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The « Institut de Physique Nucléaire d’Orsay » (IPN), created more than 50 years ago on the initiative of Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie, is today at the heart of the scientific and technical pole of the Greater Paris region. It is one of the most important laboratories in the world undertaking nuclear physics research that is centered on the nature of matter and its ultimate constituents.

By the nature of its scientific activities, the IPN is at the heart of a wide range of international collaborations

A unit of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and the Université Paris-Sud, the IPN is a leader at both national and international levels. It plays a vital role in experiments being carried out by wide-ranging collaborations at major experimental facilities most notably in Europe, the United States and Japan.
L’IPN qui exploite en outre deux accélérateurs (ALTO et le Tandem), est fort de plus de 350 collaborateurs, chercheurs, ingénieurs et techniciens. Ces ressources lui permettent de mener des recherches en physique nucléaire, en physique des astroparticules, mais aussi dans les domaines de la radiochimie et des champs pluridisciplinaires.

  • 350 permanent staff performing or supporting IPN research projects
  • Two on-site accelerators recognised under the European label « Transnational Access (TNA) » Facility
  • 200 published scientific articles per year


The IPN is a leader in fundamental theoretical and experimental research
on the nucleons and nuclei that are the basic building blocks of matter,
held together by the strong interaction. In order to advance our understanding of matter, research at the institute seeks to address the following fundamental questions.

At the forefront of technology and innovation

The IPN provides support to industry and the world of enterprise by spreading and sharing the technological resources developed through its expertise in the domain of scientific research.


The excellence of the fundamental research undertaken at IPN can often provide answers to the needs of society. By developing collaborations and partnerships amongst specialists in different scientific disciplines, with other research institutes, the university, and other local organisations, the IPN is opening new fields of investigation that also allow us to address the needs of today’s economy.

Providing theoretical and experimental training

The IPN fulfills a dual role in the teaching and training of students. Researchers from CNRS and the university, as well as engineers from the laboratory, play an important role in the university’s scientific training by piloting two of its doctoral schools. These are accommodated within the laboratory and receive a large number of foreign students every year.

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General brochure



Institut de Physique Nucléaire Orsay - 15 rue Georges CLEMENCEAU - 91406 ORSAY (FRANCE)
UMR 8608 - CNRS/IN2P3

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