From 1815 to 1816 he studied at the École Polytechnique in Paris. He was trained in physics and mathematics. In 1828 he took the degree of a doctor of science with a dissertation entitled Recherches sur la force du coeur aortique. He was interested in the flow of a human blood in narrow tubes.
In 1838 he experimentally derived and in 1840 and 1846 formulated and published the Poiseuille's law (or the Hagen-Poiseuille law also named after Gotthilf Heinrich Ludwig Hagen (1797-1884)) about the voluminal laminar stationary flow of incompressible uniform viscous liquid (so called Newtonian fluid) through a cylindrical tube with the constant circular cross-section, which can be successfully applied for blood flow in capillaries and veins, for air flow in lung alveoli, for the flow through a soda straw or through a hypodermic needle.
He died in Paris.