He studied at the Ecole Polytechnique. He spent the Second World War in the French Resistance: he embarked June 22, 1940 in Saint-Jean-de-Luz to England and participated in the Battle of Dakar with Charles de Gaulle in September 1940. He joined the Free French Forces in Chad, and the 2nd Armored Division in September 1944, and participated in the assault of Hitler's Eagle's nest at Berchtesgaden in 1945.
After the war, he went to Princeton to attend the seminar of Niels Bohr on quantum mechanics. He returned to France and introduced the first general courses of quantum mechanics in France, at the University of Orsay and joined the newly created atomic energy agency, the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA) where he stayed until the end of his career.
His classic textbook on quantum mechanics (Dunod 1959) has trained generations of French and world physicists.
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- Testimony of Albert Messiah on the French Resistance during École polytechnique conference of 14 January 2009, in French
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