Bardeen

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Richard Hoptroff

Trinity Church Square, London, 10th October 2014

There are some heroes of modern life who go much unsung.  One is John Bardeen, 1908 - 1991, the only person to have two Nobel prizes for Physics.

His first Nobel was for inventing the transistor; he is pictured below, along with his prototype.  They've got a lot smaller since then, of course.  But without him, none of my watches would have been possible.  Or whatever device you are reading this on.

His second Nobel was for explaining how superconductivity worked.  Hopefully that knowledge will change the next generation as much as the transistor changed ours.

But his legacy didn't stop there.  His first PhD student was Nick Holonyak, inventor of the light emitting diode (LED), as efficient light source that will go a long way towards helping to reduce carbon emissions.  His support at Xerox Parc led to the creation of graphical user interfaces - the computer and phone screens you use, as well as the computer mouse you move your cursor around with.

"Science is a field which grows continuously with ever expanding frontiers" - JB

 

 

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