Piccard, Auguste(ōgüst` pēkär`), 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 EinsteinEinstein, Albert
, 1879–1955, American theoretical physicist, known for the formulation of the relativity theory, b. Ulm, Germany. He is recognized as one of the greatest physicists of all time.
..... Click the link for more information. 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 TrenchMariana Trench
or Marianas Trench,
, elongated depression on the Pacific Ocean floor, 210 mi (338 km) SW of Guam. It is the deepest known depression on the earth's surface, having been measured by various means since the 1950s at 35,760–36,201 ft
..... Click the link for more information. . Jacques's son Bertrand Piccard, 1958–, is also a balloonist; in Mar., 1999, he and Briton Brian JonesJones, Brian,
1947–, British balloonist, b. Bristol. A former Royal Air Force pilot, he entered the world of ballooning in the 1980s, and in 1997 became an organizer for the attempt of the British-built, Swiss-sponsored Breitling Orbiter 3
..... Click the link for more information. 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 BorschbergBorschberg, André,
1952–, Swiss engineer, businessman, and pilot. With Bertrand Piccard (see under Piccard, Auguste) he founded Solar Impulse to develop a solar-powered plane capable of circumnavigating the globe.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
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.