Louis Neel, French physicist

Louis Neel, French physicist

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Caption: Louis Neel (1904-2000), French physicist. Louis Eugene Felix Neel shared the 1970 Nobel Prize for Physics for his theoretical work on magnetism. He extended the concept of ferromagnetism to include antiferromagnetism, a rare form of magnetism where opposing magnetic dipoles within a material cancel out at low temperature. Increasing the temperature produces weak magnetic properties that increase up to a (often low) transition temperature named the Neel temperature in Neel's honour. Manganese oxide (MnO) is antiferromagnetic. Ferromagnetism causes the strong magnetism in materials like iron. A mix of the two, called ferrimagnetism, also studied by Neel, is used in magnetic computer storage media.

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