Charles Fabry

Maurice Paul Auguste Charles Fabry ForMemRS[1][2] (French: [fabʁi]; 11 June 1867 – 11 December 1945) was a French physicist.[3][4]

Maurice Paul Auguste Charles Fabry
Charles Fabry.jpg
Born(1867-06-11)11 June 1867
Marseille, France
Died11 December 1945(1945-12-11) (aged 78)
Paris, France
Known forFabry–Pérot interferometer
AwardsJanssen Medal (1916)
Rumford Medal (1918)
Franklin Medal (1921)
Scientific career
Notable studentsYan Jici


Fabry graduated from the École Polytechnique in Paris and received his doctorate from the University of Paris in 1892, for his work on interference fringes, which established him as an authority in the field of optics and spectroscopy. In 1904, he was appointed Professor of Physics at the University of Marseille, where he spent 16 years.


In optics, he discovered an explanation for the phenomenon of interference fringes. Together with his colleague Alfred Pérot he invented the Fabry–Pérot interferometer in 1899.[5][6][7] He and Henri Buisson discovered the ozone layer in 1913.

In 1921, Fabry was appointed Professor of General Physics at the Sorbonne and the first director of the new Institute of Optics. In 1926 he also became professor at the École Polytechnique. He was the first general director of the Institut d'optique théorique et appliquée and director of "grande école" École supérieure d'optique (SupOptique). In 1929, he received the Prix Jules Janssen, the highest award of the Société astronomique de France, the French astronomical society.

Fabry was the President of the Société astronomique de France from 1931-1933.[8]

During his career Fabry published 197 scientific papers, 14 books, and over 100 popular articles. For his important scientific achievements he received the Rumford Medal from the Royal Society of London in 1918. In the United States his work was recognized by the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences (1919)[9] and the Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute (1921). In 1927 he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ Broglie (1947). "Charles Fabry. 1867-1945". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 5 (15): 445–450. Bibcode:1947LAstr..61..244C. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1947.0010. S2CID 163939822.
  2. ^ Stratton, F. J. M. (1946). "Prof. Charles Fabry, For.Mem.R.S". Nature. 157 (3986): 362. Bibcode:1946Natur.157..362S. doi:10.1038/157362a0.
  3. ^ "Obituary Notices :- Fabry, Marie Paul Auguste Charles". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 106: 42. 1946. Bibcode:1946MNRAS.106...42.. doi:10.1093/mnras/106.1.42.
  4. ^ Mulligan, J. F. (1998). "Who were Fabry and Pérot?". American Journal of Physics. 66 (9): 797–802. Bibcode:1998AmJPh..66..797M. doi:10.1119/1.18960.
  5. ^ Fabry, C; Perot, A (1899). "Theorie et applications d'une nouvelle methode de spectroscopie interferentielle". Ann. Chim. Phys. 16 (7).
  6. ^ Perot, A; Fabry, C (1899). "On the Application of Interference Phenomena to the Solution of Various Problems of Spectroscopy and Metrology". Astrophysical Journal. 9: 87. Bibcode:1899ApJ.....9...87P. doi:10.1086/140557.
  7. ^ J. M. Vaughan (1989). The Fabry-Perot interferometer: history, theory, practice, and applications. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-85274-138-2.
  8. ^ Bulletin de la Société astronomique de France, November 1937, plates X-IX
  9. ^ "Henry Draper Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2011.

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