Awards & Winners

Marie Alfred Cornu

Date of Birth 06-March-1841
Place of Birth Orléans
Nationality France
Profession Physicist
Marie Alfred Cornu was a French physicist. The French generally refer to him as Alfred Cornu. Cornu was born at Orléans to François Cornu and Sophie Poinsellier. He was educated at the École polytechnique and the École des mines. Upon the death of Émile Verdet in 1866, Cornu became, in 1867, Verdet's successor as professor of experimental physics at the École polytechnique, where he remained throughout his life. Although he made various excursions into other branches of physical science, undertaking, for example, with Jean-Baptistin Baille about 1870 a repetition of Cavendish's experiment for determining the gravitational constant G, his original work was mainly concerned with optics and spectroscopy. In particular he carried out a classical redetermination of the speed of light by A. H. L. Fizeau's method, introducing various improvements in the apparatus, which added greatly to the accuracy of the results. This achievement won for him, in 1878, the prix Lacaze and membership of the French Academy of Sciences, and the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society in England. In 1892, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1896, he became president of the French Academy of Sciences. In 1899, at the jubilee commemoration of Sir George Stokes, he was Rede lecturer at Cambridge, his subject being the wave theory of light and its influence on modern physics; and on that occasion the honorary degree of D.Sc. was conferred on him by the university. He died at Romorantin on April 12, 1902.

Awards by Marie Alfred Cornu

Check all the awards nominated and won by Marie Alfred Cornu.


Rumford Medal
(For his various optical researches, and especially for his recent redetermination of the velocity of the propagation of light.)