Our colleague René-Jean Champeau, professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Orsay, passed away on July 18, 2021 surrounded by his family.
He arrived on the Orsay campus in 1961 and joined the Aimé Cotton laboratory, then a CNRS unit, when it moved to Orsay in 1967. He defended his thesis in 1969. He spent his entire research career there, exploring various topics in fundamental atomic physics (laser spectroscopy of atomic Rydberg states and photoionization in the presence of an electric field, multiphoton detachment of negative halogen ions). He was also one of those who shaped this laboratory.
René-Jean Champeau was also a competent teacher, benevolent, tireless, and with a wide open mind. He taught physics at all levels, from the DEUG A 1st and 2nd years, to the master’s degree and the magistère of physics. Innumerable students keep an excellent memory of him by awakening their interest in Physics.
Others remember a great man, passionate and exciting, devoted body and soul to his students, but also his rigor, his humor and his sometimes mischievous side.