The limit of man's knowledge in any subject possesses a high interest, which is perhaps increased by its close neighbourhood to the realms of imagination. Charles Darwin The Voyage of the Beagle
IRFU, Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe, is a basic research institute of the CEA's Direction des sciences de la matière,. Its scientific activities cover the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, and particle physics. With such a wide range of topics, the institute must, of course, set itself highly ambitious goals. To that end, it can draw on a number of specific assets: scientific and technical skills, pooled resources, integration within the CEA, organizational structure, management-by-projects culture and, of course, its own experience and background.
IRFU's research activities call for highly concentrated human skills and material resources, as well as heavy equipment built around cutting-edge technologies and requiring further development work. Most of these activities are carried out as part of international programs, in institutions or external laboratories in close cooperation with many French and foreign laboratories.