Last update on 06 June 2017
François Levrier
Maître de conférences de l'ENS Paris

Directeur adjoint du centre interuniversitaire de préparation à l'agrégation de physique (Montrouge)
Correspondant ENS du Master "Astronomie, Astrophysique et Ingénierie Spatiale"
Laboratoire de radioastronomie
Département de Physique
École Normale Supérieure de Paris
24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, FRANCE

Office HL102A
Tel : +33 1 44 32 39 93
Fax : +33 1 44 32 39 92
e-mail :

The ORION-B ("Outstanding Radio-Imaging of OrionN B") project, of which I am part, has issued a press release in conjunction with the publication of its first three papers, led by J. Pety, P. Gratier, and J. Orkisz. Using the IRAM 30 meter radio-telescope in Sierra Nevada (Spain), we have achieved the most complete observations in the radio domain of the Orion B giant molecular cloud (GMC), a huge reservoir of interstellar matter in the Orion nebula, containing about 70,000 times the mass of the Sun in gas and dust. The dataset amounts to about 160,000 images of 325 x 435 pixels, enough to make a movie of 1h50m at 24 frames per second. However, only 1% of these frames -1 minute of the movie- deliver a clear signal, including emission from molecules such as carbon monoxide, carbon monosulfide, cyanides, methanol, small hydrocarbons, and the like. Detecting these molecules is crucial, since molecular hydrogen, which makes up about 75% of interstellar gas, is invisible in cold molecular clouds. Molecular emission thus enables a radiography of clouds that are otherwise invisible to the unaided eye. The press release is available here, the three associated papers and data sets are available through the project's website.

[older news]

 Research interests
Interstellar medium structure and dynamics
New techniques in radio-interferometry and astronomical data analysis
Databases and virtual observatory initiatives
[and many more...]
 Teaching activities
"Préparation à l'agrégation" in physics (deputy director)
Radiative transfer course at M2 AAIS
Astrophysics TD at ENS Physics FIP
 Academic education
Graduate from ENS Paris (1996-2000)
"Agrégé" in Physics (2000)
Ph.D. in Astrophysics (2004)
HDR in Astrophysics (2016)
Looking for the S3-Tools?  They're here...
N.B. Major bug fix on 6 and 7 march 2012. Make sure you have the latest version !
INTERNSHIPS / PhDs  Available subjects - Get in touch !
PhD Thesis
 Dynamics and chemistry in the interstellar medium : a stepping stone on the pathway to star formation [Description]
M2 Level
 Anisotropic models of polarized thermal dust emission from the magnetized interstellar medium [Description]

Manuel Berthet has been working on a PhD thesis since september 2013 : The shaping of the interstellar web by turbulence and magnetic fields [Description]

M2 Level
 Bilal Ladjelate [2013] : Models of the physical and chemical structures of interstellar molecular clouds [Poster] [Report]
 Manuel Berthet [2012] : Filament and magnetic field orientation statistics in the diffuse ISM at large and small scales [Poster] [Report] [Defence]
 Rémi Paulin [2011] : Lifetimes of interstellar clouds [Poster] [Report]
M1 Level
 Antoine Maby [2017] : Polarization Measurement analysis [Description] [Slide] [Report]
 Brice Poillot [2011] : Development of extragalactic simulations for the Square Kilometer Array radio-interferometer [Slide] [Report]

If there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that is farthest from.