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Overview of the laboratory

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LAPP is a high energy physics laboratory located in Annecy, 50kms from Geneva. The laboratory was founded in 1976 and is one of the 19 laboratories of IN2P3 (Institut de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules), institute of CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). LAPP is joint research facility of the University Savoie Mont Blanc (USMB) and the CNRS. Close to 150 people are working at LAPP: researchers, professors, support staff, students and visiting scientists. Research carried out at LAPP aims at understanding the elementary particles and the fundamental interactions between them as well as exploring the connections between the infinitesimally small and the unbelievably big.

Among other subjects LAPP teams try to understand the origin of the mass of the particules, the mystery of dark matter and what happened to the anti-matter that was present in the early universe. LAPP researchers work in close contact with phenomenologist teams from LAPTh, a theory laboratory hosted in the same building. The location of the laboratory – 50 km from CERN – makes LAPP an ideal place for people willing to contribute to LHC physics. Created in 1976 under the impulse of physicists from Paris willing to get closer to Cern, LAPP took part in experiments that marked the history of particle physics. LAPP’s researchers were first involved in CERN experiments like UA1 which allowed the discovery of the Z and W bosons in 1983 (Nobel Prize 1984) and then in experiments at the Large Electron-Positron collider (LEP) like ALEPH and L3 which allowed to test the Standard Model predictions with high accuracy. With the Babar experiment at SLAC (US) they took part in the discovery of the violation of CP symmetry between matter and anti-matter. Finally, with ATLAS they contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson (which explains the origin of mass) in 2012. Today LAPP’s researchers and engineers are still looking for new particules and for deviations from the Standard Model predictions with ATLAS and LHCb.

LAPP teams also work since several decades at understanding the neutrinos, those elementary almost massless particles with amazing transformation properties. They took part in the design and realization of several exeriments: Bugey, Nomad, Chooz, OPERA and more recently STEREO, SuperNEMO et DUNE (in preparation). In 2015 OPERA discovers the oscillation of muon neutrino to tau neutrino.

Other LAPP teams collaborate in experiments studying signals from the cosmos. With experiments looking for signs of dark matter such as AMS (installed on the ISS in 2011) or the telescope network HESS and soon CTA. LAPP is also trying to understand the origin of dark energy with LSST. With Virgo, a giant interferometer installed in Italy researchers also looked for the confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves: a big step was achieved in 2015 with the first discovery of gravitational waves.

Finally, several accelerator or detector R&D, related with the future colliders, are under way at LAPP: beam magnets stabilization, electronics for beam position monitors and future detector design.

All these experimental projects structure the laboratory activity through several phases: design, conception and construction of the detectors, data acquisition, data analysis and interpretation of the results. The detectors realisation relies on the expertise and competence of the technical teams: electronics, mechanics and computing. It also leads to numerous contacts with the local industries and the other laboratories of USMB. That is how in 2015 the project MUST was born: computing and storage center, it’s primary use is by USMB laboratories (LAPP, LAPTH, LEPMI, EDYTEM, LAMA, LISTIC, LECA, IREGE et ISTerre are the main users) in order the satisfy the needs of researchers in several areas but it is also integrated in the European grid Tier 2 of LHC and CTA