From research to industry
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation.
Discover the main research areas on which the CEA works.
Find the latest scientific and institutional news of the CEA.
The CEA publishes various scientific and technical periodicals and videos. Through them, you can discover the CEA’s major research topics and the latest technological innovations produced by its laboratories.
What are the fundamental laws governing the universe, from its most elementary components through to its largest structures? What are the properties of matter organised at the scale of nanoscience? These are just some of the questions that concern researchers in the fields of physical sciences and the universe. To answer these questions, the CEA is conducting cutting-edge fundamental research, and contributing to the development and use of numerous internationally-recognised research instruments such as the Herschel space telescope and the LHC.
The CEA conducts research in all the main fields of modern theoretical physics, including high-energy physics, cosmology, quantum gravity, string theory, exact methods and mathematical physics, condensed matter physics and quantum physics, statistical physics and unbalanced systems, biological systems, complex systems and dynamic networks. The CEA uses and develops numerical simulation for its research.
Conventional and quantum physics meet at the scale of ten or so atoms, and surface phenomena come to the fore. This is a whole new world that is explored by nanoscience in order to understand it and make use of its properties.The CEA’s multidisciplinary teams at Saclay and Grenoble have made numerous discoveries in nanoscience. As a result of their work, new applications have been developed in fields ranging from spintronics, quantronics, photonics and molecular electronics, through to material sciences.
At the point where nanoscience, chemistry and condensed state physics meet, research on materials covers numerous specialist areas, including structural analysis, photonics, photoconductive materials, multiferroic materials, superconductivity and magnetism.Interaction between radiation and matter is used to probe matter at nanometre and attosecond scale. Teams devise, develop and operate international level tools (high-performance lasers, and neutron, ion or electron beams) which are available to the scientific community.
The CEA’s nuclear physicists create “exotic” atomic nuclei, from the simple nucleon to superheavy nuclei, in order to understand their properties. The experimental study and theoretical modelling of nuclei is essential in nuclear physics, and also in astrophysics, in particular for modelling the stars. supernovae and all the “cosmic melting pots” in which the basic chemical elements of our universe have been forged.The National Large Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL), the European infrastructure jointly operated by the CEA and the CNRS and located at Caen in France, is one of the four largest centres in the world for the study of atomic nuclei.
The CEA’s researchers contribute to the design and building of instruments which they then use for testing their theoretical models, in particular the standard particle physics model. The team include experts in engineering, cryomagnetism, electronics and computing.All these skills make the CEA a global force in the field of particle physics. Its teams were involved in the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN.
The CEA is involved in a great many international astronomical, terrestrial and space observation programmes. It is involved in the design, building and use of instruments in all energy ranges, including submillimetre, infrared, visible, X-ray and gamma-ray.
The CEA’s astrophysicists are acknowledged experts in the formation of large space structures, stars and planets, and research into dark matter and cosmology.
The CEA’s researchers, engineers and technicians design or are involved in the design of numerous large experiments. They have developed skills in the fields of particle accelerators and telescopes as well as in radiation detection, data processing, cryotechnology and high-performance computing. The CEA is well-known for its expertise in superconducting cavities and magnets, cryogenerators and detectors (Micromegas, bolometers, etc.). The purpose of the Maison de la Simulation research laboratory is to promote the effective use of high-performance computing equipment for numerical simulation by the scientific community.
Learn about the main european bodies and infrastructures to which the CEA contributes in the field of the physical sciences and the Universe.
From the extremely large to the extremely small... Learn about the CEA’s activities and access the websites of its research institutes and laboratories.
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CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.