PAUL LANGEVIN (1872-1946)


23 January 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Paul Langevin, the eminent French physicist who is the father of pulse-echo ultrasound. During 1917, working with the French and British Navies, he designed the first piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers using X-cut quartz. These were operated in pulse-echo mode to detect submarines. Subsequent developments in ultrasound, including its diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical uses, all derive from Langevin’s pioneering work during WWI. Several publications and events are being planned during 2022 to mark his anniversary.

(Image credit Adrian Thomas)





 This 30-minute video describes the medical career of Arthur Schüller as well as the lives of his family members.

Schüller was born in 1874 and the  arc of his life mirrored the rise and decline of Austria from 1870 till 1955. The Schüller family origins lie in Bucovice and Brunn but his early medical career was spent in Berlin and at the AKH in Vienna.

In 1906 he married Margarete Stiassni, daughter of a wealthy Brunn industrialist. In spite of severe financial constraints on the Medical School after World War I , Arthur was closely involved in the successful graduate courses for foreign doctors who came to  learn from those who had been leading figures in establishing Vienna’s pre-eminent international position in medical science. By the 1930’s Schüller was well known internationally and he travelled to conferences world wide. .

As a Jew  he was expelled from the University in 1938. His search for a home elsewhere involved fellow scholars in the USA, UK and Australia . After a  spell in Oxford  he settled in Australia with eventually at post at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.

The Schüllers’ two sons had died in Nazi camps  and this appears to  have provoked  Arthur's later decline into withdrawal and depression. He and Margarete lived  in Heidelberg, a suburb of Melbourne, until his death in 1957.

His contribution to medical science - pioneering three surgical procedures and identifying three neurological diseases –  led to him being seen as the father of the discipline of neuro-radiology. His two seminal books established this field.

The link to the video is