Fundamental Interactions, Astroparticles physics and Cosmology

Manager: Julien LAVALLE


IFAC (French acronym for fundamental interactions, astroparticle physics and cosmology) is a research team of theoretical physicists working on topics dealing with the infinitely small (elementary particle physics), the infinitely large (astrophysical and cosmological scales), and the inter-connections between these two extremes.

Among the key topics investigated in the group, one finds: the building and study of particle theories beyond the standard model (BSM) in which new particles and interactions may arise, potentially unifying on energy scales close to the Planck mass; the theoretical and phenomenological exploration of the dark matter problem in astrophysics and cosmology, from model-building perspectives to the assessment of the best strategies to search for signatures in astrophysical, cosmological, or laboratory observables; the study of the primordial universe (inflation, generation of the matter-antimatter asymmetry, primordial magnetic fields, etc.).

The IFAC team at LUPM comprises 6 permanent researchers and faculties, a few emeriti, and several postdocs and PhD students. It is strongly tied with the IFAC team at the neighbor L2C laboratory, which comprises 3 permanent researchers.


Research topics

IFAC’s expertise in the theoretical particle physics is relevant to several topics:
– Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) or its extension with singlets (NMSSM, N2MSSM).
– SUSY breaking models (supergravity, GMSB).
– Computation of SUSY particle spectrums by dedicated codes (NMSSMTools).
– Theoretical and experimental constraints on SUSY models.
– Collider signatures of new physics.
– Effective field theories applied to new physics searches and to dark matter.
– QCD spectral sum rules.
– Operator valued distribution functions in QFTs.
– Top quark and Higgs boson phenomenology – connections with new physics searches.

The bulk of IFAC’s activities in astroparticle physics and cosmology comprises:
– Dark matter particle model building; primordial black holes.
– Study of dark matter production mechanisms and decoupling in the early universe.
– Particle dark matter searches (WIMPs, gravitinos, axions, dark photons, etc.).
– Theoretical predictions for indirect dark matter searches using: BBN, the CMB, gamma rays, antimatter cosmic rays.
– Theoretical predictions for direct dark matter searches.
– Structuring and dynamics of dark matter on small scales (subhalos) and impact on searches.
– Phase-space distribution of dark matter in structures.
– Early universe: inflation, BBN, primordial magnetic fields, primordial black holes, baryogenesis, dark energy.
– High-energy astrophysics: Galactic cosmic rays, cosmic antimatter, gamma-rays (standard vs. exotic production).


Scientific projects
  • GDM (théorie IN2P3 + INSU/PNHE-PNCG) – manager J. Lavalle
  • GaDaMa (ANR-18-CE31-0006) – manager J. Lavalle
  • “Next-to-minimal dark matter” (Labex OCEVU) – manager F. Brümmer


Team Members
  • Former members of the team
    • DESAI Nishita (PD OCEVU) → Tata Institute (2018)
    • LACROIX Thomas (PD CNRS) → IFT-Madrid (2019)
    • RENARD Fernand (CNRS) → retired (2019)
    • RUFFAULT Ronan (PhD st., U. Montpellier) → high-school teacher (2018)
    • STREF Martin (PhD & ATER U. Montpellier) → LAPTh-Annecy (2019)

Link to the seminar agenda of the IFAC twin groups (LUPM+L2C):

Link to the IFAC-L2C group webpage:

Link to the webpage of the quantum field theory group at L2C:



Team publications









Team members

Team publications

Research topics