"Audacity or Precision": The Paradoxes of Henri Villat's Fluid Mechanics in Interwar France - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2010

"Audacity or Precision": The Paradoxes of Henri Villat's Fluid Mechanics in Interwar France

David Aubin

Abstract

In Interwar France, Henri Villat became the true leader of theoretical researches on fluid mechanics. Most of his original work was done before the First Word War; it was highly theoretical and its applicability was questioned. After having organized the first post-WWI International Congress of Mathematicians in 1920, Villat became the editor of the famous Journal de mathématiques pure et appliqués and the director of the influential book series "Mémorial des sciences mathématiques." From 1929 on, he held the fluid mechanics chair established by the Air Ministry at the Sorbonne in Paris and was heading the government's critical effort invested in fluid mechanics. However, while both his wake theory and his turbulence theory seemingly had little success outside France or in the aeronautical industry (except in the eyes of his students), applied mathematics was despised by the loud generation of Bourbaki mathematicians coming of age in the mid 1930s. How are we to understand the contrasted assessments one can make of Villat's place in the history of fluid mechanics?
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Villat_paper2010-05-14.pdf (1.19 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

hal-00639877 , version 1 (10-11-2011)

Identifiers

Cite

David Aubin. "Audacity or Precision": The Paradoxes of Henri Villat's Fluid Mechanics in Interwar France. 2010. ⟨hal-00639877⟩
320 View
495 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More