Science Fair

225 Years of Advancing Our Understanding of the World

All registrations must be made online at :

October 12, 2019

Every year, École Polytechnique participates in France’s nationwide Science Fair events. The general public is invited to meet researchers, entrepreneurs and students to discuss their work and discover their scientific advances. Whatever your age, if you have and inquiring mind, you will find knowledge to feed your curiosity. In 2019, the school celebrates its 225th anniversary, and the main themes of the Science Fair will be focused around the International Year of Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Elements and "Measurements in Science".

Research with the science festival

Stands :

There will be around twenty stands with École Polytechnique research scientists, doctoral researchers and students on hand to introduce you to the latest scientific developments being made in our labs, as well as the challenges of contemporary science in fields such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, meteorology, microscopy, physics, energy and ecology.

  • Feet on the ground; head in the clouds (LMD)
  • Mathematics and ecology (CMAP)
  • DNA: the secret code to life (BIOC)
  • In pursuit of 3D sound! (CMAP)
  • Origam'X
  • Chemistry: transforming matter (LCM, LSO)
  • Fab·Maths (CMAP)
  • 200 years of solar electricity (IPVF and LPICM)
  • NMR, crystallography and energy (PMC)
  • Student Space Center – AstronautiX
  • Online quantum physics lab
  • The magic of mathematics (CMLS)
  • Plays of light (LULI)
  • Plasma in all its states (LPP)
  • Journey to infinity… and beyond! (LLR)

Laboratory visits

Duration: around 1 hr per theme

You will have the chance to visit around ten labs, where you will discover a day in the life of a researcher, and find out what goes on behind the scenes of our research work on topics as diverse as mathematics, chemistry, physics and astronomy.

CMAP: Mathematics, a window to the Universe

Immerse yourself in the world of mathematics to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of this discipline and its applications, ranging from pure research to industry.

LOB: Optical microscopy for life science

This laboratory draws on expertise in molecular biology, cell biology and optics to foster the emergence of new concepts and tools in understanding living organisms.

LPICM: Manufacturing new-generation electrical components

Located at the meeting point of materials science, chemistry and optics, LPICM develops newgeneration analytical techniques and electronic components for solar energy conversion and storage, large-area electronics, nanometric sensors and biomedical imaging.

LCM: Dive into the world of molecular chemistry

Enter the world of molecular chemistry. From the preparation of new metal compounds, and their use for effective reactions, to the detection of traces of pollutants in natural environments, professions and skills at LCM are highly diverse !

LULI: Into the world of lasers

From atoms to stars, LULI will introduce you to the world of optics, laboratory astrophysics and hot plasma physics.

LadHyX: The unique mechanics of white blood cells

Find out how white blood cells attack the cells they seek to destroy through a unique experiment that allows this phenomenon to be manipulated and observed under a microscope.

OMEGA: Microelectronics for particle physics

Discover how the electronic circuits of the largest detectors (such as those at CERN) are manufactured and tested in order to operate under very specific conditions. These circuits are also of interest to the space industry and medical imaging.

LMS: From 3D printing to structures

With the researchers at LMS, you will discover the newest techniques in 3D printing and the various properties of innovative materials and structures.

LLR Giants for probing matter

Discover particle physics and gigantic detectors, as well as the various professions in the field. The Leprince-Ringuet Laboratory conducts research into very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy and the physics of particles and fundamental interactions.

Science talks

Come and chat with École Polytechnique researchers and students about their research work and the latest developments in the scientific world.

Duration: 30 minutes

Bertrand Rémy: “The mathematics behind wallpaper”

Symmetry is an essential concept in particle physics, chemistry (crystallography) and also in mathematics, where it is formalized through the concept of groups. We will discuss how studying the symmetries of wallpapers allows us to divide them into 17 categories!

Grégory Nocton: “Chemistry: an ally for sustainable development”

Chemists are tackling major environmental issues like the depletion of strategic resources and the reclamation of the most polluting types of waste. Find out how they can transform polluting molecules that contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect, such as CO2 and methane, into new chemical derivatives for use in the manufacture of everyday products.

Daniel Suchet: “Doing science with Star Wars”

What is the Force? How does a lightsaber work? Does the Emperor wear heels to avoid being electrocuted by his own lightning? We aim to push science out of its comfort zone by examining the scientific questions raised by this veritable institution of modern culture. How can we talk about science in a world of fiction? This talk uses the cover of science fiction as an opportunity to present real physical concepts and, more importantly, to highlight the essential steps that underpin a scientific approach, regardless of the context of its application.

Gérard Mourou: “Meet the 2018 Nobel laureate in Physics”

Gérard Mourou, Nobel laureate, and professor and member of the Haut-Collège of École Polytechnique, will present his research on lasers and his award-winning laser amplification technique, “Chirped Pulse Amplification” (CPA), developed just over 30 years ago with his co-laureate, Donna Strickland.

Tahar Amari: “The Sun and weather in space”

Discover how solar activities and particularly solar flares impact human activities.


For visitors aged 8 and up

The Mus’X, the Museum of École Polytechnique, displays the exceptional collections and rich historical treasures that École Polytechnique has been gathering for teaching and research purposes ever since its creation in 1794. Featuring numerous scientific instruments, as well as busts, uniforms and much more, this collection illustrates both the history of École Polytechnique and of science and technology in general, as visitors are guided through a thematic tour.

  • 2 visits offered in the morning
  • 2 workshops throughout the afternoon

Foucault pendulum :Come and discover the Foucault pendulum and create your own paper cooking pot.

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Léon Foucault (1819-1868), the Mus’X is displaying a Foucault pendulum. This pendulum is fitted with a magnetic system that allows it to function correctly despite being much smaller than the pendulums in the Paris Panthéon or at the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

Bottomless mirror : Create your own bottomless mirror that you can take home !

An infinite mirror is one in which an optical illusion creates an impression of great depth. It may seem as if the mirror has a depth of several meters, when in reality it is only a few centimeters thick.

Art & Science Exhibition

“In the style of...” by Jean-François Colonna, researcher at the Center for Applied Mathematics

Mathematics is often considered useless despite being omnipresent throughout our everyday lives and in the most fundamental research. This exhibition is an attempt to introduce the public to equations, through the mathematic formalization of the styles of a number of great contemporary artists.

All registrations must be made online at :