French engineer and member of the Institut; born at Ribeauville, Alsace, Feb. 28, 1838. Educated at the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées, he became an engineer in 1863. During the Franco-German war (1870-71) he was entrusted by the Government of National Defense with the control of a part of the artillery. During the next decade he held several educational positions, becoming professor at the Ecole Centrale in 1875, member of the commission of the geodetic survey of France in 1879, and professor at the Collège de France in 1885.
In 1888 Lévy inaugurated a system of boat-traction by means of overhead cables. A trial system was installed between Joinville-le-Pont and Saint-Maurice; it consisted of an endless cable which was kept in motion by powerful steam-engines and to which boats were attached and thus kept at a speed of four kilometers an hour. The system proved unsatisfactory, however.
Lévy is the author of several works, of which may be mentioned: "La Statistique Graphique et Ses Applications à l'Art des Constructions" (1874; 2d ed. 1887); "Sur le Principe d'Energie" (1888); "Etude des Moyens de Traction des Bateaux: Le Halage Funiculaire" (with M. G. Pavie, 1894). He has written also papers on kinematics, mechanics, physical mathematics, geometry, etc., in the "Comptes-Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences," the "Journal de l'Ecole Polytechnique," and the "Journal des Mathematiques Pures et Appliquées."
He is an officer of the Legion of Honor and of public instruction, and a member of the Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Rome.
- Curinier, Dict. Nat.