PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The French physicist, Pierre-Gilles De Gennes, in his laboratory at the College de France et Ecole de Physique-Chimie in Paris. De Gennes's research in physics has been in the study of the behaviour of polymer molecules. These investigations have included gels of all kinds: glue, lubricants, paint, liquid crystals, elastics & plastic. They are soft matter half-way between the solid and liquid state, in which their behaviour is neither chemical, physical or biological, but a combina- tion. Using laser-tracking, De Gennes studied the movements of individual molecules to better understand these industrial substances. De Gennes received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1991.
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