Évry Léon Schatzman (16 September 1920 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine – 25 April 2010[1]) was a Jewish French astrophysicist.[2][3]

Évry Léon Schatzman
Born(1920-09-16)16 September 1920
Died25 April 2010(2010-04-25) (aged 89)
Other namesAntoine Emile Louis Sellier
Alma materÉcole normale supérieure (Paris)
Scientific career

His father, Benjamin Schatzman, was a dentist born in Tulcea, Romania and emigrated at a young age with his family to Palestine.[4] Schatzman began his studies at the École normale supérieure in November 1939. After the German invasion of France, Schatzman, who was Jewish, fled occupied France, arriving in Lyon in January 1942. He worked there for a year and then moved to Haute-Provence Observatory where he hid under the pseudonym Antoine Emile Louis Sellier.[5] He was hired by the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in the fall of 1945 and received his doctorate in March 1946. He spent time at Copenhagen Observatory and Princeton University before beginning to teach at the University of Paris in 1949, where he remained for 27 years. His daughter, mathematician Michelle Schatzman was born in 1949. He was long at l'Institut d'Astrophysique, a CNRS organization built in the garden side of l'Observatoire. During this period Schatzman also taught at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (English: Free University of Brussels). Schatzman became an associate professor at the University of Paris in 1954. In 1976 he moved to Nice Observatory, where he eventually became a full researcher. Schatzman retired in the fall of 1989.[6]

Schatzman worked on white dwarfs during the 1940s. He realized that the atmospheres of white dwarfs should be gravitationally stratified, with hydrogen on top and heavier elements below,[7][8], §5–6 and explained pressure ionization in white dwarf atmospheres.[6] He was one of the proponents of the wave heating theory of the solar corona.[9][10] Schatzman proposed the mechanism of magnetic braking, by which outflows slow down the stellar rotation.[11]

Schatzman wrote the astrophysics textbook Astrophysique Générale and contributed greatly to the popularity of astrophysics in France. He received the Prix Jules Janssen of the Société astronomique de France (French Astronomical Society) in 1973, the Holweck award in 1985, and the Gold Medal of the CNRS in 1983. He became a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1985.[3][6]

In 1992 the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSICOP) presented Schatzman with their Distinguished Skeptic Award.[12]

Selected worksEdit

  • Origine et évolution des mondes, Paris: A. Michel, 1957. Translated into Spanish by Raquel Rabiela de Gortari and Arcadio Poveda as Origen y evolución del universo, México: UNAM, 1960; translated into English by Bernard and Annabel Pagel as The origin and evolution of the universe, New York: Basic Books, 1965.
  • White Dwarfs, Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1958.
  • (with Jean Claude Pecker) Astrophysique Générale, Paris: Masson, 1959.
  • Our Expanding Universe, New York: McGraw–Hill, 1992, ISBN 0-07-055174-X.
  • (with Françoise Praderie) Les Etoiles, Paris: Paris Interéditions et ed. du CNRS, 1990, ISBN 2-7296-0299-2. Translated into English by A. R. King as The Stars, Berlin: Springer, 1993, ISBN 3-540-54196-9.


  1. ^ http://www.union-rationaliste.org/index.php/20100427351/Informations/Deces-d-Evry-Schatzman.html Archived 8 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ p. 104, L'Outil Théorie, Evry Schatzman and Isabelle Souriau, Paris: Eshel, 1992. ISBN 2-906704-44-X.
  3. ^ a b EVRY SCHATZMAN y la historia de la evolución estelar, Begoña López Betancor, I@C Noticias, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 2-1999. Accessed on line 20 September 2007.
  4. ^ Sylvain Rakotoarison (25 June 2010). "Évry Schatzman, le savant des astres" (in French). AgoraVox. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  5. ^ Luminet, Jean-Pierre (28 March 2015). "Evry Léon Schatzman". arXiv:1503.08328 [physics.hist-ph].
  6. ^ a b c The Desire To Understand the World, Evry Schatzman, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 34 (1996), pp. 1–34. DOI 10.1146/annurev.astro.34.1.1.
  7. ^ Théorie du débit d'énergie des naines blanches, Evry Schatzman, Annales d'Astrophysique 8 (January 1945), pp. 143–209.
  8. ^ Physics of white dwarf stars, D. Koester and G. Chanmugam, Reports on Progress in Physics 53 (1990), pp. 837–915.
  9. ^ On the theory of coronal heating mechanisms, Max Kuperus, James A. Ionson, and Daniel S. Spicer, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 19 (1981), pp. 7–40.
  10. ^ The heating of the solar corona and chromosphere, Evry Schatzman, Annales d'Astrophysique 12 (1949), pp. 203–218.
  11. ^ Mestel, L., 1968, MNRAS, 138, 359−391
  12. ^ "CSICOP's 1992 Awards". Skeptical Inquirer. 17 (3): 236. 1993.