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Les Houches predoc school on
Ultracold Fermions
1 - 12 October 2018


The predoc school on cold atoms is organized each year in Les Houches in the continuity of a PhD program started in 2004 (*). The objective of the school is to give students starting a PhD in this field all the necessary knowledge on laser cooling, cold collisions or quantum gases for the success of their project. This year, the school will in addition cover the topic of ultracold fermions, with emphasis on strongly interacting systems, unitary Fermi gases, and fermions in optical lattices.

The school will take place in October 1-12 2018. A preliminary scientific programme is available here and below.

(*) Follow here for information about the previous session.

General informations

This school is mostly intended for PhD students in the early stage of their graduate career. For instance, this would correspond to first-year PhD students in September 2018 for countries where the License-Master-Doctorate scheme is used, or second year graduate students in autumn of 2018 in the US system. Besides the main target group, a few applications from PhD students at a later stage in their graduate career could also be accepted. In this case we encourage the PhD supervisor to make a special statement in his/her recommendation letter.

The school is opened to participants from all countries.

Participants are expected to present a poster explaining their research objectives or achievements. Two dedicated poster sessions are organized during the duration of the school. Posters will remain on display for one week, in order to encourage spontaneous discussions between participants. 

All the lectures will be given in English. The number of participants is limited to improve the exchanges between students and lecturers.



The school is opened to students of any citizenship. Applications must be completed on-line before June 30th, 2018. Applicants will be informed of the result of their application by the end of July 2018.

To apply, you should fill in the application form in the left menu. You should prepare a short CV in plain text, and a paragraph (again, in plain text) explaining the reasons for which you apply.

To be valid, your application should be followed by a written recommendation from your PhD supervisor. The recommendation should be sent by email to coldatoms2018[at] before June 30th 2018. Note that you should ask yourself for the recommendation email , your supervisor will not receive any direct request from us.

Accomodation fees for students, PhD students and postdocs are 690 Euros (*). They are mandatory.Students are expected to reside in the school premises during the duration of the school.The fees cover full-board accomodation and lodging at les Houches school of Physics, from October 1st dinner to October 12 after lunch.

Please note that registration fees do not cover travel expenses.

A few grants covering the registration fees (but no travel expenses) will be available.

(*) Registration fees can be paid on arrival (credit card or cash), or alternatively by 'bon de commande' for members of French laboratoires (contact the organizers for detail).


Week 1:

Thierry Giamarchi, University of Geneva: Introductory lecture (1 lecture), Low-dimensional systems (2 lectures)

Jook Walraven, University of Amsterdam: Ultracold collisions (5 lectures) Lecture notes

Mikhail Baranov, University of Innsbruck: Quantum gases and superfluidity (4 lectures) Summary

Philippe Verkerk, PhLAM, CNRS, University of Lille: Laser cooling (3 lectures) Summary

Hélène Perrin, LPL, CNRS, University Paris 13: Optical lattices (2 lectures) Summary

Week 2 :

Frédéric Chevy, LKB, ENS: Experiments in the BEC-BCS crossover (3 lectures)

Félix Werner, LKB, ENS: The unitary Fermi gas (3 lectures)

Joseph Thywissen, University of Toronto: Fermions in optical lattices (4 lectures)

Meera Parish, University of Monash: Strongly interacting fermions in two dimensions (4 lectures)

Nathan Goldman, Université libre de Bruxelles: Topology and ultracold atoms (3 lectures)


Provisional schedule: (Download) schedule2018





Additional informations

Les Houches is a resort village in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps. Established in 1951, the Physics School is located in a group of chalets surrounded by meadows and woods, at an altitude of 1150 m facing the Mont-Blanc range - a very favourable environment for intellectual activity in ideal surroundings for hiking, mountaineering and sight-seeing. The students have a permanent access to a computer room, meeting rooms and a library. For more information, have a look at the school website.

The Les Houches physics school is a joint institute of Grenoble-Alpes University, ENS-Lyon, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Commissariat à l'Energie atomique (CEA). The current director is Christophe Salomon.


Ecole de physique des Houches, 149 Chemin de la Côte, F-74310 Les Houches
Tel: +33 4 50 54 40 69 - Fax: +33 4 50 55 53 25.

Time table of the St Gervais - Les Houches - Chamonix train: download


The Cold Atoms Predoc School program has been initiated several years ago by the International Cold Atom Network, INTERCAN, which is promoting European collaboration of research and education in the field of dilute atomic and molecular quantum systems. This program still contributes to the funding of the school.

The program is now organized in the framework of the GDR Atomes froids, supported by the CNRS. The generous contributions of the Ecole de Physique des Houches, Grenoble INP, and  Institut Henri Poincaré  are gratefully acknowledged. Some francilian students have been supported by the DIM SIRTEQ of Ile-de-France Region.

logoCNRS_bleu.jpggdr_logo_small.png  INTERCAN  logo HouchesUGA.jpglogo_cea.jpglogo_Grenoble_INP.pngens_lyon.jpgihp.pnglogo_IdF.pngSirteq



Frédéric Chevy, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, CNRS, ENS, Collège de France
 Mathilde Fouché, Institut de Physique de Nice (INPHYNI), CNRS et université Nice-Côte d'Azur
Fabrice Gerbier, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, CNRS, ENS, Collège de France
Philippe Verkerk, Laboratoire de Physique des Lasers, Atomes et Molécules (PhLAM), CNRS, Université Lille 1
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