On 15 August 1892, Louis de Broglie (1892–1987) was born in Dieppe, France.
Born of French nobility, he won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physics for “his discovery of the wave nature of electrons,” i.e. λ=h/p, which had been experimentally verified severals years before. Within statistical physics, this has a related form, the “thermal wavelength,” i.e. λ=√(h²/2πmkBT), which describes the length scale on which particles vibrate due to thermal fluctuation.
He also developed the theory of the internal clock of the electron, the non-zero rest masses of the neutrino and photon, a generalization of the principle of least action, the neutrino theory of light, the duality of laws of physics, and a ‘hidden thermodynamics’ theory equating Fermat’s action principle with Carnot’s principle of entropy—concepts which perhaps were and are prophetic of future directions of physics.
“Scientists have faith in the value of the human spirit and in scientific achievements. They believe that all the difficulties impeding the progress of science will always be surmounted, that man will be granted an ever fuller vision of the harmonies of nature and an ever greater control of her phenomena. The true scientist, no matter what his other philosophic or religious attitudes, is always a believer, a man who believes in the value of science and the power of man’s spirit to resolve the problems that observation of the external world and the constant increase of our knowledge ceaselessly pose…”
A source noted the following on his own religious background:
“Albert de Broglie [(1821–1901)] was the grandfather of Louis de Broglie. In his youth, Louis, the future physicist, felt a calling to become a historian of the Middle Ages and eighteenth-century diplomacy. He was drawn by the powerful example of his grandfather. Albert de Broglie, devoted to the values of traditionalism, to catholic values and ultramontanism, had contested the eighteenth-century skeptical standpoint. He published a work in six volumes, ‘L’Eglise et Empire Romain au iv Siècle’ (‘The Church and the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century’), directed against the rationalist view of Edward Gibbon that the triumph of Christianity over paganism was the outcome of political circumstances. His brother, August-Théodore-Paul de Broglie [(1834–1895)], had dedicated himself to the church; feeling a religious vocation, he resigned his lieutenancy in the French navy to become a priest, and wrote a long series of articles in defense of Catholic dogma against positivist science and other ideological fashions. At the time he died, he was undertaking a book to show the concordance of reason and faith.”