R. Geller was born in 1927 in Vienna. He interrupted his studies and became one of the pioneer of the French nuclear commission (CEA), being hired in 1948 by F. Joliot-Curie. He has worked for the CEA until 1992 and then became a scientific adviser for the CNRS in Grenoble. He received his undergraduate degree from the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers (Paris) and his PhD under the direction of Yves Rocard and Prof. Francis Perrin from the Sorbonne University (Paris, 1954). After being noticed for the elaboration of different vacuum pumps, he gets involved in the field of atomic physics, and eventually plasma physics. In 1961, he worked as a research Associate at Stanford University, where he developed the first "Bumpy Torus Plasma". Back to France, he built several plasma devices based on electron cyclotron resonance (ECR). He also taught graduate classes of controlled fusion. At the end of the 60s he elaborated with his team at CENG (Grenoble CEA) the first ECR ion sources. These robust sources were successfully coupled with particle accelerators. Just like laser beams, ECR ion sources (also called Geller sources) provide energetic beams of substance. These sources found their way in experimental physics, such as the gluon-quark plasma at CERN, or the discovery of new heavy atoms of the Mandeleev table; they were also successful in several society applications, such as cancer therapy with Carbon 6+ ions, electronic lithography, spatial ionic propulsion, biotechnology, … A link towards ion sources principles is under construction but the interested reader will find many details in his book " ECR Ion Sources and ECR Plasmas" (IOP Press). Richard Geller was married to Annie and got two children Benoît Geller (born in 1965) and Barbara Lissak (born in 1967). He deceased in Grenoble on the 1st of July 2007.





Christmas 1943



Interruption of high school studies. F.T.P. resistant


Interruption of university studies. Hired by Frederic Joliot Curie at the French nuclear commision (CEA, Fontenay aux Roses, France).



C.E.A. (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique) at Fontenay aux Roses and Saclay, France




Study of various instrumentations (radioactivity detection electronic).




Conception of a Helium spectrometer, leak detector: thesis under the supervision of Yves Rocard (Paris University) and Francis Perrin (CEA).




Study and conception with a team CEA/SNECMA of the first vertical turbo molecular vacuum pump.




New specialization in the field of the physics of plasmas.




Invitation to Stanford University as Research Associate. Invention of numerous plasma generators, including the "Bumpy Torus" used in the U.S.




Study on thermonuclear fusion and plasmas based on electron cyclotron resonance (ECR).




Invention of an Electron Cycloton Resonance ion source (ECRIS) ; development of prototypes.




Appointed by Anatole Abragam vice director of the Ion Department (120 persons) transfered to Grenoble in 1970.




Researcher at the CENG (Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Grenoble) in association with CNRS since 1980




Explication and experimental validation of Doppler shifts in aurora borealis.




Elaboration of the theoretical  “Scaling laws” ruling ECR plasmas and development and set up of the first performant ECRIS ( ion source called SUPERMAFIOS producing  highly ionized particules).




Teaching Plasma Physics and Ion Sources at Grenoble University..




SUPERMAFIOS miniaturization with permanent magnets studied at Grenoble CNRS (from 3 m2 to 3 litres).




Director of an international team for the development of more advanced ECRIS.




Creation and leadership of Agrippa (CEA-CNRS atomic physics  laboratory)




Director of a CEA-CNRS group called PADSI working on ions, plamas, atomic physics and ion sources.




Scientific adviser at the CENG. First steps of a new kind of accelerator called ECRIPAC (dimension: 1 meter) that would allow energy scales similar to those of a synchrotron.




Scientific Advisor at  the LPSC (Grenoble Cosmology and Subatomic Physics Laboratory)


UMR 5821 CNRS-Université Joseph Fourier,-INP Grenoble, 53 av. des Martyrs, 38 026 Grenoble



Conception of a new ECRIS source for short term (t<2sec.) radioactive ions.

1-time-ionized radioactive ions (1+) are multi-ionized within 0.1 sec with 4 to 10% yielding. This so-called 1+/n+ ECRIS is the experimental setup verifying the slowing down Chandrasekhar theory. It applies to continuous regime accelerators such as cyclotrons or continuous Linacs and will be built at TRIUMF-ISAC Vancouver (Canada), ISIS Rutherford Appleton Lab (United Kingdom), and possibly at SPIRAL (GANIL, France) and Doubna (Russia).




Extension of the 1+/n+ method for pulsed accelerators (Linacs, Synchrotrons). This is made possible thanks to a pulsed trap and opens up a whole new way in astrophysics and should find application at MAFF (Munich) and REX-ISOLDE-CERN