ILP Newsletter #001 | May 2014

A note from the Director

Dear ILP friends and colleagues,

This first newsletter is a symbol of a new departure for the Lagrange Institute, Paris. Created in 2011 for 9 years, the ILP aims to bring together scientists working in theory and experimentation in the fields of Cosmology and Particule Physics. With a balanced membership coming from theoretical physics, high energy physics, and from astrophysics, the ILP is well shaped to foster researches at the frontiers of these domains, which are needed to make progress in the trans-disciplinary domain of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The scientific project of the ILP is based on fellowships, from post-graduates to postdoctoral level, the organization of symposia and workshops and an active visitor program. Training with tutorial courses, and summer schools is an important component of the project, as well as outreach.

After 3 years since its creation, it is possible to assess the ILP activities to define the next steps. The ILP has been very useful to bridge the different teams involved in the LabEx. ILP members have been able to achieve very constructive meetings of the Scientific Committee and the Steering Committee. 10 PhD and 13 post-doc positions were filled. Several colloquia and summer schools have been supported, in particular a very successful "Les Houches" school in 2013 dedicated to Post-Planck cosmology. The outcome of ILP Day on 13 March, with some 50 attendees was new proposals for common activities, like thematic one day meetings, this newsletter, and other ideas, like opening the possibility for a first year at Master level included in the PhD grants of the ILP.

Looking back on what has been achieved so far, I am proud that we have been able to create the ILP with a budget secured until end for 2019, that we have been able to create an ILP spirit among its members, sharing common views on the goal of the ILP and its working rules, and that we have started to build an ILP community with brilliant post-docs and PhD students. The conditions for a second step, to building on the ILP a unique place, internationally recognized to be a reference in Cosmology and High Energy Physics. A new direction team will take the lead in June, with Benjamin Wandelt as the new director. I trust him to move forward for the ILP to become the place that we have dreamt of, when we have started to work on the proposal.

I will take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of all people involved in the ILP. This success is their success. I have special thanks to the Members of the Steering Committee, the Members of the Scientific Committee, Patrick Peter who was the editor of the initial scientific proposal, Elisabeth Vangioni who was the heart of the ILP activities from the proposal to the activity report in 2013, Olivia Leroy who is the new heart of the ILP, and of course to Benjamin Wandelt, who was always present and active since the beginning, and will become the new director of the ILP.

Laurent Vigroux
Director of the Lagrange Institute, Paris

Upcoming events

Calls for applications

The next calls for applications for Lagrange Postdoctoral Fellowships and Thesis Fellowships will be launched in the Fall 2014 with starting dates in 2015. Applications requirements and deadlines will be online in September 2014.
Stay tuned!

Upcoming summer school

September 15-17, 2014

Upcoming international colloquia

May 26-30, 2014
"From the Planck Scale to the Electroweak Scale"
November 17-19, 2014
"Magnetic fields from the sun to blackholes"
December 15-19, 2014
"The Primordial Universe after Planck"

News / Activities

© Jean Mouette / IAP

First ILP Day

The first ILP day took place on March 13, 2014 at the UPMC. This day was mainly dedicated to present research highlights, scientific achievements driven by Lagrange Fellows, and to discuss new directions and research priorities of the ILP within the next few months. [more]

Scientific Highlight: Planck project

The Planck team released this image of the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way. Planck member Paul Sutter helped create this visualisation of galactic magnetic field lines at the Lagrange Institute. [more]
Milky Way's magnetic fingerprint
© ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Lagrange Awards

After the 3 month-stay of Tom Abel from the KIPAC and Stanford University at the IAP in 2013, the Lagrange Institute is honoured to welcome the Professor Tsvi Piran from the Racah Institute of Physics. Prof. Tsvi Piran will spend 3 months in Paris, from August 2014, to collaborate with ILP's teams.
He will pursue his research projects in relativistic astrophysics and develop natural collaborations on Gamma-Ray Bursts with members of the group "Cosmology and High Energy Astrophysics" at the IAP but also with the group "Theoretical Physics: Gravitation and Cosmology" and with the LPNHE and LPTHE on topics such as gravitational radiation, Lorentz invariance or Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays.

Focus on ILP's Fellows

Yi Mao, Postdoctoral Fellow at IAP

After completing my Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 2008 and 4 years in a postdoctoral position in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, I joined the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris in 2012 as a Lagrange Fellow.

My research aims to understand the cosmological evolution of the intergalactic medium during the so-called epoch of reionization, a period of time when the intergalactic hydrogen atoms were ionized by ultraviolet and X-ray photons emitted from the first generation of galaxies at the cosmic age between a hundred million to a billion years old.

I am a theoretical astrophysicist, with a focus on developing new radiative transfer algorithms to numerically simulate the cosmic reionization using large-scale supercomputers. A major application of my research is to predict the signature of reionization on the redshifted 21-cm radiation signal that will be measured by a number of ongoing and upcoming radio telescopes. This will shed light on the physical condition of our young Universe during the epoch of reionization.

Yi Mao


Personal homepage: www2.iap.fr/users/mao
Mariangela Settimo


Mariangela Settimo, Postdoctoral Fellow at LPNHE

My research activity is focused on the study of ultra high energy cosmic rays, hitting the Earth with huge energies, up to about 30 Joules. Their origin and nature is still unknown, although they are most probably produced in extragalactic astrophysical sources. During my PhD, I started to work in the context of the Pierre Auger Observatory, the largest ground-based observatory of cosmic rays in the world.

I obtained my PhD in 2010 at University of Salento (Lecce, Italy) with a thesis about the measurement of the energy spectrum of such particles. I continued my studies as a postdoc at the University of Siegen (Germany) and in May 2013 I joint the astro-particle group at the Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et des Haute Energies (LPNHE) in Paris.

Currently I am a Lagrange fellow and I am mainly involved in the search for ultra-high energy photons, that carry informations about the sources and propagation of cosmic rays, and in the development of new detectors with the goal of measuring the chemical composition of ultra-high energy cosmic rays.