BornNevers, Nièvre, France, 15 July 1899
DiedParis, France, 5 February 1981
Paul Couderc is best known as a writer of approximately 15 popular works on astronomy.
Couderc, son of Jean Couderc and Marguerite Chastang, attended lycées (schools) at Nevers and Dijon, before transferring to the École Normale Supérieure at Paris, where he earned a doctorate in mathematical sciences. In 1926, he married Blanch Jurus.
Couderc was the first to explain the phenomena of light echoes observed around Nova Persei (1901) and especially their apparent, although not actual, superluminal expansion (i.e., travel at speeds faster than that of light). Although receiving little attention at the time, Couderc’s geometrical explanation was later applied to an understanding of supernovae, quasars, and even γ-ray bursts.
Couderc’s career included professorships of mathematics in lycéesat Chartres (1926–1929), Montaigne, Charlemagne, and Janson-de-Sailly at Paris (1930–1944). He was appointed an astronomer...
- Anon. (1979). “Couderc, Paul.” In Who’s Who in France. 14th edn. Paris: Jacques Lafitte, p. 400.Google Scholar
- Anon. (1981). “Couderc, Paul.” In The International Who’s Who. 45th edn. London: Europa Publications. p. 266.Google Scholar
- Katz, Jonathan I. (2002). The Biggest Bangs: The Mystery of Gamma Ray Bursts, the Most Violent Explosions in the Universe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, esp. pp. 48–49.Google Scholar
- Vaucouleurs, Gérard de and Gilbert Walusinski (1986). “Un Maître de la Vraie Vulgarisation Scientifique, Paul Couderc (1899–1981).” L’Astronomie 100: 409–414.Google Scholar