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Georges Charpak

Georges Charpak

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Georges Charpak was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 in 1992.

Life


Georges Charpak was born to Jewish family in the village of Dąbrowica in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 (now Dubrovytsia
Dubrovytsia
Dubrovytsia is a town in Rivne Oblast, Ukraine. It is administrative center of the Dubrovytsia Raion. Population is 9,644 .Although in modern times part of Rivne Oblast, it was historically not part of Volhynia but rather Land of Brest...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

). Charpak's family moved from Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 when he was seven years old. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Charpak served in the resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 and was imprisoned by Vichy
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 authorities in 1943. In 1944 he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where he remained until the camp was liberated in 1945. After classes préparatoires
Classe Préparatoire aux Grandes Écoles
The classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles , commonly called classes prépas or prépas, are part of the French post-secondary education system. They consist in two very selective years , acting as a prep course with the main goal of training undergraduate students for enrolment in one of the...

studies at Lycée Saint-Louis
Lycée Saint-Louis
The lycée Saint-Louis is a higher education establishment located in the VIe arrondissement of Paris, in the Latin Quarter. It is the only public French lycée exclusively dedicated to classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles...

 in Paris and later at Lycée Joffre
Citadel of Montpellier
The Citadel of Montpellier is an Early Modern fortification in the city of Montpellier, in the Hérault département of southern France. It was built between 1624 and 1627, after several rebellions under the orders of Louis XIII in order to keep watch over the town...

 in Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, he joined in 1945 the Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

-based École des Mines
École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
The École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris was created in 1783 by King Louis XVI in order to train intelligent directors of mines. It is one of the most prominent French engineering schoolsThe École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (also known as Mines ParisTech, École des Mines de...

, one of the most prestigious engineering schools in France. The following year he became a naturalized French citizen. He graduated in 1948, earning the French degree of Civil Engineer of Mines (equivalent to a Master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

) and started working for the National Centre for Scientific Research
Centre national de la recherche scientifique
The National Center of Scientific Research is the largest governmental research organization in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe....

 (CNRS). He received his PhD in 1954 from Nuclear Physics
Nuclear physics
Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies the building blocks and interactions of atomic nuclei. The most commonly known applications of nuclear physics are nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons technology, but the research has provided application in many fields, including those...

 at the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

, Paris, where he worked in the laboratory of Frédéric Joliot-Curie
Frédéric Joliot-Curie
Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie , born Jean Frédéric Joliot, was a French physicist and Nobel laureate.-Early years:...

.In 1959, he joined the staff of CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

 (European Organization for Nuclear Research
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

) in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

. This is where he invented the multiwire proportional chamber, which he patented and that quickly superseded the old bubble chambers, allowing for better data processing. He eventually retired from CERN in 1991.In 1980, Georges Charpak became professor-in-residence at École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles in Paris (ESPCI) and held the Joliot-Curie Chair there in 1984. This is where he developed and demonstrated the powerful applications of the particle detectors he invented, most notably for enabling better health diagnostics. He was the co-founder of a number of start-up in the biomedical arena, including Molecular Engines Laboratories, Biospace Instruments and SuperSonic Imagine – together with Mathias Fink
Mathias Fink
Mathias Fink, born in 1945 in Grenoble, is a French physicist, professor at the École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris, member of the French Academy of Sciences and professor at the Collège de France....

.He was elected to the French Academy of Sciences
French Academy of Sciences
The French Academy of Sciences is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research...

 on 20 May 1985.
Georges Charpak was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 in 1992 "for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber", with affiliations to both École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles (ESPCI) and CERN. This was the last time a single person was awarded the physics prize.
In March, 2001 Charpak received Honorary degree Ph.D from University of the Andes, Colombia
University of the Andes, Colombia
The University of the Andes , is a coeducational, nonsectarian private university located in city centre Bogotá, Colombia. Founded in 1948, the University has 9 faculties: Administration, Architecture and Design, Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, Economics, Engineering and...

 in Bogotá.

In France, Charpak was a very strong advocate for nuclear power
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

. Prof. Charpak was a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nontechnical online magazine that covers global security and public policy issues, especially related to the dangers posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction...

.

Books

  • La vie à fil tendu, co-authored with Dominique Saudinos (1993 Odile Jacob
    Odile Jacob
    Odile Jacob is a French publisher who founded Les Éditions Odile Jacob in the middle of the 1980s. She is also a trained scientist, studying the workings of the brain, the mind and thought. She is a member of Le Siècle.-Biography:...

    , ISBN 2-7381-0214-X)
  • Devenez sorciers, devenez savants, co-authored with Henri Broch (Odile Jacob
    Odile Jacob
    Odile Jacob is a French publisher who founded Les Éditions Odile Jacob in the middle of the 1980s. She is also a trained scientist, studying the workings of the brain, the mind and thought. She is a member of Le Siècle.-Biography:...

    , ISBN 90-581-4005-9). Published in English as "Debunked!" by the Johns Hopkins University Press
    Johns Hopkins University Press
    The Johns Hopkins University Press is the publishing division of the Johns Hopkins University. It was founded in 1878 and holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously running university press in the United States. The Press publishes books, journals, and electronic databases...

    .

Technical Reports


External links