Pierre Victor Auger

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Auger, Pierre Victor


Born May 14, 1899, in Paris. French physicist.

Auger studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the University of Paris. From 1927 to 1969 he worked at the University of Paris, where he became a professor in 1937. In the period from 1941 to 1945 he worked in the USA, Canada, and Great Britain. Auger investigated the photoelectric effect induced by X rays in gases and experimentally confirmed the quantum-mechanical theory of the photoelectric effect. In 1925 he discovered an effect that deals with the ionization of an atom in an excited state; this effect is called the Auger effect and the electrons that are emitted from the atom in the process are called Auger electrons. In 1938, Auger and his colleagues detected extensive atmospheric showers in cosmic rays, called Auger showers.

Auger has been director of the Atomic Energy Commission (1945–48), director of higher education for France (1945–48), assistant director-general of the UNESCO Department of Natural Sciences (1948–59), president of the French Space Commission (1961–62), and director-general of the European Space Research Organization (1962–67).


Rayons cosmiques. Paris, 1941; 2nd ed., Paris, 1947.
L’homme microscopique. Paris, 1952.
In Russian translation:
Chto takoe kosmicheskie luchi? Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Sovremennye tendentsii ν nauchnykh issledovaniiakh. [Moscow, 1963.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The observatory is named for the French physicist Pierre Victor Auger, who in the 1920s discovered air showers.