Albert Messiah

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Messiah at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of General de Gaulle's appeal on June 18, 2010 in London

Albert Messiah (born September 23, 1921 in Nice , † April 17, 2013 in Paris ) was a French theoretical physicist .

Messiah studied from 1940 at the École polytechnique and was then a member of the Forces françaises libres in Africa (Dakar, Chad) during the Second World War and took part in the liberation of France in 1944 as a lieutenant in the 2nd Panzer Division of Major General Leclerc , where he took part was also involved in the conquest or occupation of Hitler's Berghof on Obersalzberg . In 1946 he was at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton , where he attended a seminar by Niels Bohr . In 1947 he received his doctorate in Paris at the École polytechnique. Back in France, he taught quantum mechanics using modern methods at the University of Paris-South (University of Paris 11) in Orsay and did research, among other things, in nuclear physics for the newly founded Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA) in Saclay (early 1950s, for example on physics of neutron diffusion ). There he was appointed Chef du département de physique in 1965 and has been the CEA's Director of Physics since 1972 . Messiah was a professor at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI University).

Messiah is best known for his two-volume quantum mechanics textbook, first published in French in 1959. It has also been translated into German and has been one of the standard textbooks on quantum mechanics since its publication.

He was an officer (1992) and from 2012 commander of the Legion of Honor , officer of the Ordre du Mérite and commander of the Palmes académiques.


  • Quantum Mechanics , 2 volumes, de Gruyter 1976, 1991, Volume 1, ISBN 3-11-011452-6 , Volume 2, ISBN 3-11-012669-9 , French original: Mécanique quantique. Dunod, Paris 1959, 1964, 1969, English translation: Quantum Mechanics. New York, Interscience and Amsterdam, North Holland, 1961/62.

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