Objectives & goals

The main goal of the OCEVU Labex is to build a structuring, collaborative and interdisciplinary environment within the Southern belt of France (Marseille-Montpellier-Toulouse) on scientific researches concerning the understanding of the physics of the Universe, its origins, its evolution as well as its constituents.
Collaborations between the 6 laboratories involved in the OCEVU Labex concern several topics: science, academic formation, science dissemination and outreach, technology transfer.



Big contemporary questions that arise today on the understanding of the Universe require an interdisciplinary approach combining cosmology, particle and astroparticle physics. The major topics studied within OCEVU are the understanding and the characterization of the dark energy and the dark matter, the astrophysical sources and the mechanisms which produce very high energy cosmic rays, the formation of the first stars and galaxies, the exploration of new theories including the study of antimatter, Brout-Englert-Higgs boson or modified gravity.
In order to combine interdisciplinary approaches between theory, observations and experiments and to create a community working on these fundamental questions, the OCEVU Labex supports financially interdisciplinary research projects, post-doctoral contracts between research teams, scientific conferences, new instrumental equipments.


Academic formation

These research teams are also strongly involved in students' training to scientific research, in particular by teaching them current scientific knowledge in cosmology, astroparticle and particle physics. In order to attract the best students at an international level and give them top-level academic training, OCEVU aims at proposing a formation combining theoretical, observational and experimental aspects in the physics of the Universe with the Southern French belt Marseille-Montpellier-Toulouse. The students would consequently benefit from the main advantages of each of the three universities. 
In practice, the objective is to set up exchanges between the 3 universities, for professors and for students as well. Besides, innovative educational actions will be initiated so that the students of the 3 universities benefit from the best scientific data and equipment; for instance, a shared platform for physics practical is planned to be used by the 3 universities.


Science dissemination and outreach

Apart from their purely scientific activities, OCEVU laboratories are involved in several outreach actions to explain various aspects of their research to citizens.  For the general public, as for the schools, the objective is then to explain what the scientific methodology stands for,  and to discuss about scientific, technological and cultural challenges of the physics of the Universe.
One objective of the OCEVU Labex is to encourage this dialogue between scientists and citizens by proposing new ways of scientific dissemination, to the general public and to the schools as well. This will be done by coordinating actions between the teams located in Marseille, Montpellier and Toulouse and by developing innovative outreach and education projects (Summer camp, multimedia resources, …).


Technology transfer

To explore the big scientific questions on the origins, the constitution and the evolution of the Universe, very high-technology instruments are developed within international collaborations to which contribute the 6 OCEVU laboratories. For instance: the European spatial mission Euclid in cosmology, the CTA project in astroparticle physics, and the ATLAS instrument on the big LHC accelerator in particle physics.
The OCEVU Labex aims at strengthening the partnerships already established between research laboratories and industries concerning the technology transfer (know-how transmission, patent registration) on the level of the southern French belt Marseille-Montpellier-Toulouse.