Louis de Broglie Biography

Louis de Broglie was an eminent French physicist who predicted the wave nature of electrons and suggested that all matter has wave properties. For his groundbreaking contribution to quantum theory, de Broglie won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1929. Born in an aristocratic family, Broglie defied tradition by pursuing science instead of diplomacy. Initially interested in history, he was captivated by the mysteries of science and made his mark in the field of wave mechanics. Throughout his life, de Broglie held important academic positions and played a key role in fostering international scientific cooperation. His achievements were recognized by prestigious institutions and he was awarded with highly esteemed honors.

Quick Facts

  • French Celebrities Born In August
  • Also Known As: Louis-Victor-Pierre-Raymond de Broglie
  • Died At Age: 94
  • Family: father – Victor de Broglie, siblings – Maurice de Broglie
  • Atheists
  • Physicists
  • Died on: March 19, 1987
  • Place of death: Louveciennes
  • More Facts
  • Education: University of Paris
  • Awards: 1929 – Nobel Prize in Physics, 1938 – Max Planck Medal

Childhood & Early Life

Louis de Broglie was born on August 15, 1892 in Dieppe, Siene-Maritime to Victor, 5th Duc de Broglie and Pauline d’Armaille. He had an elder brother, Maurice, who also became a physicist. De Broglie initially pursued literary studies and obtained a degree in history in 1910. However, he soon developed an interest in science and earned a degree in physics in 1913.


During World War I, de Broglie served in the military and worked on the development of radio communications at the Eiffel Tower. After the war, he resumed his studies in general physics and began working with his brother Maurice. It was during this time that de Broglie came up with the idea of wave-particle duality. In 1924, he submitted his thesis on the theory of electron waves, which introduced his revolutionary concept. This led to the creation of a new field in physics called wave mechanics.

De Broglie’s hypothesis was supported by Einstein and confirmed by electron diffraction experiments in 1927. After obtaining his doctorate degree, he taught at the Sorbonne for two years before being appointed as the professor of theoretical physics at the Henri Poincare Institute in Paris in 1928. He served in this position until his retirement in 1962.

Later in his career, de Broglie focused on studying the extensions of wave mechanics and published numerous papers on the subject. He also wrote books on the philosophy of science. His theory of wave mechanics was later refined by David Bohm and became known as the De Broglie-Bohm theory.

Major Works

De Broglie’s most significant contribution to physics was his theory of electron waves, which formed the basis of his research thesis. This theory proposed that every moving object or particle has an associated wave. His work on wave-particle duality and wave mechanics revolutionized the field of physics.

Awards & Achievements

In 1929, de Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the theory of electron waves. He also received the Henri Ponicare Medal from the Academie des Sciences in the same year. Throughout his career, he received numerous other honors and awards, including the Albert I of Monaco Prize, the Max Planck Medal, and the Kalinga Prize from UNESCO.

Personal Life & Legacy

De Broglie never married and lived as a bachelor. After the death of his older brother Maurice in 1960, he succeeded as the 7th Duc de Broglie. He passed away on March 19, 1987 at the age of 94. After his death, he was succeeded as Duke by his distant cousin, Victor-François, the 8th Duc de Broglie.

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