Date: 03 Sep 2014
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Dufay, Jean

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BornBlois, Loir-et-Cher, France, 18 July 1896

DiedChaponest, Rhône-Alpes, France, 6 November 1967

French spectroscopist Jean Dufay was instrumental in turning the direction of astronomy in his country to spectroscopy and astrophysics and in promoting the modernization of observing equipment during the years between the world wars. Dufay received his bachelor’s degree in 1913 and began advanced work in Paris, but enrolled in the French army in 1915 and was wounded during World War I. He returned to the Faculté des sciences in Paris in 1919, and over the next 9 years, combined research with teaching in the Faculté and several high schools, receiving his Ph.D. in 1928 for work on the light of the night sky with Charles Fabryand Jean Cabannes.

Dufay was appointed to an Aide-astronomeastronomy position at the Observatoire de Lyon in 1929 and became director in 1933. From 1939 to his retirement in 1966, he held simultaneously the directorship at Lyon and that of the newly created Observatoire d ...