Physicist, Deceased Person
1874 – 1939
Who was Henri Bénard?
Henri Claude Bénard, French physicist, best known for his research on convection in liquids that now carries his name, Bénard convection. In addition, the historical surveys of both Tokaty and von Kármán both acknowledge that Bénard studied the vortex shedding phenomenon later named the von Karman vortex street, prior to von Karman's own contributions. Bénard specialized in experimental fluid dynamics, and the use of optical methods to study it. He was a faculty member at the universities at Lyon, Bordeaux, and finally the Sorbonne in Paris.
Bénard was elected President of the French Society of Physics in 1929, following the presidency of Louis Lumière. He was succeeded as President the next year by his friend and former teacher, Jean Perrin. In 1929 Bénard received the Bordin prize for his work on vortices from the French Academy of Sciences. After his death in 1939, his widow received the Poncelet Prize on his behalf, also from the French Academy of Sciences.
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