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Biography : Pierre Binétruy

Pierre Binétruy

Former student from Ecole Normale Supérieure (Saint-Cloud), he completed his PhD thesis at CERN on unification theories in particle physics, under the direction of the American theorist Mary K. Gaillard (defended in 1980). After a post doctorate in Berkeley from 1983 to 1986 where his interest started on the primordial Universe as a test-laboratory for fundamental physics theories (supersymmetry and superstrings), he is recruited by CNRS in the Annecy-le-Vieux Particles Physics Laboratory where he focuses on supersymmetry theories.

Hired as a professor of Orsay University in 1990 in the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, he develops a working team on “physics beyond the Standard Model”.  This is supersymmetry in particular (starting 1997 he organizes the French community around this thematic in a CNRS GRD – Research Group which is still active today after evolving), but also theories of physics predicting more than three dimensions of space (inspired by string theories).

His increasing interest for the cosmology of the primordial Universe and the emerging astroparticle field (at the interface between particle physics and astrophysics) culminates in a 1999 proposal, with other Parisian region researchers, to the Physics Department of University Paris 7 to create a large laboratory on this thematic as the university is moving to the Grands Moulins new campus. Paris 7, CNRS, CEA and the Paris Observatory approve this project in the following years.

In 2003, he is appointed professor at Paris 7 to direct a federation of teams prefiguring the new laboratory. The APC Laboratory (AstroParticule & Cosmologie) is created in 2005: he becomes its first director during two mandates (2005-2013). Under his impulse, the Laboratory invests strongly in spatial projects (CNES, ESA) and develops the necessary technical expertise.

His personal scientific interest focuses on the interface between cosmology and gravitation theories. He gets the Laboratory involved in the ESA project LISA, a gravitational observatory, and gathers the French community around it. He was one of the three European leaders of the LISA mission, more specifically in charge of the scientific aspects. He was also invited to give plenary talks and revues in the largest international conferences in particle physics and cosmology.


Teaching and PhD supervising activities

In parallel with his research activities, administrative and scientific responsibilities, Pierre Binétruy was also an enthusiastic teacher who inspired hundreds of students and regularly taught classes at the level of licence, master and doctoral schools, while directing 9 PhD students. He gave also frequently general public conferences.

Starting from 2015, his interest focused on emerging forms of teaching like online classes (MOOC). « Gravité! », played on the French platform FUN, and « Gravity! » on the British platform Futurelearn, present during six weeks different aspects of the gravity to the general public, from Galileo Galilei to the detection of gravitational waves. To date, 98 000 people from 104 countries registered to these classes.


Scientific and administrative responsibilities in France

1995-2003: President of the Theory Division of the French Physical Society

1996-2000: Member of the Scientific Committee of IN2P3

1997-2004: Director of the National Research Group (GDR) on  "Supersymmetry"

2001-2004: Member of the Scientific Committee of Ecole Normale Supérieure

2002-2004: Director of the Research Federation APC (AstroParticle and Cosmology)

2003-2004: Chair of the Astroparticle committee of the Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique

2004-2008: Chair of the Theory committee of the Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique

2005-2013: Director of the APC (AstroParticle and Cosmology) laboratory

2011-2013: Co-director of the « laboratoire d’excellence » UnivEarthS « Earth, Planets, Universe » with C. Jaupart (Institut de Physique du Globe)

2010-2017: Director of the endowment fund « For Research and Training in the field of Physics of the Universe »

2014-2017: Member of the Scientific Committee of Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur

2014-2018: Member of the Scientific Committee of CNRS


International scientific responsibilities

2005: French co-Investigator of the LISAPathfinder space mission (ESA/NASA).

2005-2011: Member of the LISA International Science Team (ESA/NASA space mission)

2005-2007: Member of the Fundamental Physics Advisory Group of the European Space Agency

2005-2017: Chair of the LISA-France consortium gathering the 9 French laboratories participating to the LISA space mission

2007-2011: Member of the Peer Review Committee of the ERANet ASPERA, leading the working group on Dark Energy and Gravitational Waves

2007-2013: Co-director of the Laboratoire International Associé (LIA) KIPAC-APC, with Roger Blandford, Stanford University

2008-2010: Chairman of the Fundamental Physics Advisory Group (FPAG) of ESA

2008-2010: Member of the Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) of ESA

2009-2010: Chairman of the Fundamental Physics Roadmap Advisory Team (FPR-AT) of ESA

2009-2010: Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the extension of the Modane underground laboratory

2010-2017: Member of the Physical Sciences Working Group (PSWG) of ESA

2010-2012: Member of the NGO (European LISA) Science Team of ESA

2011-2014: Member of the Science Program Committee of the SLAC National Laboratory (Stanford, USA)

2012-2015: Member of the European Space Sciences Committee of the European Science Foundation

2012-2015: Member of the International Evaluation Committee (CVI) of INFN (Italy)

2012-2013: Member of the Technology Activities Science Advisory Team for a Gravitational Waves mission (GW- TASAT) of ESA

2012-2017: Member of the eLISA Consortium Board

2013-2017: Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of ApPEC (Astrparticle Physics European Consortium)

2014-2017: scientific secretary of the AstroParticle Physics International Committee of IUPAP

2014-2016: member of the Gravitational Observatory Advisory Team of ESA


Titles et Prizes

Thibaud Prize, 1995

Miller Professor, University of California Berkeley (1996)

Paul Langevin Prize Société Française de Physique (1999)

IUF senior Member (2015-2020)



Base inSPIRE (juin 2018) : 139 citeable papers, 9071 citations, 65.3 average citations per paper, h=47

Supersymmetry: Theory, Experiment, and Cosmology, Oxford Graduate Texts Jan 2007

A la poursuite des ondes gravitationnelles, Quai des Sciences, Editions DunodEditions June 2015 et Novembre 2016

Gravity!: The Quest for Gravitational Waves, Oxford University Press May 3, 2018


Mots clés >

Hommage à Pierre Binétruy

Intrikation: A portrait of Pierre Binétruy