Pier Gil De Gen
Date of Birth: 1932
De Gennes, physicist representing famous Parisian College de France, well known for his work in many relevant areas of modern physics - from superconductors and superfluid helium-3 to the physics of liquid crystals and polymers, and in all essential and original results obtained along these lines it. Although the Nobel Prize awarded to de wife on set of works, the most significant and well-known of his works belong to the physics of liquid crystals. Over universality and fundamental research many consider de Gennes` Newton of our time ", physicist encyclopedic.
World fame came to de Gennes, when from 1961 to 1971 led the group to study the liquid crystal in the Institute of Solid State Physics at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, a suburb of Paris. Many of his works were published without listing the names of the authors, but simply stated - "Orsay LCD panels." Based on the works of L. Landau de Gennes then he developed the theory of phase transitions in different types of liquid crystals. Today, these substances are used in mass-information display systems - in hours, calculators, flat television screens. Therefore, the study de wife and his group, in addition to purely academic, were of great practical importance.
Much attention is paid de Gennes and other species of this class of substances found in living organisms and are important from the point of view of biology. He found a direct analogy between the change in the form of liquid crystals and metal phase transition to the superconducting state. A characteristic feature of de Gennes approach to scientific problems - a clear statement of the physical problem and the use of elegant mathematical apparatus for solving it. This quality, combined with the need to generalize the research results enabled him to publish three brilliant monograph. Of these, the most famous "Physics of Liquid Crystals", published in 1974 and three years later was translated into Russian. It still remains an unsurpassed introduction to the physics of liquid crystals and a reference book for specialists in this field. Of his two other monographs, one relates to superconductors, and the other - to the polymer physics.
It was at work on superconductors de Gennes first declared itself as a promising physicist, predicted, in particular, the so-called "proximity effect", when there is a reorganization of the electronic structure of the conductor under the influence of a superconductor near their contact.
De Gennes investigated phase transitions in superfluid helium-3 - a quantum liquid formed isotope with an atomic mass of 3. It exists at a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero pressure 34 atmosphere shows no viscosity, and on the structure and behavior of similar liquid crystals. His work has also helped to explain the complex phenomenon of the formation of large molecular associations (clusters) and the internal movement of long chain molecules in polymer melts.
The observed analogy recently allowed to predict another feature of the state of the liquid crystal. If the superconductor has an ordered structure of magnetic vortices, described by the Soviet physicist A. Abrikosov, the liquid crystal has a similar lattice constructed linear defects, so-called disklinaliyami, and also penetrating its volume.
Physicists from different countries welcomed the decision of the Royal Academy of Sciences, rightly regarding its recognition of not only the merit of the winner, but also the importance of the study of liquid crystals in general.
De Gennes himself believes that his success he largely obliged colleagues "LCD panels Orsay."
"It was a great team working at the intersection of different disciplines, - he says, - In two or three years, she became a recognized leader in the field of liquid crystal research."
Winner of the gold medal was in addition to a million dollars.