Annals of Science 47 (3):261-275 (1990)

Abstract
Le concept du champ moléculaire a été introduit par Pierre Weiss en 1907 dans une théorie classique du ferromagnétisme. En 1928, Werner Heisenberg a donné une interprétation physique du champ moléculaire dans sa théorie quantique du ferromagnétisme. Louis Néel, héritier de Weiss, a mené à partir de 1928 une recherche d'un caractère particulier, à l'écart des modes. Sa démarche s'est révélée fructueuse dans le domaine de la théorie avec la découverte de l'antiferromagnétisme et du ferrimagnétisme. La théorie et la technique ont eu partie liée dans la production de composés magnétiques hautement performants: les ferrites et les grenats ferrimagnétiques.Dans cet article, l'accent est mis sur la continuité d'une ligne de recherche, suivie pendant près d'un demi-siècle, à travers les bouleversements apportés par la théorie quantique dans les années vingt.The concept of the molecular field was put forward by Pierre Weiss in 1907, in a classical theory of ferromagnetism. In 1928, Werner Heisenberg gave the physical meaning of the molecular field in his quantum theory of ferromagnetism. Louis Néel, as heir to Weiss, developed research of a distinctive character, detached from current fashion. His approach has been fruitful in the theoretical field with the discovery of antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism. Theory and technique were strongly linked in the production of highly efficient magnetic compounds: ferrites and ferrimagnetic garnets.In this paper the author stresses the continuity of a line of research that was pursued over fifty years, despite the upset created by the quantum theory in the twenties
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DOI 10.1080/00033799000200221
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