From the Financial Times:
Amidst all the glories of belle époque Paris, the troubles of an aspiring physicist can’t have amounted to much. In 1888, Louis Bachelier had graduated from school with excellent grades and high hopes of studying at the elite grandes écoles – until both his parents died suddenly, leaving Louis responsible for his sister and his three-year-old brother. He ran the family wine business for a while, was drafted into the army, and by the time he extricated himself from that and sold up, he was too old to do anything but study at the less-prestigious University of Paris. With his siblings to support, his study of physics had to be nocturnal. By day, he worked at the Paris Bourse... The sad story of Bachelier is told in an excellent new book, The Physics of Wall Street, by James Owen Weatherall. The role of physicists in finance is now a commonplace, even if financial physics is, like its founder, not quite academically respectable.

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