 ECTS, and the courses are split in 3 periods.
Depending on the course, the teaching language is either English or French
SEMESTER 1 (30 ECTS)
• Core Subjects (2×4 ECTS – period 1):
– Elementary particle physics (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
– Introduction to relativistic field theory (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
• Optional Subject (1×4 ECTS – period 1):
– Stellar astrophysics (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials) [recommended]
– Quantum optics: lasers (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
– Quantum physics of electrons in solids (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
• Training Subjects (1×4 ECTS – period 1):
– Symmetry groups in high energy physics (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials) [recommended, mandatory if Stellar astrophysics not chosen
– Numerical physics (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
– Cosmology (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
• Language (2 ECTS – period 1):
• Foreign language (2 ECTS), default English (French native speaker) or French (non-French native speaker)
• Core Subjects (2×4 ECTS – period 2):
– Quantum field theory 1 (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
– Advanced particle physics (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
• Optional Subjects (1×4 ECTS – period 2):
– General relativity (physics) (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials) [recommended]
– Quantum optics 2: photons (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
SEMESTER 2 (30 ECTS)
• Training Subject (1×4 ECTS period 2):
– Experimental aspects in subatomic physics and astrophysics (4 ECTS) [recommended, mandatory if General relativity (physics) not chosen]
– General relativity (math) (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
– Black holes, neutron stars and associated phenomena (4 ECTS, 18h lectures, 18h tutorials)
• Internship (1×26 ECTS, period 3) in one of these two topics:
– Fields, particles, matter (26 ECTS)
– Astrophysics and cosmology (26 ECTS)
The academic year is organized in 2 administrative semesters each amounting to 30. All courses are taught in English.
SEMESTER 1 (AT LEAST 30 ECTS)
• Mandatory courses for all students:
o The Standard Model – electroweak and strong interactions (8 ECTS, 32h lectures, 32h tutorials)
o Methods of statistical analysis and simulation, experiments and detector physics (8 ECTS, 32h lectures, 32h tutorials)
• Mandatory course for students who have not reached QFT 2 level:
o Quantum field theory 2 (4 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
Important note: The level of the students in QFT may be tested. A review of the basics of QFT will be given in the first week of the semester, before the course actually starts.
• Optional courses to be chosen in the following set:
o Cosmology (4 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
o Quantum field theory 3 (4 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
o Hadron collider physics (4 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
o Supersymmetry (3 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
o Neutrino physics (3 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
o Astroparticles and astrophysics (3 ECTS, 16h lectures, 16h tutorials)
o Physics of future lepton colliders (2 ECTS, 16h lectures)
o Aspects of Beyond the Standard Model physics (2 ECTS, 16h lectures)
SEMESTER 2 (AT LEAST 30 ECTS)
• Optional course:
o String theory (3 ECTS)
• Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
The Master’s thesis will allow students to conduct research on their own, in a well-structured way and on an advanced level. The topic of the Master thesis will be in the domain of High Energy Physics. It will last for 4 to 5 months depending on the optional courses taken.
The HEP master aims at training students for and through research in particle physics (theoretical and experimental), astrophysics and cosmology (theoretical and observational). The master leads thus naturally to PhD studies which prepares for a career as a researcher in academics or in the industry.
As a matter of fact, over the history of the master, about 90% of our students started a PhD right after their degree in the field of their choice (see below). About half of them stayed either in the IP-Paris area, in the center of Paris (Pierre et Marie Curie University, Denis Diderot University, École Normale Supérieure) or in Zürich (ETH or University). Many others chose to move to equally prestigious institutes such as EPFL Lausanne, University of Amsterdam, NORDITA Stockholm, University of Münster, University of Heidelberg, DESY Hamburg…
For its methodological richness, the HEP master also paves the way for a large variety of careers outside of physics: computer science, finance etc…
• This master is very selective. Students must have excellent academic records in fundamental physics and mathematics.
• For M1 admissions: a Bachelor of Science in Physics is required.
• For M2 admissions: students must have validated a first year of a Master’s degree in physics or students entering the last year of an engineering school may apply in M2. In both cases, they must have validated courses similar to M1 HEP program.
• Mastery of English is indispensable.
• Some notions of French are highly desirable.
Deadlines for the Master application sessions are as follows:
– First session: February 28, 2020
– Second session: April 30, 2020
– Third Session (optional): June 30, 2020 (only if there are availabilities remaining after the 2 first sessions)
Applications not finalized for a session will automatically be carried over to the next session.
You shall receive an answer 2 months after the application deadline of the session.
You can check your application status by logging in your candidate space.
National Master: Official tuition fees of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and innovation (2019-2020, EU students: 243 euros / Non-EU students: 3770 euros)