The laboratory

CPPM, the Marseille Particle Physics Centre is a Joint Research Unit (UMR 7346). The laboratory is part of the Institut national de physique nucléaire et de physique des particules (IN2P3), under the joint supervision of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille University.

The research conducted at CPPM is at the crossroads of two infinites; ranging from the study of the elementary components of matter - the infinitely small - to the exploration of the cosmos - the infinitely large. To follow these we design and build state-of-the-art detector systems, often required to operate under extreme conditions: deep under the sea, in space or underground. Most of our research is carried out within leading international scientific collaborations and our contributions are recognized worldwide. We participate in the training of young people for research careers, directly through our research programs and also through their university education. Our laboratory is also very active in promoting technological developments resulting from its research.

In figures

  • 60 foreign visitors and trainees per year

  • 20 laboratories with which we collaborate through academic agreements, i.e. more than 15 different countries

  • 15 symposia each year, attracting around 500 researchers

  • 1982 year of creation of the CPPM

  • 4500 the number of square metres of our building, located in the heart of the Calanques of Luminy Natural Park

Our research axes

We seek to understand the Universe and its composition through laboratory experiments and observations of often violent celestial phenomena. Our research is aligned along three main axes:

  • Particle physics: of the infinitely small, to identify the most basic constituents of matter, measure their properties and understand their interactions
  • Astroparticle physics: the infinitely large seen through the infinitely small: studying the most violent phenomena in the Universe to look for the origins of very high energy cosmic rays and radiation
  • Observational cosmology: direct studies of the infinitely large to determine and understand the history of the Universe, its origins, evolution and the nature of its constituents

In addition to these three main axes of fundamental research leading to frontiers of scientific and associated technology, we are strongly committed to interdisciplinary themes and their societal applications, such as biomedical imaging, modern intensive computing and studies of the deep-sea environment.

Dedicated instrumentation

We contribute to several very large multinational infrastructures essential to today's research. We are committed to many international collaborations: some having more than 3,000 collaborators. Examples include large experiments (ATLAS and LHCb) operating at the CERN LHC (Large Hadron Collider) in Geneva, the French "Grille" national computing infrastructure, and the CTA and LSST terrestrial telescopes. In addition CPPM is a major participant in the ANTARES and KM3NeT deep sea neutrino telescope collaborations, serving as the host laboratory for the ANTARES infrastructure and the KM3NeT western site, both located at a depth of around 2400m near Toulon. We are also involved in the construction of major elements of the Euclid space telescope satellite, which is partly supported by CNES and ESA (the French and European space agencies).

From a technological point of view, these contributions require cutting edge know-how developed by CPPM experts in the fields of electronics, mechanics, computer science and instrumentation. Our highly qualified staff design and build innovative tools and are nationally and internationally recognized for their technological accomplishments. The laboratory benefits from a state-of-the-art infrastructure: including experimental areas located within clean rooms as well as a modern, well-equipped mechanical workshop and a large assembly hall with overhead crane facilities.

Our relations with society & dissemination of knowledge

We are committed to sharing knowledge, participating in teaching activities and the dissemination of scientific culture to highlight French research. In addition we continue to build close links with regional industrial competitiveness clusters. In this way technological developments made at CPPM in the context of fundamental research are aimed wherever possible - following evolution of the technology from the fundamental to the application - to be transferred into the social and economic world.


Responsability & contacts

Communication manager Magali Damoiseaux
Valorization Rémy Potheau
ATLAS team responsible Laurent Vacavant
LHCb team responsible Olivier Leroy
SuperNEMO team responsible José Busto
Renoir team responsible Dominique Fouchez
Astroparticules Neutrinos team responsible Vincent Bertin
Astroparticules Photons team responsible Heide Costantini
imXgam team responsible Christian Morel
Calcul et Données team responsible Andréi Tsaregorodsev
Responsible of electronic department Patrick Pangaud
Responsible of IT department Thierry Mouthuy
Responsible of instrumentation department Rémy Potheau
Responsible of mecanic department Stéphan Beurthey
Responsible of department "Patrimoine Logistique" Jérôme Aubray
Internships William Gillard
Administrative Internships Jocelyne Munoz
TIPE Heide Costantini
Seminars Damien Dornic, Steve Muanza
Prevention Sylvain Henry
Radioprotection Pascale Keller
Laser security Stephanie Escoffier
Chemical risk Fabrice Gallo
IT security Jean-Marc Santoni
Waste management Jérôme Aubray

Link to the CPPM directory.


Partner 2017 Projects Scientific programmes or involved projects
ANR Hbb+ttH@LHC Particle Physics/ATLAS
ANR SoRBeT Particle Physics/LHCb
ANR DAEMONS Neutrino Astronomy/KM3NeT-MEUST
ANR Hors USAR eBOSS Observational cosmology/eBOSS
CNES Euclid Observational cosmology/Euclid
Observatoire de Paris Sciencs at school Scientific culture/Cosmo-detector
H2020 ASTERICS Neutrino Astronomy/KM3NeT-MEUST
H2020 AIDA-2020 Particle Physics/ATLAS
H2020 KM3NeT 2.0 Neutrino Astronomy/KM3NeT-MEUST
H2020 STREAM Particle Physics/ATLAS
Multiple partners public and private POWER-C Technological valorisation/Submarine connectors
ANDRA TEMPORAL X and Gamme imaging applications/Gamma rays spectrometer
Labex OCEVU OCEVU Scientific researchs on undertanding the Universe Physics, its origin, its composition and its evolution
Eu, PACA Region (CPER), State (DRRT), CNRS NUMerEnv Neutrino Astronomy/MEUST-NUMerEnv
Eu, PACA Region (CPER), State (DRRT) M3AMU Multi-modality calculation mesocenter

3 thesis are co-funded by the Conseil régional PACA and the CNRS