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Louis Néel

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Louis Néel
Néel in 1970
Louis Eugène Félix Néel

(1904-11-22)22 November 1904
Died17 November 2000(2000-11-17) (aged 95)
Alma materÉcole Normale Supérieure, University of Paris[4]
University of Strasbourg
Known for
Scientific career
FieldsSolid-state physics
InstitutionsCNRS, Grenoble
Doctoral advisorPierre Weiss
Notable studentsJacques Villain
Louis Lliboutry[3]

Louis Eugène Félix Néel ForMemRS (22 November 1904 – 17 November 2000) was a French physicist born in Lyon[5] who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970 for his studies of the magnetic properties of solids.[1]


Néel studied at the Lycée du Parc in Lyon and was accepted at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He obtained the degree of Doctor of Science at the University of Strasbourg. He was corecipient (with the Swedish astrophysicist Hannes Alfvén) of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970 for his pioneering studies of the magnetic properties of solids.[6] His contributions to solid state physics have found numerous useful applications, particularly in the development of improved computer memory units. About 1930 he suggested that a new form of magnetic behavior might exist; called antiferromagnetism, as opposed to ferromagnetism.[7] Above a certain temperature (the Néel temperature) this behaviour stops. Néel pointed out (1948)[8] that materials could also exist showing ferrimagnetism. Néel has also given an explanation of the weak magnetism of certain rocks, making possible the study of the history of Earth's magnetic field.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

He is the instigator of the Polygone Scientifique in Grenoble.[citation needed]

The Louis Néel Medal, awarded annually by the European Geophysical Society, is named in Néel's honour.[citation needed]

Néel died at Brive-la-Gaillarde on 17 November 2000 at the age 95, just 5 days short of his 96th birthday.[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]

Néel received numerous awards and honours for his work including:



Owing to his involvement in national defense, particularly through research in the protection of warships by demagnetization against magnetic mines, he received numerous distinctions:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Friedel, J.; Averbuch, P. (1 December 2003). "Louis Eugène Félix Néel. 22 November 1904 – 17 November 2000". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 49: 367–384. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2003.0021. S2CID 74311735.
  2. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1970". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Louis Néel".
  4. ^ At the time, the ENS was part of the University of Paris according to the decree of 10 November 1903.
  5. ^ "Louis-Eugène-Félix Néel | French physicist | Britannica".
  6. ^ Néel, L. (3 December 1971). "Magnetism and Local Molecular Field" (PDF). Science. 174 (4013): 985–992. Bibcode:1971Sci...174..985N. doi:10.1126/science.174.4013.985. PMID 17757022. S2CID 27784885.
  7. ^ Aharoni, Amikam (2000). Introduction to the Theory of Ferromagnetism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-19-850809-0.
  8. ^ Néel, Louis (1948). "Magnetic Properties of Ferrites: Ferrimagnetism and Antiferromagnetism". Ann. Phys. (Paris). 3: 137–198.
  9. ^ Néel, Louis (1 April 1955). "Some theoretical aspects of rock-magnetism" (PDF). Advances in Physics. 4 (14): 191–243. Bibcode:1955AdPhy...4..191N. doi:10.1080/00018735500101204.
  10. ^ Barbara, B.; Lacroix, Claudine (2000). "Retrospective in Science: Louis Neel (1904–2000)". Science. 291 (5506): 1000. doi:10.1126/science.1059052. PMID 11232560. S2CID 161752562.
  11. ^ Coey, Michael (2001). "Obituary: Louis Néel (1904–2000)". Nature. 409 (6818): 302. Bibcode:2001Natur.409..302C. doi:10.1038/35053274. S2CID 36961096.
  12. ^ Coey, J. M. D. (2003). "Louis Néel: Retrospective (invited)". Journal of Applied Physics. 93 (10): 8224–8229. Bibcode:2003JAP....93.8224C. doi:10.1063/1.1557815.
  13. ^ Dunlop, David J. (2003). "Partial thermoremanent magnetization: Louis Néel's legacy in rock magnetism (invited)". Journal of Applied Physics. 93 (10): 8236–8240. Bibcode:2003JAP....93.8236D. doi:10.1063/1.1558640.
  14. ^ "Louis Néel – Biography". Nobel Lectures, Physics 1963–1970. Elsevier Publishing Company.
  15. ^ Néel, Louis (1991). Un siècle de physique. Paris: Jacob. ISBN 978-2-7381-0140-2.
  16. ^ "Louis Néel, un siècle de science à Grenoble". 2004. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  17. ^ Kurti, Nicholas, ed. (1988). Selected works of Louis Néel. New York: Gordon and Breach. ISBN 978-2-88124-300-4.
  18. ^ "Holweck medal recipients". Institute of Physics. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Louis Eugène Felix Néel (1904 - 2000)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 5 July 2020.
  20. ^ "About Us". World Cultural Council. Retrieved 8 November 2016.

External links[edit]

  • Louis Néel on Nobelprize.org Edit this at Wikidata including the Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1970 Magnetism and the Local Molecular Field