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Accueil > A propos du LPP > Communication > Actualités archivées > 2015 > A day of tribute to Alain Roux, 20th of November 2015

A day of tribute to Alain Roux, 20th of November 2015

Born in 1943, Alain graduated in 1967 in physics of ionized media. Then he worked under the supervision of René Pellat and Guy Laval at the Center of Atomic Energy and at the Center of Theoretical Physics, at the Ecole Polytechnique. After his PhD in 1969, he joined the Groupe de Recherches Ionosphériques to study the physics of planetary plasmas where he collaborated with Roger Gendrin, J.P. Frey and J. Solomon. Alain was both able to lead theoretical works on wave-particle interactions, collaborating with the Center of Theoretical Physics (Ecole Polytechnique), and to analyze ground-based data (Kerguelen, Sogra) and space-born data (GEOS, GALILEO). From 1983 to 1997, he assumed the leadership of the team “Waves in natural plasmas” at the CRPE, and then at the CETP. In an ambitious and friendly atmosphere, he supervised and contributed to the supervision of 9 students who are now all enrolled in research or space industry.

From 1983, he promoted a French space multi-spacecraft mission ESSAIM which met an international enthusiasm and finally was selected by ESA under the name of CLUSTER. This mission was not only a cornerstone for ESA, but it was also essential for space history since it was the first multi-spacecraft mission capable of solving the 3 space dimensions. Besides, it is the only mission that survived a major failure when the 4 spacecraft exploded with first rocket Ariane V soon after launch. The day after this failure, Alain started again to work tirelessly to revive the project. The community is grateful to him for his efforts which ended with a successful launch in 2000. CLUSTER II, still providing data of excellent quality, is celebrating this year 15 years of flight operations. Alain then participated in the NASA multi-satellite program following CLUSTER, with THEMIS (2007) and MMS, successfully launched last March. He also long worked for a solar probe mission, and such a mission will finally happen under the name of Solar Probe + in the coming years.

In France, Alain was a member of the CNRS department for Astrophysics in charge of the evaluation and recruitment of scientists. With Alan Gabriel, he founded the National Program Sun-Earth and was its first director. In a complicated context of national reconfiguration of research teams, Alain supported the creation of the Laboratoire de physique des Plasmas (LPP). He ended a brilliant scientific career with a last paper based on CLUSTER data which was published last month. We particularly remember his strength, his determination, his calm, his kindness, and the attention that he paid to the students and young scientists to give them confidence.


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Tutelles : CNRS Ecole Polytechnique Sorbonne Université Université Paris Sud Observatoire de Paris Convention : CEA
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Directeur de la publication : Pascal Chabert (Directeur)