Materials Research Activities

Jacques Friedel introduction

Jacques Friedel

Jacques Friedel, born in Paris, February 11, 1921, entered the Ecole polytechnique (1944-46) then the Ecole nationale supérieure des mines (1946-48). He thus followed up the family tradition starting  with his great-grand father Charles Friedel, a famous organic chemist and crystallographer at Paris Sorbonne, his grand-father Georges Friedel best known for his work on liquid crystals, his father Edmond Friedel who was the director of the National School of Mines (1937-65). Jacques Friedel obtained a Licence ès sciences degree at the University of Paris in 1948, then was initiated to physical metallurgy in the Metallurgy Laboratory of the School of Mines headed by C. Crussard. He spent three years at Bristol University (UK) in Nevill F. Mott’s physics department. There he became acquainted with the electronic structure of metals and with dislocations, a topic developed by Charles Frank. In 1952 he got a PhD. from Bristol and a Doctorat d’Etat in Paris in 1954 on the electronic structure of impurities in metals.

In 1956, he became assistant professor at Paris University, then full professor of Solid State Physics at Paris Sud in Orsay from 1959 to 1989. For thirty years he developed a research school in solid state physics, authored a volume Les dislocations (Paris, Gauthier Villars,1956, 2nd ed. Dislocations, Pergamon, 1964) and more than 200 journal articles. His original contributions dealt with various branches of solid state physics, in particular the electronic structure of metallic alloys and of metals, the structure of surfaces of dislocations and of clusters.

Jacques Friedel chaired the Consultative Committee to the French Government for scientific and technological research (1978-1980), was the President of the Société française de physique and of the European Physical Society. Among many responsabilities in French scientific institutions, Jacques Friedel became the President of the French Academy of Sciences (1992-1994).
  • Interview with Jacques Friedel
  • Letter from Jacques Friedel to Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent

This page was written by Bernadette Bensaude-Vicent. It was last updated on 28 April 2004 by Arne Hessenbruch