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Scientific Interest Group: Île-de-France Cold Atom Research Institute (IFRAF)

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Scientific Interest Group: Île-de-France Cold Atom Research Institute (IFRAF)

Initially the suggestion of Claude Cohen Tannoudji (1997 Nobel Prize laureate in physics and honorary professor at Collège de France), the IFRAF was founded in 2005 by Michèle Leduc of the Kastler and Brossel Laboratory (LKB : UPMC, École Normale Supérieure (ENS), National Centre for Scientific Research, Collège de France, Evry University) with the wish to create a research network in the field of ‘ cold atoms ’ consisting of six laboratories in Île-de-France :

- Kastler Brossel (LKB) 

- Charles Fabry Laboratory (LCFIO) 

- Space-time Reference Systems Laboratory (SYRTE) 

- Aimé Cotton Laboratory (LAC) 

- Theoretical Physics and Statistical Models Laboratory (LPTMS) 

- Laser Physics Laboratory (LPL)

Increasing knowledge together

This Scientific Interest Group has, above all, strategic objectives  – to strengthen a highly competitive, cutting-edge research area and to allow French researchers to have a position at the forefront of international research.

Extending its common network

The visibility of the IFRAF must make it possible for it to forge cooperative links with centres of excellence on the same level which are spread out in various places abroad. The creation of the IFRAF was also intended to pool together resources among the partners and to develop new projects, putting into play the efforts and ideas of several laboratories of the institute.

It should also develop the spread of staff toward other laboratories in France as well as businesses in the region.

Applications in space technologies or time metrology

The scientific objectives concern fundamental research on quantum gases and their applications in the short- and medium-term. In effect, the cooling and trapping of atoms make it possible to construct quantum systems that are entirely controllable and open up new possibilities of which the use is only beginning in the fields of space technologies and time metrology, nanosciences and information.