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...

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Bibliography

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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Rochette

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