GENNES, PIERRE-GILLES DE / Physics / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research




Professor at the Collège de France, Chaire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, Paris, France.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1991 "for discovering that methods developed for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalized to more complex forms of matter, in particular to liquid crystals and polymers".

Research interests

Gennes investigated how extremely complex forms of matter behave during the transition from order to disorder. He showed how electrically or mechanically induced phase changes transform liquid crystals from a transparent to an opaque state, the phenomenon exploited in liquid-crystal displays. His research on polymers contributed to understanding how the long molecular chains in molten polymers move, making it possible for scientists to better determine and control polymer properties.

From 1980, he became interested in interfacial problems, in particular the dynamics of wetting. Recently, he has been concerned with the physical chemistry of adhesion.

Currently de Gennes is working at the Institut Curie (Paris), an interdisciplinary center and hospital on cancer research. He works on cellular adhesion and, more recently, on brain function.

Prizes and awards

P.G. de Gennes has received the Holweck Prize from the joint French and British Physical Society; the Ampere Prize, French Academy of Science; the gold medal from the French CNRS; the Matteuci Medal, Italian Academy; the Harvey Prize, Israel; the Wolf Prize, Israel; The Lorentz Medal, Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences; and polymer awards from both APS and ACS.

He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, the Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences, USA.



Superconductivity of metals and alloys, Benjamin (1964)
Versions russe
( ed. Mir 1968), japonaise (1975)
The Physics of Liquid Crystals, Oxford University Press (1974) 2nd edition (1993)
Versions russe (1976), chinoise (1991)

Scaling concepts in polymer physics, Cornell University Press (1979) 2nd edition (1985)
Versions russe (1983), chinoise (1989)

Introduction to polymer dynamics, Cambridge University Press (1990)

Simple views on condensed matter World Scientific Publishing Co (1992)
augmented version (1998)

Les objets fragiles, avec J. BADOZ, Paris : Plon (1994)
Versions anglaise (1996),
brésilienne(1998), japonaise (1998), chinoise (1999), turque (1999), russe (2000)

Soft Interfaces The 1994 Dirac Memorial Lecture, Cambridge
University Press (1997)

La Matière Molle, avec M. VEYSSIE, Physique des objets de tous les jours
CD ROM Arte éditions (1998)

Gouttes, Bulles, Perles et Ondes, avec F.BROCHARD-WYART, D. QUERE , Paris : Belin ,
collection Echelles (2002)


Sur un phénomène de propagation dans un milieu désordonné (avec P. Lafore et J. P. Millot)
J. Phys. Rad. 20, 624 (1959)

Effect of double exchange in magnetic crystals Phys. Rev. 118, 141 (1960)

Nuclear magnetic resonance in magnetic materials (avec P. Pincus, J. M. Winter et
F. Hartmann) Phys. Rev. 129, 1105 (1963)

Onset of superconductivity in decreasing fields (avec D.
Saint James) Phys. Lett. 7, 306 (1963)

Boundary effects in superconductors Rev. Mod. Phys. 36, 225 (1964)

Superconducting metals and allows Edited by Benjamin, New York (1964)

Quasi-elastic scattering of neutrons by dilute polymer solutions. I : free
draining limit Physics 3, 37 (1967)

Quasi-elastic scattering by dilute, ideal, polymer solutions. II : effects
of hydrodynamic interaction (avec E. Dubois-Violette) Physics 3, V4, 181-198 (1967)

Fluctuations d'orientation et diffusion Rayleigh dans un cristal nématique C. R.
Acad. Sci. (Paris) 266, 15-17 (1968)

Conjectures sur l'état smectique J. phys., C4, 30, V11, C4-65 (1969)

Dynamics of fluctuations in nematic-liquid crystals (Groupe d'études des
Cristaux Liquides) J. Chem. Phys. 51, 816 (1969)

Electrohydrodynamique des nématiques (avec P. Parodi et E. Dubois-Violette) J. phys.
32, 305 (1970) Short range order in the isotropic phase of nematic
Mol. Cryst. 12, 193 (1971)

Concept de reptation pour une chaîne polymérique J. Chem. Phys. 55, 572 (1971)

Exponents for the excluded-volume problem as derived by the Wilson method
Phys. Lett. 38A, 339 (1972)

Coil-stretch-transition of dilute flexible polymer under ultra-high velocity
gradients J. Chem. Phys 60, 5030 (1974)
Landau-Ginsburg equations for an anisotropic superfluid (avec B. Ambegaokar et
D. Rainer) Phys. Review A9, 2676 (1974)

Solutions of flexible polymers : neutron experiments and interpretation
(avec M. Daoud, J. P. Cotton, D. Farnoux, G. Jannink, G. Sarma, H. Benoit)
Macromolecules 8, 804 (1975)

On a relation between percolation theory and the elasticity of gels
J. phys. Lett. 37, L-1 (1976)

Dynamics of entangled polymer solutions. I : Inclusion of hydrodynamic
interactions, II : The Rouse model
Macromolecules 9, 587-593, 594-598 (1976)

Theoretical methods of polymer statistics Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, 7, 363 (1977)

Lois générales pour l'injection d'un fluide dans un milieu poreux aléatoire
(avec E. Guyon) J. Méc. Vol 17, V3 (1978)

Phénomènes aux parois dans un mélange binaire critique (avec M. Fisher)
C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 287, 207 (1978)

Theory of long-range correlations in polymer melts
(Faraday discussions
of the Royal Society of chemistry, N° 68 (1979)

Sur une règle de somme pour des chaînes polymériques semi-diluées près d'une paroi
C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 290, 509 (1980)

Sur la soudure des polymères amorphes C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 291, 219 (1980)

Microemulsions and the flexibility of oil/water interfaces (avec C. Taupin)
J. Phys. Chem. 86, 2294 (1982)

Kinetics of polymer dissolution Physico Chemical Hydrodynamics 4, V4, 313-322 (1983)

A model for contact angle hysteresis (avec J. F. Joanny)
J. Chem. Phys. 81, 552 (1984)

Structure statique des films de mouillage et des lignes de contact
(avec J. F. Joanny) C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 299, 279 (1984)

Wetting : statics and dynamics Rev. Mod. Phys. 57, V3, 827 (1985)

Transitions de monocouches à molécules polaires
(avec C. Andelman, F. Brochard, J. F. Joanny)
C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 301, 675 (1985)

Mécanismes de transformation d'un film de savon horizontal
C. R. Acad. Sci.
(Paris) 303, 259 (1987)

Dynamics of drying and film-thinning
Comptes rendus du
Colloque des Houches sur les Surfactants (Springer, 1987)

Polymers at an interface : a simplified view
Adv. Colloïd Interface Sci. 27, 189-209 (1987)

Ségrégation par traction dans un homopolymère (avec F. Brochard)
C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 306, 699 (1988)

Dynamics of wetting with non-ideal surfaces
I : The single defect
problem (avec E. Raphaël) J. Chem. Phys. 90, 7577 (1989)

Etalement d'une goutte stratifiée incompressible (avec A. M. Cazabat)
C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 310, 1601 (1990)

Shear dependent slippage at a polymer/solid interface; (avec F. Brochard)
Langmuir 8, 3033-3037 (1992)

Dewetting of a water film between a solid and a rubber (avec F. Brochard-Wyart)
J. Phys. : Condens. Matter 6, A-9 - A-12 (1994)

Spontaneous motion of a reactive droplet
C. R. Acad. Sci.
(Paris) 321, 285-288 (1995)

Un muscle artificiel semi-rapide C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 324, 343-348 (1997)

Granular matter : a tentative view
Rev. mod. phys.71,374-382 (1999)

Transient pores in stretched vesicles : role of leak-out ( avec F. Brochard-Wyart, O.Sandre)
Physica A 278,32-51 (2000)

« Marginal pinching » in soap films (avec A. Aradian, E. Raphaël)
Europhys. lett. 55 (6) 834-840 (2001)

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