Presentation & Objectives

The aim of the 'Centre International de Physique des Hautes Energies et d'Astrophysique' is to promote and develop scientific collaborations, both at existing and future colliders and in astrophysics and cosmology experiments. Topics studied range across Standard Model Physics and searches for New Physics and Dark Matter. Its activities are centred on the research activities of the scientific teams of LAPP (Laboratoire de Physique de Particules) and of LAPTH (Laboratoire de Physique Théorique) and involve collaboration with experimentalists and theorists in the international physics community.

The Centre is hosted at LAPP in Annecy-le-Vieux, about 50 km from CERN. This location is a major asset. CERN is one of the world focal points in particle physics. The LHC is expected to produce major discoveries. The Centre aims to play an important role in the running and data analyses of the LHC experiments. In parallel to the start of the LHC data-taking, astroparticle experiments (PLANCK, FERMi, AMS, HESS, CDMS, Edelweiss,...) will provide unprecedented information on Dark Matter and hence on New Physics. It will be of utmost importance to combine information and insights from these experiments with those of the LHC. Therefore the Centre aims to develop and strengthen the emerging synergy between the fields of Particle and Astroparticle Physics. In this context one of the primary interests of the Centre will be the development of codes and tools to extract the relevant parameters of the theory from the experimental observations. These activities will pave the way to search strategies for New Physics at the next e+e- Linear Collider.

To successfully carry through the LHC physics programme large amount of data need to be analysed. For this reason LAPP is building a GRID node (computing and storage) of the European Grid EGEE with the financial support of the Universite de Savoie and of the French government. Its primary role is to enable the local analysis of data spread over the GRID in a coherent way with other GRID sites. Scientists at the Centre will benefit from this infrastructure and other computing facilities.

The Centre is part of the Université de Savoie and aims to fulfil an educational role with the organisation of Master 2 level courses. Students from foreign countries are invited to attend courses at the doctoral level.

Building on the presence of large groups of both experimentalists (LAPP) and theorists (LAPTH) is a bonus for the Centre. In addition to the LAPP and LAPTH physicists, the Centre hosts tenured physicists for periods up to one year and post-docs for 2-3 years. Experts on specialised topics will also be invited for shorter periods to participate in mini-workshops that the Centre intends to organise on a regular basis.

The Centre receives support from the Conseil Général des Pays de Savoie through an agreement with CERN and in turn contributes significantly to the visibility and innovation skills of the region. Université de Savoie, the INsititut de Physique (INP) and IN2P3 of CNRS contribute also. We have also benefited from the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other funds to support visitors come from national and international programmes (ANR, CEFIPRA,..).