My own teacher: astrophysicist Éric Lagadec says “thank you” to the UBO of Brest



The good atmosphere. He did his graduate studies there in physics, from 1997 to 2001, before moving on to astronomy, at the University of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis. But the very popular Breton astrophysicist, Éric Lagadec, 42, had never returned to “his university” of sciences at UBO, in Brest. On July 20, 2022, the adopted Niçois left his native Monts d’Arrée to reconnect with his former teacher, Guy Le Brun, 58-year-old teacher-researcher, one of the university’s faithful since 1994. all smiles and easy to talk to. “I loved the tutorials with Alain (Fessant) and you. I have great memories of endless discussions after class. We remade the world and science, sometimes in music and in the evening. I’m proud to say that I learned in my provincial college while enjoying life, without the brainwashing of prep classes. I am a teacher, too, and you have been my role models”, sums up Éric Lagadec. “I remember that you were better in optics than in electronics the first years! laughs Guy Le Brun, who admits to having followed, “with admiration and through the press”, the meteoric career of his former student, now president of the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics (SF2A). He finds it “simple and without the big head”, like yesterday. “We come from modest backgrounds. We are pure products of the school of the Republic and we can be proud of it! »

I have great memories of endless discussions after class. We remade the world and science, sometimes in music and in the evening. I am a teacher, too, and you have been my models

“A revelation” in Brest itself. For the young student Éric, the revelation of astrophysics arrived at the UBO. “I was hooked when Richard Tweed, (research teacher for 40 years), explained that with a particle accelerator, you could recreate the conditions of the Big Bang. I passionately read three books by Hubert Reeves in stride. One of them was called “Stardust”. It’s no coincidence that I’ve had my nose in it since

“. Astronomical April fools.

April 1, 2022 Turned abroad.

A common point that the two men have just discovered: openness to foreign countries. In 2008, Guy Le Brun established a partnership between UBO and Saint-Joseph University, in Beirut, Lebanon. “We planted a little seed, it gave a cedar! Éric Lagadec for his part works very regularly with the African continent. “I’m supporting a major project to develop astrophysics in Africa. Seven countries could benefit from a €2.50 million program with Europe. We are on the waiting list. Fingers crossed ! »

There are still very few girls in science college. But you don’t use your genitals to do physics. In all areas, we need diversity! Where are the young people, where are the girls?

“In thirty years, the number of physics students has drastically dropped at the UBO. And yet, we need science and fundamental research more than ever,” sighs Guy Le Brun, who works on lasers. The girls remain the main absentees. “But you don’t use your genitals to do physics. In all areas, we need diversity! “, pleads Eric Lagadec. “The way Éric talks about astronomy can serve as a gateway for younger generations,” says the Brest teacher. The contact is also taken. “So, banco for a conference at the UBO in a few months? ” High five !

In 2011, Éric Lagadec observed a giant star, shaped like a fried egg. In June 2015, he published, with Pierre Kervella and Miguel Montargès, the image of a dying star. The same year, the Finisterian was part of the international team which obtained the first visible image of the surface of a star other than the sun: Betelgeuse. In June 2021, they solved the mystery of Betelgeuse’s dimming

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