**Prince Louis-Victor de Broglie** of
the French Academy, Permanent Secretary of the Academy of
Sciences, and Professor at the Faculty of Sciences at Paris
University, was born at Dieppe (Seine Inférieure) on 15th
August, 1892, the son of Victor, Duc de Broglie and Pauline
d'Armaillé. After studying at the Lycée Janson of
Sailly, he passed his school-leaving certificate in 1909. He
applied himself first to literary studies and took his degree in
history in 1910. Then, as his liking for science prevailed, he
studied for a science degree, which he gained in 1913. He was
then conscripted for military service and posted to the wireless
section of the army, where he remained for the whole of the war
of 1914-1918. During this period he was stationed at the Eiffel
Tower, where he devoted his spare time to the study of technical
problems. At the end of the war Louis de Broglie resumed his
studies of general physics. While taking an interest in the
experimental work carried out by his elder brother, Maurice, and
co-workers, he specialized in theoretical physics and, in
particular, in the study of problems involving quanta. In 1924 at
the Faculty of Sciences at Paris University he delivered a thesis
*Recherches sur la Théorie des Quanta* (Researches on
the quantum theory), which gained him his doctor's degree. This
thesis contained a series of important findings which he had
obtained in the course of about two years. The ideas set out in
that work, which first gave rise to astonishment owing to their
novelty, were subsequently fully confirmed by the discovery of
electron diffraction by crystals in 1927 by Davisson and Germer; they served as the
basis for developing the general theory nowadays known by the
name of *wave mechanics*, a theory which has utterly
transformed our knowledge of physical phenomena on the atomic
scale.

After the maintaining of his thesis and while continuing to
publish original work on the new mechanics, Louis de Broglie took
up teaching duties. On completion of two year's free lectures at
the Sorbonne he was appointed to teach theoretical physics at the
Institut Henri Poincaré which had just been built in Paris.
The purpose of that Institute is to teach and develop
mathematical and theoretical physics. The incumbent of the chair
of theoretical physics at the Faculty of Sciences at the
University of Paris since 1932, Louis de Broglie runs a course on
a different subject each year at the Institut Henri
Poincaré, and several of these courses have been published.
Many French and foreign students have come to work with him and a
great deal of doctorate theses have been prepared under his
guidance.

Between 1930 and 1950, Louis de Broglie's work has been chiefly
devoted to the study of the various extensions of wave mechanics:
Dirac's electron theory, the new theory of light, the general
theory of spin particles, applications of wave mechanics to
nuclear physics, etc. He has published numerous notes and several
papers on this subject, and is the author of more than
twenty-five books on the fields of his particular
interests.

Since 1951, together with young colleagues, Louis de Broglie has
resumed the study of an attempt which he made in 1927 under the
name of the *theory of the double solution* to give a causal
interpretation to wave mechanics in the classical terms of space
and time, an attempt which he had then abandoned in the face of
the almost universal adherence of physicists to the purely
probabilistic interpretation of Born, Bohr, and Heisenberg. Back again in this his
former field of research, he has obtained a certain number of new
and encouraging results which he has published in notes to
*Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences* and in
various expositions.

After crowning Louis de Broglie's work on two occasions, the
Academie des Sciences awarded him in 1929 the Henri Poincaré
medal (awarded for the first time), then in 1932, the Albert I of
Monaco prize. In 1929 the Swedish Academy of Sciences conferred on him the
Nobel Prize for Physics "for his discovery of the wave nature of
electrons". In 1952 the first Kalinga Prize was awarded to him by
UNESCO for
his efforts to explain aspects of modern physics to the layman.
In 1956 he received the gold medal of the French National
Scientific Research Centre. He has made major contributions to
the fostering of international scientific co-operation.

Elected a member of the Academy of Sciences of the French
Institute in 1933, Louis de Broglie has been its Permanent
Secretary for the mathematical sciences since 1942. He has been a
member of the Bureau des Longitudes since 1944. He holds the
Grand Cross of the Légion d'Honneur and is an Officer of the
Order of Leopold of Belgium. He is an honorary doctor of the
Universities of
Warsaw, Bucharest, Athens, Lausanne, Quebec, and Brussels, and a member of eighteen foreign academies
in Europe, India, and the U.S.A.

Professor de Broglie's most important publications are:

*Recherches sur la théorie des quanta* (Researches on
the quantum theory), Thesis Paris, 1924.

*Ondes et mouvements* (Waves and motions), Gauthier-Villars,
Paris, 1926.

*Rapport au 5e Conseil de Physique Solvay*, Brussels,
1927.

*La mécanique ondulatoire* (Wave mechanics),
Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1928.

*Une tentative d'interprétation causale et non
linéaire de la mécanique ondulatoire: la théorie
de la double solution*, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1956.

English translation: *Non-linear Wave Mechanics: A Causal
Interpretation*, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1960.

*Introduction à la nouvelle théorie des particules de
M. Jean-Pierre Vigier et de ses collaborateurs*,
Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1961.

English translation: *Introduction to the Vigier Theory of
elementary particles*, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1963.

*Étude critique des bases de l'interprétation
actuelle de la mécanique ondulatoire*, Gauthier-Villars,
Paris, 1963.

English translation: *The Current Interpretation of Wave
Mechanics: A Critical Study*, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1964.

From *Nobel Lectures, Physics 1922-1941*, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1965

This autobiography/biography was written
at the time of the award and first
published in the book series *Les
Prix Nobel*.
It was later edited and republished in *Nobel Lectures*. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

*Louis de Broglie died on March 19, 1987.*

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1929

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