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Louis Eugène Félix Néel (November 22, 1904 – November 17, 2000), a French physicist born in Lyons, 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. 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 ferrimagnetism. Above a certain temperature (the Néel temperature) this behaviour stops. Néel pointed out (1947) 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.

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Louis Eugène Félix Néel

Louis Néel - Biography. Nobel Lectures, Physics 1963-1970

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