John Bardeen

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John Bardeen (May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991) was an American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won 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 Neil Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory.

The transistor revolutionized the electronics industry, allowing the Information Age to occur, and made possible the development of almost every modern electronical device, from telephones to computers to missiles. Bardeen's developments in superconductivity, which won him his second Nobel, are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In 1990, John Bardeen appeared on LIFE Magazine's list of "100 Most Influential Americans of the Century."[1]


Early life

John Bardeen was born in Madison, Wisconsin on May 23, 1908.[2] He was the second son of Dr. Charles Russell Bardeen and Althea Harmer Bardeen. He was one of five children. His father, Charles Bardeen, was Professor of Anatomy and the first Dean of the Medical School of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Althea Bardeen, before marrying, had taught at the Dewey Laboratory School and run an interior decorating business; after marriage she was an active figure in the art world.

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