Louis de BROGLIE

Family tree of Louis de BROGLIE


FrenchBorn Louis Victor Pierre Raymond de BROGLIE

French physicist and a Nobel laureate

Born on August 15, 1892 in Dieppe, France , France

Died on March 19, 1987 in Louveciennes, France

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De Broglie was born in Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, younger son of Victor, 5th duc de Broglie and a descendant of Madame de Staël. In 1960, upon the death without heir of his older brother, Maurice, 6th duc de Broglie, also a physicist, he became the 7th duc de Broglie. He never married. When he died in Louveciennes, he was succeeded as duke by a distant cousin, Victor-François, 8th duc de Broglie.

De Broglie had originally intended a career in humanities, and received his first degree in history. Afterwards, though, he turned his attention toward mathematics and physics. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, he offered his services to the army in the development of radio communications.
His 1924 doctoral thesis, Recherches sur la théorie des quanta (Research on Quantum Theory), introduced his theory of electron waves. This included the wave-particle duality theory of matter, based on the work of Albert Einstein and Max Planck on light. The thesis examiners, unsure of the material, passed his thesis to Einstein for evaluation who endorsed his wave-particle duality proposal wholeheartedly; de Broglie was awarded his doctorate. This research culminated in the de Broglie hypothesis stating that any moving particle or object had an associated wave. De Broglie thus created a new field in physics, the mécanique ondulatoire, or wave mechanics, uniting the physics of light and matter. For this he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1929. Among the applications of this work has been the development of electron microscopes to get much better image resolution than optical ones, because of the shorter wavelengths of electrons compared with photons.

In his later career, de Broglie worked to develop a causal explanation of wave mechanics, in opposition to the wholly probabilistic models which dominate quantum mechanical theory. Today, this explanation is known as the de Broglie–Bohm theory, since it was refined by David Bohm in the 1950s.

In addition to strictly scientific work, de Broglie thought and wrote about the philosophy of science, including the value of modern scientific discoveries.

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Geographical origins

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