Jacques Solomon [1959c]

  • Robert S. Cohen
  • John J. Stachel
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 21)


It was at the Collège de France in Langevin’s class that I met Jacques Solomon for the first time toward the end of 1926. Fresh from the University of Liège. I was spending some time at the École Normale Supérieure as a foreign student. At that time, when the Institut Poincaré did not yet exist and when Louis de Broglie’s course was attended only by a few rare initiates, it was especially the old physics amphitheater of the College de France which served as the meeting place for those curious about modern physics. It was reached by an improbable stairway pierced in an obscure passage which opened onto the top level of the amphitheater. On the bottom lower wall above the blackboard a marble plaque was displayed where the names of the great physicists of the First Empire were methodically engraved in parallel columns. As for the professor, we glimpsed him moving back and forth behind an outsized table which was separated from the public by a balustrade. It was in this old-fashioned setting that Langevin initiated us into the latest progress in physics. That year he was dealing with quantum statistics, and it was one of his most important courses, full of original developments. He brought us, in addition to an analysis of the most recent work, the results of his own thinking which we saw developing and taking form from one lecture to the next. Jacques, I do not know exactly why, had ‘spotted’ me: when the class ended he came up to me and introduced himself with a simplicity and openness which immediately won me over. A few remarks revealed our common interests and that was the beginning of a long friendship.


Residual Energy Foreign Student Late Progress Great Physicist Reidel Publishing Company 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Cohen
  • John J. Stachel

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