ILP LabEx Researcher Profile: Ioannis Florakis

Ioannis Florakis is post-doctoral fellow in LabEx «Institute Lagrange of Paris». He answered some questions about his research and projects in theoretical physics. Below is a transcript of the written interview.

Dr. Florakis, can you please introduce yourself briefly?

I originate from Greece and studied Physics at the University of Athens, receiving my undergraduate diploma in 2006. I continued my studies in Paris at the Masters level and joined the LPTENS lab, where I defended my doctoral thesis in theoretical physics in 2011. Subsequently, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher for 3 years at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany, and for the period 2014-2016 at the Theory Division of CERN as a Fellow. I returned back to Paris in 2016 and joined LPTHE as a Lagrange Fellow.


Why did you choose to become a physicist?

Since my teenage years, I’ve had a fascination and interest in understanding how things work. The critical moment for my decision came during high school, when I started to realise how beautiful mathematical structures emerge in the description of physical laws and phenomena. I began to study more advanced topics in mathematics on my own, and then tried to apply them in describing physical systems not covered in our school curriculum. I felt for the first time that there lied ahead of me an ocean of mysteries and hidden structures to be discovered. This feeling of excitement and the belief that such a description was possible, was the initial driving force behind this decision. Of course, eventually, a theoretical physicist’s task is to come up with theories that accurately describe and possibly predict new phenomena.


What is the current focus of your research?

I work on theoretical high energy physics and, specifically, on string theory. My research aspires to provide a better understanding of the structure of string theory and its implications for particle physics at high energy scales dominated by quantum gravity effects, as well as at lower energy scales accessible to us today. In the last few years, I have been interested in the consequences of spontaneous supersymmetry breaking in string theory and its phenomenological consequences at low energies, as well as on more formal topics in the interplay between theoretical physics and mathematics.


What are the benefits of ILP LabEx for you?

ILP LabEx has offered me the possibility to work in a scientifically stimulating environment with complete academic freedom, and with the ability to travel for conferences, as well as to various institutions abroad for scientific collaboration.