John Bardeen


John Bardeen Famous memorial

Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 30 Jan 1991 (aged 82)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
Plot Section 25, Plot 078
Memorial ID 7954798 View Source

Nobel Prize Recipient. John Bardeen, an American physicist, received world-wide recognition for being awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 and again in 1972. Each time he co-shared the award with two other American physicists. As of 2021, he is the only recipient to receive two Nobel Prizes in Physics. In 1956 he shared the covet award with William Bradford Shockley and Walter H. Brattain. According to the Nobel Prize committee, the award was given "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect." In 1947 Bardeen and Brattain produced a semiconductor amplifier, which was further developed by Shockley. The component was named a "transistor." In 1972 he shared the covet award with two of his laboratory assistants Leon Cooper and John Robert Schrieffner for, according to the Nobel Prize committee, " their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory." The theory's name was named Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer or BCS theory. Born the second of five children of to the dean of the University of Wisconsin's medical school, his mother was an art historian. A brilliant student, he skipped from the third grade to the seventh grade, then went directly to high school the next year. He received his education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison earning a B.S. then a Master in Science degree in 1928, majoring in electrical engineering. He was 20 years old. He began to research oil prospecting with Gulf Research and Development Corporation. This research was not published until 1949 for fear of competing corporations learning the secret of their successful trade. After leaving the oil business, he earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University in 1936 majoring in mathematical physics. From 1935 to 1938 as a Fellow at Harvard University, he studied solid state physics. In 1938 he became an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota studying superconductivity. During World War II, he served his nation at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Washington, D.C., researching a means for mines and ship detection. In 1945 he joined with Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, where he researched solid state electronics, particularly on the ways semiconductors can conduct electrons, which led to the invention of the transistor and the Nobel Prize nomination. The transistor replaced the bulky vacuum tubes, which were previously used. From 1951 to 1975, he was a professor of electrical engineering and physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1975. It was during this time he received the second Nobel Prize nomination. He continued to do research through the 1980s, and publishing his last paper in 1991. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received during his career a host of honors including being elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1959, the National Medal of Science in 1965, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Medal of Honor in 1971, and with his oldest son being the recipient, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 from United States President Gerald Ford. He also received the Third Century Award from President George H. W. Bush in 1990 for the "exceptional contributions to American society" and in 1988 the Gold Medal from the Soviet Academy of Science. He received honorary doctorates from Harvard University in 1973, Cambridge University in 1977, and the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. "Life Magazine" named him one of the 100 most influential people of the century. He married and the couple had two sons and a daughter.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Evening Blues
  • Added: 6 Oct 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7954798
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Bardeen (23 May 1908–30 Jan 1991), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7954798, citing Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .