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Yvette Cauchois

1908 - 1999
Additional Information

Some Important Contributions:

Realization of a bent-crystal spectrometer working by transmission; this type of instrument is used for short wave length spectroscopy in most laboratories in the world. It is important for research in the field of x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometry.[Bonnelle]

    "Spectrographie des rayons X par transmission d'un faisceau non canalisé à travers un cristal courbé," Journal de Physique VII 3: 512 (1932); also ibid. 4: 61 (1933).

Using x-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy, observed atomic transitions and energy levels of a large number of elements including radioactive element such as polonium, radon, protactinium, neptunium and plutonium.

Pioneered in the study of the energies of doubly and multiply ionized atomic states using x-ray satellite emission lines.

Development of crystal spectroscopy and x-ray optics, including uses of synchrotron radiation.

Work devoted to the subject of x-ray absorption and emission spectra of solids.

Some Important Publications

"Spectrographie des rayons X par transmission d'un faisceau non canalisé à travers un cristal courbé," Journal de Physique VII 3: 320 (1932); also ibid. 4: 61 (1933).

"Spectres d'absorption et niveaux caractéristiques de l'uranium, du platine, et du tungstene," Comptes Rendus 210 (part 1): 172 (1940), with I. Manescu.

"Les niveaux extérieurs des atomes lourds révélés par leurs spectres de rayons X de grande fréquence," Journal de Physique VIII 3: 5S (1942).

"Observations nouvelles sur les émissions X hor-diagramme," de la série L - Application à une première détermination expérimentale, par spectrographie cristalline, des états d'ionisation profonde multiple des atomes lourds" Journal de Physique VIII 5: 1 (1944).

"The Interpretation of X-Ray Absorption Spectra of Solids," Philosophical Magazine 40: 1260 (1949), with N.F. Mott.

"Sur la formation d'images avec les rayons X," Revue d'optique 29: 151 (1950).

"The L Spectra of Nickel and Copper," Philosphical Magazine 44: 173 (1953).

"Les niveaux d'énergie des atomes lourds," Journal de Physique 13: 113 (1953).

"Les niveaux d'énergie des atomes de numéro atomique inférieure à 70," Journal de Physique 16: 233 (1955).

"Premiers spectres X du synchrotron de Frascati," Comptes Rendus de l'Académie de Sciences 257: 409 (1963), with C. Bonnelle and G. Missoni.


Longueurs d'Onde des Emissions X et de Discontinuitiés d'Absorption X. Paris: Hermann et Cie, 1947, with H. Hulubei.

Les spectres de rayons X et la structure électronique de la matière condensée. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1948.

Cheminement de particules chargées. Paris: Gauthiers-Villars, 1964, with Y. Héno.


Prix Ancel, Société Française de Physique 1933
Prix Henri Becquerel, Académie des Sciences 1935
Prix Girbal-Baral, Académie des Sciences 1936
Prix Henry de Jouvenel, Palais de la découverte
Prix Jérome Ponti, Académie des Sciences 1942
Prix Triossi, Académie des Sciences 1946
Prix Ancel, Société Française de Photographie 1946
Gold Medal of the University of Paris 1987
Honoris Causa Doctor of University of Bucharest 1993


1932-33 Stagiaire de recherches au CNRS
1933-37 Chargée de recherches au CNRS
1937-38 Maitre de recherches au CNRS
1938-45 Chef de travaux, Chargée de cours, Sorbonne
1945-51 Professeur sans chaire, Sorbonne
1951-54 Professeur titulaire, Sorbonne
1954-78 Professeur titulaire de la chaire de Chimie-Physique, Sorbonne, then Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI)
1954-78 Director, Laboratoire de Chimie-Physique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI)
1975-78 Président de la Société de Chimie Physique
1978-83 Professeur émérite, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI)


Licence es Sciences, Sorbonne 1928
Diplome d'Etudes Supérieures, Sorbonne 1930
Doctor es Sciences, Sorbonne 1933

Sources and References consulted

Professor Christianne Bonnelle and [1 CLH], [12A GKS], [34 WIP], [59 WWSE], [ocm1992]

Additional Information/Comments

The following is contributed by Professor Bernard Hamermesh.

    Yvette Cauchois is one of the handful of experimenters who developed the bent crystal technique for studying X-rays and Gamma rays. This technique allows one to use nearly the total area of a crystal to satisfy the Bragg reflection condition. With a flat crystal only a very small area is used (about 8 minutes of arc around the Bragg angle).

    Many of the researchers in x and gamma ray spectroscopy will refer to Cauchois geometry used in their bent-crystal instruments.

    Her work covers a period of six decades from 1932 into the 1990s and her over 200 publications are often cited.

    To paraphrase Newton, "She is one of the giants upon whose shoulders others may stand so as to able to see farther".

Field Editor: Bernard Hamermesh

Submitted by:

Professor Christiane Bonnelle/ Betty Anderson
<cbon@ccr.jussieu.fr> /<banderso@ucla.edu>

Original citer's name:

Frieda Stahl

Copyright © CWP and Regents of the University of California 1997 - 2001

To cite this citation:
" Cauchois, Yvette." CWP < home >


latest revision {4/30/97 mjw} 3/16/01 nb