Who was Pierre Auger?
The Auger Observatory experiment was named after Pierre Victor Auger (1899 - 1993),
who can be considered the discoverer of giant airshowers generated by the interaction of very high-energy
cosmic rays with the earth's atmosphere.
Most of his professional life was devoted to the following fields of experimental physics:
- Atomic physics (photoelectric effect);
- Nuclear physics (slow neutrons);
- Cosmic ray physics (atmospheric air-showers).
During the Second World War, he joined the Free French Forces, and partipated in the creation of a
French-British-Canadian group on atomic energy research, becoming the head of this department in Montreal.
After the war, he became Director of the Department of Sciences for UNESCO. He strongly campaigned for
the creation of international research organizations.
More information on the life and work of Pierre Auger can be found at
the CNRS website.
Photos courtesy of Mariette Auger. Top: Jungfrau, 1935. Bottom: New York, 1960.