Short biographical sketch
1960- 1970: Research in nuclear physics at Institut du Radium (
In 1970 by using the coincidence
techniques of nuclear physics we solved an old pending problem in atomic
physics giving the experimental proof of the origin of the x ray satellites and
discovering the so called hypersatellite. These results,
In 1970-80 we moved to the study of the interactions between radioactive nuclei and their electronic clouds, namely the innershell ionization processes induced by nuclear electron capture or α decay. We then got a certain number of significant results such as the discovery of α continuous spectra or of the shake off free ionization processes. We also participated to the very first experiments with the synchrotron radiation in LURE which allowed us to observe the Raman Compton effect in the x ray regime and the infra red divergence of the Raman effect.
In 1975 fast highly charged heavy ion beams became available with the very energetic heavy ions accelerators of nuclear physics (Ganil , GSI, Berkeley). It became then possible to prepare Hlike and Helike ions of very large atomic numbers Z, allowing to study, for the first time, very elementary fundamental processes such as quantum electrodynamic or relativistic quantum effects which vary as Z4 up to Z10. We then moved to this new field and studied Hlike and Helike ions all along the the periodic table, starting with Ar in Orsay in 1976 and ending in Berkeley in 1990 with H like Uranium, which allowed us to make the very first measurements of the Lamb shift in high fields, to observe the non equality of action and reaction in quantum and relaticistic systems, as well as the relativistic correlation effects in He like species.
In 1987 our lab was fired from the Institut du Radium, supposed to concentrate on cancer therapy in connection with the Curie hospital. Our lab then moved to the Jussieu campus where most of the University labs were located.
years 1985-90 highly charged ions became available at very low energies
with the newly discovered ECR and EBIS sources, opening the way to the
study of very new fields in atomic physics. We moved then to these new
techniques and actively participated in Orsay and Grenoble to their
developments. With the Orsay EBIS we observed for the first time the
resonance effects in the dielectronic
recombination process, and in 1990 with the ECR source of
Post ‘retirement’ business
I officially retired in October 2001.
In years 2002 to 2004 I continued to carry out experiments on the basic processes of interaction of Highly Charged Ions with surfaces with my last students: in Grenoble, Ganil, and in collaboration with the Livermore National Lab., Berkeley National Lab.
The Jussieu campus has been closed in 2005,
for removing asbestos and for renovation. I have then left Jussieu at that
time. I am presently Emeritus Professor and member of the Kasltler Brossel
Laboratory of Ecole Normale Supérieure. Owing to the difficult time experienced
by all my colleagues during their exodus from Jussieu for an unknown period of
time, I have not requested any office anywhere, and my headquarter is now in
At the time the US Company Berkeley Ion Equipments (BIE) headed by Dan Xie I worked for, closed its site in Santa Clara I inherited of quite a lot of equipments that allowed me to continue doing experiments on the hollow atoms, and in a more general way on the interaction of Highly Charged Ions on surfaces, in various places: Antony, Berkeley, Reno…
In parallel I founded in 2005 my own micro-company: ISAP (Ions Surfaces Advanced Processes) to pursue my business on the industrial applications of the interaction of HCI on surfaces. After the bankruptcy of the X-ion Company which owned the licences of the patents I took in 1976 with my University on the surface modifications induced by highly charged ions these licences became again pending and given to a French Company interested in developing the patented techniques. This Company SEPH (Société d’Etudes PHysiques), to which my lab collaborated with for years, is located in Evry (30 km south of Paris) and specialized in the business of solid detectors for X and γ rays and x ray tubes. I am working part of my time with them to promote and improve the considered patents.