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Louis de Broglie et la diffusion de la mécanique quantique en France (1925-1960)

Abstract : As the only Frenchman among the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, Louis de Broglie has agreat importance in the XXth French physics. With the prestige from the Nobel Prize in 1929, deBroglie became the main characters of the French theoretical physics community since the 30’s andgreat responsibilities on its evolution were entrusted to him. In the usually story of the XXth Frenchphysics, quantum mechanics, which is the core of theoretical physics since 1925, is said to have spreadslowly in France and French theorists who really used it were few before WWII. This story goes on,saying that de Broglie was the principal guilty of this state of fact. In this story, the discoverer ofwave-particle duality of matters becomes a representative of old-fashioned theorists who practice anaive kind of picture-based physics. Furthermore, his institutional action and his responsibility in theisolation of French physics are stigmatized.The aim of this work is, firstly, to throw light on the modality of the diffusion of quantummechanics in France and the role of de Broglie in this process, both on the intellectual and theinstitutional side. Secondly, it will be shown that progress in the area of particle physics, solid statephysics and nuclear physics after WWII introduce a shift in the practice of many young theoristsrelative to the way of practice theoretical physical inside de Broglie’s group. We will thus be able tounderstand why the legacy of Louis de Broglie is not claimed in contemporary French theoreticalphysics without falling into the trap of a retrospective and pejorative assessment of the career of themost famous French theorist of the XXth century.
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Adrien Vila-Valls. Louis de Broglie et la diffusion de la mécanique quantique en France (1925-1960). Autre [cond-mat.other]. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012LYO10218⟩. ⟨tel-00993036⟩

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