August 8, 1914|
|Died||October 6, 1988
|Alma mater||University of Liège|
|Institutions||University of Liège|
Paul Ledoux (August 8, 1914 – October 6, 1988) was a Belgian astrophysicist, best known for his work on stellar stability and variability. With Theodore Walraven, he co-authored one of the seminal works on stellar oscillations. In 1964 Paul Ledoux was awarded the Francqui Prize for Exact Sciences. He was awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1972 for investigations into problems of stellar stability and variable stars. He was awarded the Janssen Medal of the French Academy of Sciences in 1976.
In stellar astrophysics, Ledoux's name is now associated with the criterion under which material in a star becomes unstable to convection in the presence of a gradient of chemical composition. In homogenous material, the Schwarzschild criterion shows that material is unstable to convection if the radiation field alone would establish a steeper temperature gradient steeper than the adiabatic (or isentropic) temperature gradient. However, Ledoux showed that a composition gradient stabilises or destabilises the material against convection. In convectively-stable regions destabilised by the composition gradient, one expects thermohaline mixing; in convectively-unstable regions that are stabilised, one expects double-diffusive mixing, known in stellar astrophysics as semiconvection.
- Swings, J. P. (1989), "Obituary - Ledoux Paul", Ap&SS, 155: 179, Bibcode:1989Ap&SS.155..179S
- Ledoux, P.; Walraven, T. (1958), "Variable Stars.", Handbuch der Physik, 51: 353, Bibcode:1958HDP....51..353L
- Hoyle, F. (1972), "P. Ledoux received the Eddington Medal.", QJRAS, 13: 348, Bibcode:1972QJRAS..13..485H
- Ledoux, P. (1947), "Stellar Models with Convection and with Discontinuity of the Mean Molecular Weight", The Astrophysical Journal, 105: 305, Bibcode:1947ApJ...105..305L, doi:10.1086/144905
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