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Pierre-Gilles de Gennes

Pierre-Gilles de GennesBorn: 24-Oct-1932
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 18-May-2007
Location of death: Orsay, France
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Molecular structure of polymers

Military service: French Navy (1959-61)

French physicist Pierre-Gilles de Gennes won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1991, for his studies of liquid crystals and polymers, topics previously thought to be too chaotic to be subjected to the rigorous analysis of physics. His work with complex fluids showed that methods already used to study the physics of simple systems could be adapted to study the behavior of molecules and molecular chains in soft matter.

Father: Robert Joachim Pierre de Gennes (physician)
Mother: Marthe Marie Yvonne Morin-Pons (nurse)
Wife: Anne Marie Elisabeth Eugènie Rouet (m. 1954, until his death, three children)

    University: PhD, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France (1955)
    Scholar: Physics, University of California at Berkeley (1958-59)
    Professor: Solid-State Physics, Paris-South University (1961-71)
    Professor: Physics, Collège de France (1971-2002)
    Administrator: College of Physics and Chemistry, Paris (1976-2002)

    French Atomic Energy Commission Research (1955-59)
    IOP Fernand Holweck Medal and Prize 1968
    AMPERE Prize 1977
    Matteucci Medal 1987
    Harvey Prize 1988
    Lorentz Medal 1990
    Wolf Prize in Physics 1990 (with David J. Thouless)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1991
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member
    French Academy of Sciences
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Member
    Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences Foreign Member
    Royal Society Foreign Member
    English Ancestry Maternal
    French Ancestry
    German Ancestry Paternal
    Portuguese Ancestry Paternal

    Les palmes de M. Schutz (9-Apr-1997)

Author of books:
The Physics of Liquid Crystals (1974, physics)
Scaling Concepts of Polymer Physics (1979, physics)
Simple Views on Condensed Matter (1992, physics)
Fragile Objects (1994, physics)
Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena: Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves (2003, physics; with Françoise Brochard-Wyart)
Petit Point (2003, satire)

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