Joël SOMMERIA, a physicist by training, is a research director at the CNRS, where he has spent his entire career. He obtained a PhD in Grenoble in 1985 on magneto-hydrodynamic turbulence and its links with two-dimensional turbulence. He then turned his attention to the processes of self-organization of turbulence. He explained the formation of large atmospheric eddies such as the Great Red Spot of Jupiter by the statistical mechanics of eddies, and reproduced this phenomenon in the laboratory. He proposed that such eddies initiate the formation of planets in the proto-planetary nebula. Since 2000, he has been in charge of the large "Coriolis" rotating platform in Grenoble, which reproduces the dynamics of atmospheric or oceanic flows. This instrument belongs to the LEGI (Laboratoire des Écoulements Géophysiques et Industriels). Joël SOMMERIA is the author of about a hundred scientific publications and co-author of a book for the public "La Physique et la Terre" (Belin and CNRS-éditions, 2000).

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