In 1970 Loïc Le Ribault developed exoscopy, a revolutionary method for analysing grains of sand which makes it possible to retrace their geological history and provenance by examining them with the scanning electron microscope (SEM). At the age of 24 he made his first presentation on this subject to the Académie des Sciences. Many more were to follow.Until 1973 he worked as a researcher under contract to the laboratory of Oceanography at the University of Orsay in Paris.

From 1973 to 1981 he was director of the department of Electronic Microscopy in the main laboratory of the State petrol company Total, in Bordeaux.

In 1975 he was recognized as ‘the researcher who had developed the most important applications of electronic microscopy in sedimentology’. Nowadays the technique of exoscopy is used throughout the world, as much in sedimentology as in mining geology, oil exploration, archeology, oceanography, public works and criminology.

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