Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism

2007 Edition
| Editors: David Gubbins, Emilio Herrero-Bervera

Néel, Louis (1904–2000)

  • Pierre Rochette
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4423-6_220

Louis Néel was born in Lyon, France. He followed the classic French academic path to excellence: starting from the “classes préparatoires Maths Sup” of Lycée du Parc in Lyon, he joined the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris and later obtained the “Agrégation de Physique.” His early vocation for magnetism led him to defend a thesis under the supervision of Pierre Weiss in 1932 in Strasbourg, where he set up the theoretical basis that grounded his later discovery of antiferromagnetism (Néel, 1936; the term antiferromagnetism was later coined by Bitter). Mainly, his input was to introduce the concepts of quantum mechanics in magnetism (following Heisenberg exchange interaction concept), turning the uniform molecular field of Pierre Weiss into a local field. He became professor in Strasbourg in 1937 and gained international recognition soon after. During World War II, he moved to Grenoble where he spent the rest of his career. His central contribution to modern magnetism was quite lately...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Du Trémolet de Lacheisserie, E., Gignoux, D., and Schlenker, M., 2002. Magnetism, (two volumes) I-Fundamentals, II‐Applications. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 507 and 517 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Néel, L., 1936. Théorie du paramagnétisme constant application au manganese. Comptes Rendus De I'Académie des Sciences Paris, 203: 304–306.Google Scholar
  3. Néel, L., 1949. Théorie du traînage magnétique des ferromagnétiques en grains fins avec applications aux terres cuites. Annales De Géophysique, 5: 99–136.Google Scholar
  4. Néel, L., 1970. Magnetism and the local molecular field, Nobel Prize lecture. Available at: http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1970/Néel‐lecture.html.
  5. Néel, L., 1991. Paris: Un siècle de Physique Odile Jacob, 365 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Néel, L., Paulevé, J., Dautreppe, D., and Laugier, J., 1964. Magnetic properties of an iron‐nickel single crystal ordered by neutron bombardment. Applied Physics, 35: 873–876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Prévot, M., and Dunlop, D., 2001. Louis Néel: 40 years of magnetism. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 126: 3–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wasilewski, P., 1988. Magnetic characterization of the new mineral tetrataenite and its contrast with isochemical taenite. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 52: 150–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Rochette

There are no affiliations available