Master Physique Fondamentale et Applications
Département de Physique   |   Université Lyon 1

Master of Physics in Complex Matter

Complex matter is at the heart of many industrial sectors such as food processing, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, flexible electronics and robotics, high-performance materials for construction and transport (land, sea, air, space), and more generally materials for sustainable development, energy and health. Complex matter is also found in many natural geophysical phenomena or in biological phenomena. 
This program thus provides the scientific, theoretical and practical background that can lead to new innovation strategies in R&D as well as to fundamental scientific research, including the understanding of natural phenomena, from everyday physics to the physics of the living.


The Complex Matter program (MaX) of the Fundamental Physics and Applications Master at University Lyon 1 relies on a solid education in fundamental physics providing theoretical and practical tools for describing the complexity of matter. It more specifically concerns disordered, heterogeneous and/or self-organized systems, whether they are solid, liquid or soft, and the study of emerging dynamical behaviors, in terms of mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, optical, physico-chemical, quantum or biological properties.


The program reinforces physics fundamentals in electromagnetism, quantum physics, condensed matter physics and continuum physics of liquids and solids, and opens towards advanced statistical physics, nanophysics, soft matter, living matter or materials for energy storage and transport. This theoretical program is completed by a solid practical education in imagery, structural characterizations, numerical modelling tools and artificial intelligence for physics.

The program includes fundamental courses and practical courses, covering scientific concepts relevant to complex matter, experimental techniques and numerical tools.

1st Year     
Physics of continuous media
Physics of condensed matter
Electromagnetism and matter
Quantum mechanics and applications
Statistical physics of interacting systems
Physics applied to biology
Soft matter introductory course
Optical instrumentation
Nano and micro-structural characterization
Numerical modelling 
Lab classes
Research internship
2nd Year       
Out-of-equilibrium statistical physics 
Self-organization of matter and life                 
Mechanics of interfaces and heterogeneous materials
Physics of glassy solids
Soft matter and complex fluids
Wetting and thin films                            
Imaging of soft matter and life
Energy storage and conversion at nanoscales 
Photonic and plasmonic nano-objects
Structure and dynamics at micro-scales
Artificial intelligence applied to physics
Atomistic and ab-initio modelling 
Research internship


Complex Matter is an interdisciplinary master’s degree in physics that prepares primarily to academic or R&D research careers but also opens towards project management careers in the industry or teaching positions in the public or private sector. After the master, numerous PhD grants are available from both public and industrial project fundings.  

Application timetable: Students living in Europe (March. to June) – Students not living in Europe (Oct. to Dec.).
Direct admission in 2nd year is possible after examination of previous curriculum.

Contact –, Professor at Institute of Light and Matter (, University Lyon 1, France.