The Laboratoire de Physique Statistique (Statistical Physics Lab) is roughly equally divided between experiment and theory. Its extremely diverse activities reflect the evolution, in the last decades, of Statistical Physics from a discipline in itself into an education and a tool : our researchers started out in fundamental physics but many evolved to fields where their way of attacking problems could be applied, most notably Biophysics (both theoretical and experimental), which involves about a half of the permanent faculty.
The range of subjects is impressive. The non-biological research involves fields as diverse as `Nonlinear Science’, in particular hydrodynamics and magneto-hydrodynamics ; nano and micro fluidics, quantum and classical many-body theory ; out of equilibrium thermodynamics ; several forms of soft-condensed matter physics including wetting, complex interfaces, metamaterials... The biophysical activity is in itself quite diverse : living membranes, single-molecule physics, single-cell expression at the experimental level ; quantitative biology and neuroscience at the theoretical one. A recent and fast-growing development is the application of stat phys concepts to `Big Data’ science : the laboratory is well-positioned for this thanks to the extensive experience in complex disordered systems and on its proximity with the Computer Science and Mathematics laboratories in ENS.
Contact with Industry and development of start-ups is encouraged and in rapid progression, both for the biotechnology and other applications.
LPS is an open system, with collaborations and joint seminars with other laboratories in Ecole Normale, with ESPCI and UPMC and Paris Diderot universities, and with Pasteur and Curie Institutes, among others.