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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

P. W. Bridgman

Photo

Dates

April 21, 1882 – August 21, 1961

Authorized Form of Name

Bridgman, P. W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961

Additional Forms of Names

Bridgman, P. W.

Bridgman, Percy Williams

Bridgman, Percy Williams, 1882-1961

Biography

Abstract

Percy Williams Bridgman investigated the properties of matter under high pressure and won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work. Bridgman is also known for his research on electrical conduction in metals and properties of crystals.

Important Dates

April 21, 1882Birth, Cambridge (Mass.).

1904Obtained AB, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1904 – 1961Assistant in Physics (1904-1913); Assistant Professor of Physics (1913-1919); Professor of Physics (1919-1926); Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy (1926-1950); Higgins University Professor (1950-1954); and Higgins University Professor, Emeritus (1954-1961), Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1905Obtained AM, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1908Obtained PhD in Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1917Awarded Rumford Prize, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1918Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1932Awarded the Cresson Medal, The Franklin Institute.

1933Awarded both the Comstock Prize, National Academy of Sciences, and the Roozenboom Medal, Netherlands Royal Academy.

1942President, American Physical Society.

1946Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures, and for the discoveries he made therewith in the field of high pressure physics".

1949Fellow, Royal Society.

1951Awarded the Bingham Medal, Society of Rheology.

August 21, 1961Death, Cambridge (Mass.).

Occupation

High pressure physicist.

Places

Birth

Cambridge (Mass.)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Death

Cambridge (Mass.)

Subjects

Atomic theory.

Crystallography.

High pressure (Science).

Magnetism.

Metallurgy.

Space and time.

Thermodynamics.

Relationships

People

Family

Bridgman, Jane

Daughter.

Bridgman, Mary Ann

Mother.

Bridgman, P. W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961

Bridgman, Raymond L. (Raymond Landon), 1848-1925

Father.

Bridgman, Robert Ware

Son.

Ware, Olive

Wife.

Advisors & Collaborators

Birch, Francis, 1903-1992

Advised by Bridgman at Harvard University and both employed at Harvard University.

Kemble, Edwin C. (Edwin Crawford), 1889-

Advised by Bridgman at Harvard and both employed at Harvard University.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Advised by Bridgman at Harvard University.

Sabine, Wallace Clement

Ph.D. advisor at Harvard University.

Slater, John C. (John Clarke), 1900-1976

Advised by Bridgman at Harvard University and both employed at Harvard.

Colleagues

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bainbridge, Kenneth T. (Kenneth Tompkins), 1904-1996

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bardeen, John

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bloembergen, N.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Branscomb, Lewis M., 1926-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brooks, Harvey

Both employed at Harvard University.

Coleman, Sidney, 1937-2007

Both employed at Harvard University.

Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978

Both employed at Harvard University.

Feenberg, Eugene

Both employed at Harvard University.

Fisk, James B. (James Brown), 1910-1981

Both employed at Harvard University.

Fletcher, James Chipman, 1919-1991

Both employed at Harvard University.

Furry, W. H. (Wendell Hinkle), 1907-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Glauber, Roy J., 1925-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Griggs, David, 1911-1974

Both employed at Harvard University.

Hill, Edward Lee, 1904-1974

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kent, R. H. (Robert Harrington), 1886-1961

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kirkwood, John Gamble, 1907-1959

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kleppner, Daniel

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kohn, Walter, 1923-2016

Both employed at Harvard University.

Lyman, Theodore, 1874-1954

Both employed at Harvard University.

Mackey, George W. (George Whitelaw), 1916-2006

Both employed at Harvard University.

Martin, Paul Cecil, 1931-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Both employed at Harvard University.

Nier, Alfred O. (Alfred Otto), 1911-1994

Both employed at Harvard University.

Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956

Both employed at Harvard University.

Pound, Robert V.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Purcell, Edward M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Harvard University.

Saunders, Frederick A. (Frederick Albert), 1875-1963

Both employed at Harvard University.

Schiffer, Menahem

Both employed at Harvard University.

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

Both employed at Harvard University.

Segal, Irving Ezra

Both employed at Harvard University.

Spitzer, Lyman, 1914-1997

Both employed at Harvard University.

Starr, Chauncey

Both employed at Harvard University.

Street, Jabez Curry, 1906-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Thomas, Tracy Y. (Tracy Yerkes), 1899-1983

Both employed at Harvard University.

Tousey, Richard

Both employed at Harvard University.

Ulam, Stanislaw M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Both employed at Harvard University.

Webster, David Locke, 1888-1976

Both employed at Harvard University.

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Both employed at Harvard University.

Additional

Allen, Mildred, 1894-1990

Armstrong, Alice H.

Bleaney, B. (Brebis)

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Buck, Paul Herman, 1899-1978

Clapp, Roger Edge, 1919-1990

Darrow, Karl K. (Karl Kelchner), 1891-

Drickamer, H. G. (Harry George), 1918-2002

Fajans, Kasimir, 1887-1975

Frank, Philipp, 1884-1966

Goetz, Alexander, 1897-1970

Holton, Gerald James

Hunt, Frederick V.

Jeffreys, Harold, 1891-1989

Libby, Willard F.

Lindsay, Robert Bruce, 1900-

MacDonald, Gordon J. (Gordon James), 1929-2002

Margenau, Henry, 1901-1997

McFarlan, Ronald Lyman

Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994

Richardson, O. W. (Owen Willans), 1879-1959

Runcorn, S. K.

Sanford, Hugh Wheeler, 1879-1961

Sharp, Robert P. (Robert Phillip)

Tate, John T. (John Torrence), 1889-1950

Walter, Maila L.

Institutions

Major Positions

Harvard University. Department of Mathematics

Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Obtained AB in 1904, AM in 1905, and PhD in 1908. Assistant in Physics; Assistant Professor of Physics; Professor of Physics; Higgins University Professor; and Higgins University Professor, Emeritus.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Received 1917 Rumford Prize.

American Physical Society

President.

Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Awarded the 1932 Cresson Medal.

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Royal Society (Great Britain)

Society of Rheology (U.S.)

Awarded the 1951 Bingham Medal.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Percy W. Bridgman crank theories collection, 1925-1961.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Percy Williams Bridgman papers, 1905-1982.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Some of the broader implications of science [sound recording] : John Franklin Carlson Lecture at Iowa State University, 1957 May 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Alexander Goetz papers, 1919-1976 (bulk 1930-1976).

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Edgar Buckingham papers, 1889-1938.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Harry G. Drickamer response to History of Geophysics Survey, 1997.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Harvard University Department of Physics records, 1879-[ongoing].

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Hugh W. Sanford papers, 1866-1963.

Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, East Tennessee Historical Center

Knox County Public Library

314 W. Clinch Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA

Iowa State University John Franklin Carlson Lecture records, 1955-1969.

Parks Library. Department of Special Collections

Iowa State University

Ames, IA 50011, USA

J. H. Van Vleck biographical information, 1963.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

J. H. Van Vleck papers, 1853-1981 (1920-1980).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

John Bardeen papers, 1910-1991.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Joint ceremonial session of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers [sound recording] / 1971 February 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Kasimir Fajans papers, 1912-1975.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Midcentury Convocation records, 1949.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

O. W. Richardson papers, 1897-1959 (bulk 1920-1940).

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

University of Texas at Austin

P.O. Drawer 7219, Austin, TX 78713-7219, USA

Oral history interview with Alice Armstrong, 1979 June 11.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Brebis Bleaney, 1982 January 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edward M. Purcell, 1976 November 23.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin C. Kemble, 1962 May 11 to 1963 October 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frederick Vinton Hunt, 1964 December 18 and 1965 January 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Gerald Holton, 1977 January 11.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Gordon J. MacDonald, 1993 November 15, 1994 March 18 and 1995 August 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Henry Margenau, 1964 May 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. H. Van Vleck, 1963 October 2 and 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1963 November 18 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Clarke Slater, 1963 October 3 and 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Van Vleck, 1977 January 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Karl K. Darrow, 1964 April 2 and 10 June.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Linus Carl Pauling, 1964 March 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Mildred Allen, 1979 June 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Niels Bohr, 1962 October 31, November 1, 7, 14, and 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Buck, 1977 March 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Philipp Frank, 1962 July 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Bruce Lindsay, 1964 May 6 and July 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Phillip Sharp, 1990 April 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ronald Lyman McFarlan, 1979 December 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with S. Keith Runcorn, 1993 September 16 and 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Willard Frank Libby, 1979 April 12 and 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Reviews of Modern Physics correspondence of John Torrence Tate, 1928.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Roger Edge Clapp papers, 1914-1991 (bulk 1940-1991).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Sir Harold Jeffreys papers, 1886-1999.

The Library

St. John's College

Cambridge CB2 1TP

The first ten years of John Slater's scientific career, circa 1979.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

A condensed collection of thermodynamic formulas / by P.W. Bridgman

A physicist's second reaction to Mengenlehre / by P.W. Bridgman.

A sophisticate's primer of relativity / Prologue and epilogue by Adolf Grünbaum.

Collected experimental papers [by] P.W. Bridgman.

Dimensional analysis / by W.P. Bridgman

Reflections of a physicist.

Reprints (not included in Collected Papers).

Some results in the field of high-pressure physics.

Studies in large plastic flow and fracture : with special emphasis on the effects of hydrostatic pressure.

The effect of pressure on the thermal conductivity of metals / by P. W. Bridgman.

The logic of modern physics / by P.W. Bridgman

The nature of physical theory / published on the Louis Clark Vanuxem Foundation.

The nature of some of our physical concepts.

The nature of thermodynamics.

The physics of high pressure, by P.W. Bridgman

The technique of high pressure experimenting / by P.W. Bridgman.

The thermodynamics of electrical phenomena in metals, and A condensed collection of thermodynamic formulas.

The way things are.

Subject

"Percy Williams Bridgman: 1882-1961", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

Percy W. Bridgman Physics Today obituary.

Science and Cultural Crisis: An Intellectual Biography of Percy Williams Bridgman