Piccard, Auguste

Piccard, Auguste

Piccard, Auguste (ōgüstˈ pēkärˈ), 1884–1962, Swiss physicist, b. Basel. He became a professor at the Univ. of Brussels in 1922. He and his twin brother Jean Felix (d. 1963) are known for their balloon ascents into the stratosphere; in Aug., 1932, Auguste ascended to 55,500 ft (16,916 m). He was a collaborator with Albert Einstein in developing instruments for measuring radioactivity. From 1946 he focused on the ocean depths, making several notable dives with his son, Jacques Piccard, 1922–2008, off the African and Italian coasts in a bathyscaphe of his own design. In 1960 Jacques Piccard, with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Donald Walsh, descended to 35,800 ft (10,912 m) in the Mariana Trench. Jacques's son Bertrand Piccard, 1958–, is also a balloonist; in Mar., 1999, he and Briton Brian Jones became the first to circle the earth nonstop, in the Breitling Orbiter 3. They wrote Around the World in 20 Days (1999). He and André Borschberg alternated as pilots for Solar Impulse in long-distance, multistage flights across Europe and North Africa (2012) and across the United States (2013), and for the similar trip around the world (Mar., 2015–July, 2016) of Solar Impulse 2.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Piccard, Auguste

 

Born Jan. 28, 1884, in Lutry, Vaud; died Mar. 25, 1962, in Lausanne. Swiss physicist. Designer of stratosphere balloons and bathyscaphes.

In 1931 and 1932, Piccard carried out flights in stratosphere balloons of his own design for the purpose of studying cosmic rays; he reached an altitude of 16,370 m. In 1948 and 1953, using bathyscaphes he had designed himself, he descended to depths as great as 3,160 m in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.