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Prof. Georges Urbain

Nature volume 141, page 1130 (25 June 1938) | Download Citation



ON June 10, a meeting was held in Paris to mark the fortieth anniversary of the first scientific publication of Prof. Georges Urbain, the distinguished French chemist, member of the Institut de France and director of the Institute of Chemistry in Paris. A committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Jean Perrin organized a meeting at the Maison de la Chimie, where Prof. Urbain was heartily greeted by his colleagues, pupils and friends. Prof. Urbain's name is best known in connexion with his work on the rare earths and with the elements lutecium and celtium or hafnium; but the wide field of his other achievements in the fields of phosphorescence, spectrochemistry and theory of valency, was indicated in a most interesting address by Prof. Lebeau, an old school-friend of Prof. Urbain. Prof. J. Perrin and Prof. P. Langevin in their speeches pointed out that Prof. Urbain was first initiated into chemistry by his father, a teacher in chemistry, and that he continued his studies at the Ecole de Physique et Chemie, where Pierre Curie was a laboratory assistant, scarcely much older than the young and talented student. Hard work in pure science did not prevent Prof. Urbain from developing his gifts in art, for he is a composer of music and excels in sculpture. Several of his musical compositions for piano and organ, as well as for piano and a quartet of string instruments, were produced before the audience. A portrait of Prof. Urbain was made for the occasion by the sculptor Aronson, but several of Prof. Urbain's colleagues have had the pleasure of having their effigies made by the great man of science himself.

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