|Born||May 23, 1908|
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died||January 30, 1991 82) (aged|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Education|| University of Wisconsin (BS, MS)|
Princeton University (PhD)
|Institutions|| Bell Telephone Laboratories |
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities ~1941-1945
|Thesis||Quantum Theory of the Work Function (1936)|
|Doctoral advisor||Eugene Wigner|
|Influences||John Hasbrouck Van Vleck|
John Bardeen ( // ; May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991) was an American physicist and engineer. He is the only person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory.
The transistor revolutionized the electronics industry, making possible the development of almost every modern electronic device, from telephones to computers, and ushering in the Information Age. Bardeen's developments in superconductivity—for which he was awarded his second Nobel Prize—are used in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and superconducting quantum circuits.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Bardeen received a PhD in physics from Princeton University. After serving in World War II, he was a researcher at Bell Labs, and a professor at the University of Illinois. In 1990, Bardeen appeared on Life magazine's list of "100 Most Influential Americans of the Century."
Bardeen was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on May 23, 1908.He was the son of Charles Bardeen, the first dean of the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
Bardeen attended the University High School at Madison. He graduated from the school in 1923 at age 15.He could have graduated several years earlier, but this was postponed because he took courses at another high school and because of his mother's death. Bardeen entered the University of Wisconsin in 1923. While in college, he joined the Zeta Psi fraternity. The needed membership fees he raised partly by playing billiards. Bardeen was initiated as a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. Not wanting to be an academic like his father Bardeen chose engineering. He also felt that engineering had good job prospects.
Bardeen received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1928 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.Despite taking a year off to work in Chicago he graduated in 1928. Taking all the graduate courses in physics and mathematics that had interested him, Bardeen graduated in five years instead of the usual four. This allowed him time to complete his Master's thesis, supervised by Leo J. Peters. He received his Master of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1929 from Wisconsin.
Bardeen furthered his studies by staying on at Wisconsin, but he eventually went to work for Gulf Research Laboratories, the research arm of the Gulf Oil Corporation that was based in Pittsburgh.From 1930 to 1933, Bardeen worked here on the development of methods for the interpretation of magnetic and gravitational surveys. He worked as a geophysicist. After the work failed to keep his interest, he applied and was accepted to the graduate program in mathematics at Princeton University.
As a graduate student, Bardeen studied mathematics and physics. Under physicist Eugene Wigner, he ended up writing his thesis on a problem in solid-state physics. Before completing his thesis, he was offered a position as Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University in 1935. He spent the next three years there, from 1935 to 1938, working with to-be Nobel laureates in physics John Hasbrouck van Vleck and Percy Williams Bridgman on problems in cohesion and electrical conduction in metals, and also did some work on level density of nuclei. He received his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from Princeton in 1936.
From 1941 to 1944, Bardeen headed the group working on magnetic mines and torpedoes and mine and torpedo countermeasures at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. During this period, his wife Jane gave birth to a son (Bill, born in 1941) and a daughter (Betsy, born in 1944).
In October 1945, Bardeen began work at Bell Labs. He was a member of a solid-state physics group, led by William Shockley and chemist Stanley Morgan. Other personnel working in the group were Walter Brattain, physicist Gerald Pearson, chemist Robert Gibney, electronics expert Hilbert Moore and several technicians. He moved his family to Summit, New Jersey.
The assignment of the group was to seek a solid-state alternative to fragile glass vacuum tube amplifiers. Their first attempts were based on Shockley's ideas about using an external electrical field on a semiconductor to affect its conductivity. These experiments mysteriously failed every time in all sorts of configurations and materials. The group was at a standstill until Bardeen suggested a theory that invoked surface states that prevented the field from penetrating the semiconductor. The group changed its focus to study these surface states, and they met almost daily to discuss the work. The rapport of the group was excellent, and ideas were freely exchanged.By the winter of 1946, they had enough results that Bardeen submitted a paper on the surface states to Physical Review . Brattain started experiments to study the surface states through observations made while shining a bright light on the semiconductor's surface. This led to several more papers (one of them co-authored with Shockley), which estimated the density of the surface states to be more than enough to account for their failed experiments. The pace of the work picked up significantly when they started to surround point contacts between the semiconductor and the conducting wires with electrolytes. Moore built a circuit that allowed them to vary the frequency of the input signal easily and suggested that they use glycol borate (gu), a viscous chemical that did not evaporate. Finally, they began to get some evidence of power amplification when Pearson, acting on a suggestion by Shockley, put a voltage on a droplet of gu placed across a p–n junction.
On December 23, 1947, Bardeen and Brattain were working without Shockley when they succeeded in creating a point-contact transistor that achieved amplification. By the next month, Bell Labs' patent attorneys started to work on the patent applications.
Bell Labs' attorneys soon discovered that Shockley's field effect principle had been anticipated and patented in 1930 by Julius Lilienfeld, who filed his MESFET-like patent in Canada on October 22, 1925.
Shockley publicly took the lion's share of the credit for the invention of transistor; this led to a deterioration of Bardeen's relationship with Shockley.Bell Labs management, however, consistently presented all three inventors as a team. Shockley eventually infuriated and alienated Bardeen and Brattain, and he essentially blocked the two from working on the junction transistor. Bardeen began pursuing a theory for superconductivity and left Bell Labs in 1951. Brattain refused to work with Shockley further and was assigned to another group. Neither Bardeen nor Brattain had much to do with the development of the transistor beyond the first year after its invention.
The "transistor" (a portmanteau of "transconductance" and "resistor") was 1/50 the size of the vacuum tubes it replaced in televisions and radios, used far less power, was far more reliable, and it allowed electrical devices to become more compact.
By 1951, Bardeen was looking for a new job. Fred Seitz, a friend of Bardeen, convinced the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign to make Bardeen an offer of $10,000 a year. Bardeen accepted the offer and left Bell Labs.He joined the engineering and physics faculties at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1951. He was Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Physics at Illinois. His Ph.D. student Nick Holonyak (1954), invented the LED in 1962.
At Illinois, he established two major research programs, one in the Electrical Engineering Department and one in the Physics Department. The research program in the Electrical Engineering Department dealt with both experimental and theoretical aspects of semiconductors, and the research program in the Physics Department dealt with theoretical aspects of macroscopic quantum systems, particularly superconductivity and quantum liquids.
He was an active professor at Illinois from 1951 to 1975 and then became Professor Emeritus.In his later life, Bardeen remained active in academic research, during which time he focused on understanding the flow of electrons in charge density waves (CDWs) through metallic linear chain compounds. His proposals that CDW electron transport is a collective quantum phenomenon (see Macroscopic quantum phenomena) were initially greeted with skepticism. However, experiments reported in 2012 show oscillations in CDW current versus magnetic flux through tantalum trisulfide rings, similar to the behavior of superconducting quantum interference devices (see SQUID and Aharonov–Bohm effect), lending credence to the idea that collective CDW electron transport is fundamentally quantum in nature. (See quantum mechanics.) Bardeen continued his research throughout the 1980s, and published articles in Physical Review Letters and Physics Today less than a year before he died.
A collection of Bardeen's personal papers are held by the University of Illinois Archives.
In 1956, John Bardeen shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with William Shockley of Semiconductor Laboratory of Beckman Instruments and Walter Brattain of Bell Telephone Laboratories "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect".
At the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm, Brattain and Shockley received their awards that night from King Gustaf VI Adolf. Bardeen brought only one of his three children to the Nobel Prize ceremony. King Gustav chided Bardeen because of this, and Bardeen assured the King that the next time he would bring all his children to the ceremony. He kept his promise.
In 1957, Bardeen, in collaboration with Leon Cooper and his doctoral student John Robert Schrieffer, proposed the standard theory of superconductivity known as the BCS theory (named for their initials).
In 1972, Bardeen shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Leon N Cooper of Brown University and John Robert Schrieffer of the University of Pennsylvania "for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory".This was Bardeen's second Nobel Prize in Physics. He became the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in the same field. Only three others have ever received more than one Nobel Prize.
Bardeen brought his three children to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm.Bardeen gave much of his Nobel Prize money to fund the Fritz London Memorial Lectures at Duke University.
In addition to being awarded the Nobel prize twice, Bardeen has numerous other awards including:
Bardeen was also an important adviser to Xerox Corporation. Though quiet by nature, he took the uncharacteristic step of urging Xerox executives to keep their California research center, Xerox PARC, afloat when the parent company was suspicious that its research center would amount to little.
Bardeen married Jane Maxwell on July 18, 1938. While at Princeton, he met Jane during a visit to his old friends in Pittsburgh.
Bardeen was a scientist with a very unassuming personality. While he served as a professor for almost 40 years at the University of Illinois, he was best remembered by neighbors for hosting cookouts where he would prepare food for his friends, many of whom were unaware of his accomplishments at the university. He would always ask his guests if they liked the hamburger bun toasted (since he liked his that way). He enjoyed playing golf and going on picnics with his family. Lillian Hoddeson said that because he "differed radically from the popular stereotype of 'genius' and was uninterested in appearing other than ordinary, the public and the media often overlooked him."
When Bardeen was asked about his beliefs during a 1988 interview, he responded: "I am not a religious person, and so do not think about it very much". However, he has also said: "I feel that science cannot provide an answer to the ultimate questions about the meaning and purpose of life." Bardeen did believe in a code of moral values and behaviour.John Bardeen's children were taken to church by his wife, who taught Sunday school and was a church elder. Despite this, he and his wife made it clear that they did not have faith in an afterlife and other religious ideas.
Bardeen died of heart disease at age 82 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 30, 1991.Although he lived in Champaign-Urbana, he had come to Boston for medical consultation. Bardeen and his wife Jane (1907–1997) are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin. They were survived by three children, James, William and Elizabeth Bardeen Greytak, and six grandchildren.
Near the end of this decade, when they begin enumerating the names of the people who had the greatest impact on the 20th century, the name of John Bardeen, who died last week, has to be near, or perhaps even arguably at, the top of the list ... Mr. Bardeen shared two Nobel Prizes and has been awarded numerous other honors. But what greater honor can there be when each of us can look all around us and everywhere see the reminders of a man whose genius has made our lives longer, healthier and better.
— Chicago Tribune editorial, February 3, 1991
In honor of Professor Bardeen, the engineering quadrangle at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is named the Bardeen Quad.
Also in honor of Bardeen, Sony Corporation endowed a $3 million John Bardeen professorial chair at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, beginning in 1990. Sony Corporation owed much of its success to commercializing Bardeen's transistors in portable TVs and radios, and had worked with Illinois researchers. The current John Bardeen Professor is Nick Holonyak, Bardeen's doctoral student and protege.
At the time of Bardeen's death, then-University of Illinois chancellor Morton Weir said, "It is a rare person whose work changes the life of every American; John's did."
Bardeen was honored on a March 6, 2008, United States postage stamp as part of the "American Scientists" series designed by artist Victor Stabin. The $0.41 stamp was unveiled in a ceremony at the University of Illinois.His citation reads: "Theoretical physicist John Bardeen (1908–1991) shared the Nobel Prize in Physics twice—in 1956, as co-inventor of the transistor and in 1972, for the explanation of superconductivity. The transistor paved the way for all modern electronics, from computers to microchips. Diverse applications of superconductivity include infrared sensors and medical imaging systems." The other scientists on the "American Scientists" sheet include biochemist Gerty Cori, chemist Linus Pauling and astronomer Edwin Hubble.
William Bradford Shockley Jr. was an American physicist and inventor. He was the manager of a research group at Bell Labs that included John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. The three scientists were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for "their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect".
Walter Houser Brattain was an American physicist at Bell Labs who, along with fellow scientists John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the point-contact transistor in December 1947. They shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention. Brattain devoted much of his life to research on surface states.
John Robert Schrieffer was an American physicist who, with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper, was a recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the BCS theory, the first successful quantum theory of superconductivity.
Nick Holonyak Jr. is an American engineer and educator. He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light; Holonyak demonstrated the LED on October 9, 1962 while working at General Electric's research laboratory in Syracuse, New York. He is a John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been since leaving General Electric in 1963.
Sir Anthony James Leggett is a British-American theoretical physicist and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Leggett is widely recognised as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics, and his pioneering work on superfluidity was recognised by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics. He has shaped the theoretical understanding of normal and superfluid helium liquids and strongly coupled superfluids. He set directions for research in the quantum physics of macroscopic dissipative systems and use of condensed systems to test the foundations of quantum mechanics. In a 2021 interview given to Federal University of Pará in Brazil, Leggett talks about his early life in London, his path to become a theoretical physicist and also his scientific works and collaborations.
Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory was a pioneering semiconductor developer founded by William Shockley, and funded by Beckman Instruments, Inc., in 1955. It was the first high technology company in what came to be known as Silicon Valley to work on silicon-based semiconductor devices.
Russell Shoemaker Ohl was an American scientist who is generally recognized for patenting the modern solar cell . Ohl was a notable semiconductor researcher prior to the invention of the transistor. He was also known as R.S. Ohl.
James Maxwell Bardeen was an American physicist, well known for his work in general relativity, particularly his role in formulating the laws of black hole mechanics. He also discovered the Bardeen vacuum, an exact solution of the Einstein field equation.
The point-contact transistor was the first type of transistor to be successfully demonstrated. It was developed by research scientists John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at Bell Laboratories in December 1947. They worked in a group led by physicist William Shockley. The group had been working together on experiments and theories of electric field effects in solid state materials, with the aim of replacing vacuum tubes with a smaller device that consumed less power.
Francis Wheeler Loomis, born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, was an American scientist most widely known for his contributions in the field of physics. Loomis received his undergraduate degree and, in 1917, his PhD from Harvard University. His thesis was on thermodynamic measurements of mercury.
A transistor is a semiconductor device with at least three terminals for connection to an electric circuit. In the common case, the third terminal controls the flow of current between the other two terminals. This can be used for amplification, as in the case of a radio receiver, or for rapid switching, as in the case of digital circuits. The transistor replaced the vacuum-tube triode, also called a (thermionic) valve, which was much larger in size and used significantly more power to operate.The first transistor was successfully demonstrated on December 23, 1947, at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Bell Labs is the research arm of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T). The three individuals credited with the invention of the transistor were William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. The introduction of the transistor is often considered one of the most important inventions in history.
Gordon Alan Baym is an American theoretical physicist.
Charles William Bardeen was an American educator and publisher. He devoted his career to improve the education system of the United States. He was the father of Charles Russell Bardeen and grandfather of two-time Nobel Prize winning physicist John Bardeen. He was referred to as C.W. by the later generations of Bardeens.
John Northrup Shive was an American physicist and inventor. He made notable contributions in electronic engineering and solid-state physics during the early days of transistor development at Bell Laboratories. In particular, he produced experimental evidence that holes could diffuse through bulk germanium, and not just along the surface as previously thought. This paved the way from Bardeen and Brattain's point-contact transistor to Shockley's more-robust junction transistor. Shive is best known for inventing the phototransistor in 1948, and for the Shive wave machine in 1959.
The field-effect transistor (FET) is a type of transistor that uses an electric field to control the flow of current in a semiconductor. FETs are devices with three terminals: source, gate, and drain. FETs control the flow of current by the application of a voltage to the gate, which in turn alters the conductivity between the drain and source.
John Harris Miller Jr. is an American physicist with important contributions to the fields of physics, biophysics, Impedance spectroscopy, and material science, mainly known for his role in Charge density wave, research work on Cuprates and Impedance spectroscopy of living organisms. He is particularly known for an effect "Collective Quantum Tunneling of CDW Electrons" and for a well-known paper on the topic written by him and his colleagues, as published in Physical Review Letters. He was a noteworthy student of the twice Nobel laureate physicist John Bardeen who mentioned him at several places in his biography "True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen".
John R. Tucker was an American physicist who made several contributions to the fields of electronics, physics and microwave theory, known for generalizing the microwave mixer theory and presenting the body of work, known as the "Tucker theory", and for his fundamental theoretical contributions which resulted into various advancements in experimental Submillimeter astronomy. He is also credited with laying down some of the technological foundations for making practical Quantum computing possible.
Steven Allan Kivelson is an American theoretical physicist known for several major contributions to condensed matter physics. He is currently the Prabhu Goel Family Professor at Stanford University. Before joining Stanford in 2004, he was a professor of physics at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is a son of Margaret Kivelson, and his father, Daniel Kivelson, was a professor of chemistry in UCLA.
Lillian Hartman Hoddeson is an American historian of science, specializing in the history of physics and technology during the 2nd half of the 20th century.
Karl Hess is the Swanlund Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC). He helped to establish the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at UIUC.
Soon, however, life in Summit would become easy and rich for the Bardeens.
John's mother, Althea, had been reared in the Quaker tradition, and his stepmother, Ruth, was Catholic, but John was resolutely secular throughout his life. He was once "taken by surprise" when an interviewer asked him a question about religion. "I am not a religious person," he said, "and so do not think about it very much." He went on in a rare elaboration of his personal beliefs. "I feel that science cannot provide an answer to the ultimate questions about the meaning and purpose of life. With religion, one can get answers on faith. Most scientists leave them open and perhaps unanswerable, but do abide by a code of moral values. For a civilized society to succeed, there must be a common consensus on moral values and moral behaviour, with due regard to the welfare of our fellow man. There are likely many sets of moral values compatible with successful civilized society. It is when they conflict that difficulties arise."
Every time we attend a funeral service," Jane had once told her sister Betty, "we decide again that we want no such ceremony when we die." She and John agreed that the family could, if they wanted to, have a memorial service conducted by friends and family, "but not a sermon by a stranger, who, if a minister, is bound to dwell on life after death and other religious ideas in which we have no faith.
John Bardeen, a co-inventor of the transistor that led to modern electronics and twice a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, died yesterday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He was 82 years old. ...