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Les Houches predoc school on
Cold atoms and quantum transport
2 - 13 October 2017


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 quantum transport of ultra cold atoms, including disorder, optical lattices, mesoscopic physics and circuits with cold atoms, and a course on quantum transport in condensed matter systems.

The school will take place from 2nd to 13th of October, 2017. A preliminary scientific programme is available below.

(*) see here for information about the previous sessions.


General information

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 2017 for countries where the License-Master-Doctorate scheme is used, or second year graduate students in autumn of 2017 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.
The applications are done on-line.
Registration fees (*) cover full-board accomodation and lodging at les Houches school of Physics, from October 2 dinner to October 13 lunch. They amount to:
650 Euros for students in the first two years of their PhD
880 Euros for all the others.

Please note that registration fees do not cover travel expenses.

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

Applications must be completed on-line before June 30th, 2017. Applicants will be informed of the result of their application by the end of July 2017.

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 coldatoms2017 [at] sciencesconf . org before June 30th 2017. Note that you should ask for the recommendation email yourself, your supervisor will not receive any request directly from us.

(*) 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).

Program of the school

Week 1:

Tilman Esslinger, ETH Zürich: Overview lecture on quantum transport with cold atoms (1 lecture)
Jook Walraven, University of Amsterdam: Ultracold collisions (5 lectures) Lecture notes
Mikhail Baranov, University of Innsbruck: Quantum gases and superfluidity (5 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:

Dominique Delande, LKB, CNRS, UPMC: Transport in disordered media (5 lectures) Summary
Jean-Philippe Brantut, EPFL: Transport phenomena with ultracold atomic fermions (4 lectures) Summary
Dana Anderson, JILA, University of Colorado: Transport phenomena with ultracold atomic bosons. Atomtronics (3 lectures) Summary
Gilles Montambaux, LPS, CNRS, Université Paris Sud: Mesoscopic physics (3 lectures) Summary
Michael Köhl, University of Bonn: Transport in optical lattices (3 lectures)


Provisional schedule: (Download) schedule2017.pdf


schedule week 2

Additional information

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, Institut Henri Poincaré and Paris 13 University and its Doctoral school Galilée are gratefully acknowledged. Some francilian students have been supported by the DIM SIRTEQ of Ile-de-France Region.

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Hélène Perrin, LPL, CNRS, Université Paris 13
Fabrice Gerbier, LKB, CNRS, ENS, Collège de France
Philippe Verkerk, PhLAM, CNRS, Université Lille 1
Jook Walraven, University of  Amsterdam
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