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Bardeen, Johnlocked

(23 May 1908–30 January 1991)
  • David Y. Cooper


Bardeen, John (23 May 1908–30 January 1991), physicist, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Charles Russell Bardeen, an anatomist and dean of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, and Althea Harmer. Bardeen received his early education at an experimental school in Madison, and after skipping the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades he entered the University High School. He then transferred to Central High School, from which he graduated in 1923. In his youth Bardeen was a champion swimmer and billiard player despite a tremor that he had suffered since infancy. In 1924 he entered the University of Wisconsin, where in 1928 he earned a degree in electrical engineering with mathematics and physics as his minor studies. While an undergraduate, he worked in the engineering department of the Western Electric Company (the predecessor of Bell Telephone Laboratories). Bardeen received an M.S. in electrical engineering in 1929 from Wisconsin, having carried out experiments on the applied physics of radiation from antennas. In 1930 he went with one of his advisors, Leo J. Peters, to work for the Gulf Research and Development Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There they worked to develop new techniques for analyzing maps of magnetic and gravitational field strength to facilitate locating oil deposits. Bardeen enrolled in 1933 at Princeton University, where he studied mathematics under the quantum physicist ...

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