Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Perrin, Jean-Baptiste

  • Horst KantEmail author
Reference work entry

BornLille, Nord, France, 30 September 1870

DiedNew York, New York, USA, 17 April 1942

French physico-chemist Jean Perrin was one of the early enthusiasts for nuclear (subatomic) energy sources for the Sun and stars, along the lines pursued more thoroughly by  Arthur Eddington. He was the son of an army officer, who died soon after Jean’s birth. He entered the Paris École Normale Supérieure in 1891, receiving his doctoral degree in 1897 for work on cathode rays and X-rays. Perrin showed that cathode rays are deflected in magnetic fields and so must carry negative charges, part of the evidence that led J. J. Thompson to the discovery of the electron.

Perrin began teaching at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) in 1897, and he was given a chair in physical chemistry there in 1910. Perrin remained at the Sorbonne until 1940, when he emigrated to the United States. Perrin was married in 1897 to Henriette Duportal; they had two children. Although he did not die in France, Perrin was...

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Selected References

  1. Nye, Mary Jo (1972). Molecular Reality: A Perspective on the Scientific Work of Jean Perrin. London: Macdonald.Google Scholar
  2. Perrin, Jean Baptiste (1913). Les atomes. Paris.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. — (1950). Oeuvres scientifiques de Jean Perrin. Paris.Google Scholar
  4. Ranc, Albert (1945). Jean Perrin - Un Grand Savant au Service du Socialisme. Paris.Google Scholar
  5. Townsend, J. S. (1943). “Jean Baptiste Perrin.” Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 4: 301–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany