André Bloch

Born: 20 Nov 1893 in Besancon, France
Died: 11 Oct 1948 in Paris, France

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Bloch attended the École Polytechnique in 1913 then was drafted in 1914. An accident at the front made him unfit for military service. On 17 Nov 1917, at a family meal, he murdered one of his brothers, his uncle and his aunt. He was confined to a psychiatric hospital (Saint-Maurice Hospital) where he worked on a large range of topics, function theory, geometry, number theory, algebraic equations and kinematics.

Bloch wrote many important papers, corresponding with Hadamard, Mittag-Leffler, Pólya and Henri Cartan (Elie Cartan's son). He was a model patient who refused to go out saying Mathematics is enough for me . Bloch explained the murders to his doctor saying It's a matter of mathematical logic. There had been mental illness in my family . He saw it as his eugenic duty! The Académie awarded him the Becquerel Prize just before his death.

References (3 books/articles)

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JOC/EFR December 1996