Historical description of LPTENS


The Laboratoire de Physique Théorique de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (LPTENS) was created by Philippe Meyer and Claude Bouchiat in 1974, at the request of the director of the physics department Jean Brossel. The first permanent members were theorists coming from the Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Hautes Energies of the University of Paris in Orsay.

Initially focussed on high-energy physics and the theory of elementary particles, the activities of LPTENS gradually expanded to cover a large spectrum of theoretical physics, including condensed-matter physics, as well as statistical mechanics and its applications to biophysics and computer sciences. Members of the laboratory participated in many major advances in their fields and often took a leading role, in particular in the construction of the Standard Model of electroweak interactions, in the development of supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, and in the study of disordered systems.

Current research continues the exploration of scientific frontiers, building on these past achievements as well as expanding in new directions.

The LPTENS has close working ties with the Philippe Meyer Institute of Theoretical Physics which perpetuates the memory of one of its two founding fathers.