Henri Abraham

Azariah Henri Abraham (Paris, December of July of 1868 , concentration camp Auschwitz , ca. December to December of 1943 ) 1 was a physicist French , professor of Normal School and the University of Paris played an important role as Scientist at the dawn of radioelectricity and electromagnetism .


Abraham studied from 1886 in the Normal Higher School (ENS) and in the Sorbonne . In 1889 he won the Aggregation Competition in Physics and in 1892 he completed his PhD in the ENS. He was a secondary school teacher at the Liceo Louis-le-Grand until 1900. Since 1897 he taught at the ENS, starting in 1900 as a holder ( Maître de conférences ). He directed the Laboratory of Physics there and in 1904, after the ENS was annexed to the University of Paris, he was professor of physics delegate in the ENS and from 1912, titular professor.

Multivibrator astable built around 1920, according to the circuit developed by Abraham and Bloch in 1918

In 1917, during World War I , traveled along with Ernest Rutherford and Charles Fabry to USA. , To discuss research on the subject of anti-submarine defense . 2

Between 1900 and 1912 he was a member of the French Society of Physics and in 1922 he became its president. In that same year he was a visiting professor in Brazil. In 1934 he was appointed Secretary General of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics ( IUPAP ), an organization in which he had helped organize the reintegration of German physicists who had been excluded from the scientific community in the aftermath of World War I . 3

In 1937 he retired partially, as professor emeritus . In the position of director of the Laboratory of Physics was succeeded by Eugène Bloch and in that of Maître de conférences , Pierre Auger .

In 1943 he was captured by the militia in Aix-en-Provence and deported to Auschwitz , where he was probably killed immediately after his arrival.

Prizes and recognitions

Abraham is one of three physicists in whose honor is awarded in France since 1951, the award called Prix des trois physiciens ). He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in physics, in 1910 by Sir John S. Townsend and in 1916 by Marcel Brillouin . 4

Published work

  • Les quantités élémentaires d’électricité. Fascicule 1, Ions, électrons, corpuscules , 1905, Gauthier Villars (Paris)
  • Les quantités élémentaires d’électricité. Fascicule 2, Ions, électrons, corpuscules , 1905, Gauthier Villars (Paris)
  • Recueil de constant physiques , 1913, Gauthier Villars (Paris)
  • Recueil d’expériences élémentaires de physique. Première partie. , Published, avec la collaboration de nomeux physiciens. Travaux d’atelier, géométrie et mécanique, hydrostatique, chaleur, 1914, Gauthier Villars (Paris)
  • Recueil d’expériences élémentaires de physique. From where I left. , Published, avec la collaboration de nomeux physiciens. Acoustique, optique, électricité et magnétisme, 1914, Gauthier Villars (Paris)


  1. Back to top↑ Charle, Christophe; Telkes, Eva (1989). Les professeurs de la Faculté des sciences de Paris. Dictionnaire biographique (1901-1939) [ The professors of the Faculty of Sciences of Paris. Dictionary biographical (1901-1939) ]. Paris: Institut national de recherche pédagogique. ISBN  2-222-04336-0 .
  2. Back to top↑ Hagmann, Johannes-Geert (2015). Physicist Gehör verschaffte – Die amerikanischen Physiker engagierten sich im Ersten Weltkrieg mit “praktischer” Forschung “[From how physics was heard – American physicists engage in the first World War with” practical “research]. Physik Journal 14 (11): 43-46.
  3. Back to top↑ Cagnac, Bernard (2009). Les Trois Physiciens. Henri Abraham, Eugène Bloch, Georges Bruhat, fondateurs du Laboratoire de physique de l’École normale supérieure . Collection: Histoire de l’ENS Lieu d’édition (in French) . Electronic publication eb OpenEdition 2013. Paris: Éditions Rue d’Ulm. ISBN  9782728804207 . Retrieved on December 8, 2016 .
  4. Back to top↑ «Nomination Database – Henri Abraham» . Nobelprize.org The Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize (in English) . Retrieved on December 8, 2016 .