General introduction of the laboratory


AstroParticle and Cosmology Laboratory

The laboratory AstroParticle and Cosmology (APC) was founded in 2005 by the CNRS, in particular the IN2P3 (Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et Physique des Particules), the University of Paris Denis Diderot, the CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Renouvelables) and the Observatory of Paris. The lab is organised along five science teams, namely 4 thematic: Cosmology; Gravitation; High Energy Astrophysics; Neutrinos; and 1 transversal: Theory:

  • Cosmology for studies ranging from the study of the Cosmological Microwave Background (CMB) to the determination of the nature of dark energy,
  • Gravitation for gravitational-wave astronomy using ground-based and spaced-based detectors, and associated fields
  • High-Energy Astrophysics, studying violent phenomena in the Universe in a multi-messenger context ranging from X and Gamma rays to high-energy photons, neutrinos and charged cosmic rays.
  • Neutrino and dark matter for the determination of the nature and mass of neutrinos and dark matter, and their impact on cosmological structure formation
  • Theory. APC has a strong theoretical group on all the above themes working in contact with the experimentalists.

Our affiliated research group, the Energy Physics Group joined the APC in January 2017. The main driving research force of the group is the search for novel sources of energy for tomorrow. It is an interdisciplinary research focused on the observation and understanding of basic mechanisms underlying physical phenomena, their modeling and eventually their applications in novo energy systems.

Since 2012…

A key aspect of APC is the presence of 6 technical departments: Mechanics, Electronics, Microelectronics, Instrumentation, Informatics, and Project Quality ProceduresTheir work develops within and around a data-science platform created in 2010 the François Argo Centre FACe, 4 laboratories (Millimetric, Photodetection, Optics, Integration and Test (AIT/AIV)) and 2 workshops (Mechanics, Assembly Hall).


Associated structures to the laboratory:

  • PCCP.  The Paris Centre for Cosmological Physics founded by George Smoot, 2006 Physics Nobel Prize, created in 2010.
  • UnivEarthS. The interdisciplinary alliance with Geosciences in the context of the Laboratory of Excellence (LabEx).
  • APPEC functional centre. The Astroparticle Physics European Coordination (APPEC), founded in 2001, regroups the European funding agencies involved in astroparticle projects. APC is a functional centre of APPEC hosting the strategy activities (roadmaps) and the interdisciplinary programmes.

At an international level, APC is embedded in a large network of centres of excellence in Astroparticle Physics with:

  • the “Associated International Laboratory” (LIA) with the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) of Stanford University and SLAC in the US,
  • a LIA with the Centre of Excellence Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (KIPMU) in Tokyo, and
  • a LIA with CONICET and CNEA in Argentina (ALFA-APC).
  • It also has a long standing LIA with Kurchatov Institute in Moscow.