Tell us who are you, in a few lines?
I was born in 1944 in Canada, and I am a French-Canadian. I am specialized in computer sciences, but I always was deeply interested in education in general, and in fundamental physics in particular. In fact, for the past 40 years, I have been manufacturing an apparatus designed to assist in teaching classical physics.
Difficult to describe oneself, but a little anecdote would probably best describe me. At a family dinner one day, the conversation focused on the fact that all children go through the “why period”, during which they constantly ask questions, and which usually lasts from a few months to a few years. I was about 45 years old at the time. I asked my mother when I stopped asking questions. To my astonishment, she answered that I never stopped. So that’s possibly what best characterizes me.
A perfect day would start and end with what for you?
Usually, my days start with a little exercise to keep in shape before my workday, and end with reading or listening to movies or documentaries. This is also what I perceive as a perfect day.
Could you tell us how you started writing?
At the beginning, I simply wrote to clearly document operating or manufacturing procedures as part of my work. Then I developed a taste for describing in this manner subjects that were of particular interest to me, namely neurosciences, and particle physics according to Maxwell’s initial interpretation in this case.
Do you think that a writer has a special role to play in society?
Definitely. I think that the role of the writer is paramount in all languages. This is what keeps cultures alive and distinct from each other. I observed that each culture casts a unique and different look on all aspects of life. I believe that all categories of work are necessary.
Your book "Introduction to Electromagnetism according to Maxwell: (Electromagnetic Mechanics)" is translated into four languages. What is the message you wish to convey to the readers?
The aim is to familiarize the upcoming generation with an interpretation of electromagnetism that apparently attracted no attention since Maxwell formulated it 160 years ago. The translation into four languages is to make the book accessible to as many youths as possible.
As an example, I became interested in physics long before learning English, and I greatly appreciated the book series in French that were available to me at that time. I assume that many English, French, Hispanic and German youth also are in the same situation, or at least have one of these languages as a second language. My apologies for the other languages. These are the choices that life’s circumstances made available to me to write this book.
Who is this book for? Who is your target audience?
This book is particularly aimed at young people who are beginning to take an interest in physics. Everything is described as simply as possible and all of the equations are first level, so that they can all be checked with a simple scientific pocket calculator. All formal references are also provided.
What would be your word of encouragement to the authors?
I encourage all authors to be self-confident and not to give up. I think that one of the keys to offering a valuable work is summed up by this quote from Boileau, that can be translated as: “One hundred times on the loom review your work”.