Piccard, Jean Félix
- Roger D. Launius
Piccard, Jean Félix (28 January 1884–28 January 1963), aeronautical engineer and chemist noted for his stratospheric balloon flights, was born in Basel, Switzerland. He and his twin brother, Auguste Piccard, were the sons of Jules Piccard, a chemist, and Hélène Haltenhoff. Their careers and activities were joined, although for much of their lives they were thousands of miles apart. They both enjoyed an excellent education, graduating from the Obere Realschule in 1902 and attending the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, one of the best universities in the country. Their father, a professor of chemistry and head of the department at the University of Basel, had no difficulty ensuring their attendance at this school. They graduated in 1907, Jean with a degree in chemical engineering, and both went on to graduate work at the institute, where in 1909 they received doctorates; Jean’s was in organic chemistry....