Bernard Castaing, physicist


Bernard Castaing was born in 1948. A former pupil of the l'École normale supérieure, he obtained a thesis in 1978 under the supervision of Albert Libchaber. He then worked as a Professor at the University of Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, where he was director of the Institute of Condensed Matter Physics, and finally professor at the École normale supérieure de Lyon. Bernard Castaing's work, both experimental and theoretical, focused on the physics of condensed matter and hydrodynamics.

Bernard Castaing studied the electron-phonon interaction in metals and then the elementary excitation of superfluid helium 4, making the theory and experiments related to rotons below 1° K.

At the research center for very low temperatures in Grenoble, he studied the physics of quantum fluids and solids. He was co-author of a conventional method of polarization relating to polarized helium-3. He established various properties, such as the fusion curve, and predicted some effects that were actually observed later. He also addressed the growth dynamics of helium crystals.

He then turned to fluid mechanics and used helium to conduct a systematic study of turbulence-scaling laws. This led to various proposals on the nature of the intermittent, proposals that have been taken up in other areas such as signal processing. Bernard Castaing has also studied the ultimate diet in Rayleigh-Bénard Convection. He is currently working on instability in the conductivity of metal powders.

Awards and honours

Member of the French Academy of Sciences in 2002

IBM Award in 1984