January, the 28th was an important day for the physics students in Paris and suburbs. Indeed, our lab, the Institut de Recherches sur les lois Fondamentales de l’Univers (IRFU) has welcomed physics students from Paris universities and engineering schools. The goal was to enhance the curiosity of these students to carry on their studies in research, especially in fundamental physics.
The 100 students have to wake up early for a Saturday morning because the research center of the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA) in Saclay, is located at 30km from the center of Paris. But they all came in a very friendly atmosphere and were aimed to be in the Juliot-Curie auditorium at 9:00 AM. All the local team prepared a very nice breakfast to welcome these students before the first talk, made by the Director of the IRFU, Mr. Philippe Chomaz.
The following talks were given by André Brahic, Roland Lehoucq, Etienne Klein , Nathalie Besson and Nathalie Palanque –Delabrouille to give a large panorama of the research interests of our lab such as the Particle Physics, Cosmology, Astrophysics, … All students seemed to enjoy these talks a lot and the researchers had to be available immediately after their talk to answer to questions.
The lunch time was also very nice and the occasion for them to discuss with the scientists. We, PhD students, were also there to answer to the questions and explain to them how much we like our thesis subject and what we typically do to ”do” research.
To conclude this great day of discoveries, we were in charge of guiding the students to some shows everywhere in the Saclay’s research center. Some of them had enjoyed a 3D movie about astrophysics, others learned about the particle physics detectors. They also discovered at which point electronics is a major domain in experimental physics.
6:00 PM, it is now time to go to the students to come back home. Feedbacks were very nice for the laboratory and the organizing comittee. I think the best way to conclude this post is to finish with this nice comment :
« I was able to see what is the true work of a PhD student, which is a way to imagine us doing the same thing and to decide what we really want to do during the next few years… ».