John Bardeen

American physicist and engineer

John Bardeen (May 23, 1908January 30, 1991) was an American physicist. He is the only person to have won two Nobel prizes in Physics, in 1956 for the transistor, along with William Shockley and Walter Brattain, and in 1972 for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity together with Leon Neil Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer, now called BCS theory.

John Bardeen, 1956


  • Science is a field which grows continuously with ever expanding frontiers. Further, it is truly international in scope. Any particular advance has been preceded by the contributions of those from many lands who have set firm foundations for further developments. The Nobel awards should be regarded as giving recognition to this general scientific progress as well as to the individuals involved.
    Further, science is a collaborative effort. The combined results of several people working together is often much more effective than could be that of an individual scientist working alone.

Quotes about John Bardeen

  • On the morning of 1 November 1956 the US physicist John Bardeen dropped the frying-pan of eggs that he was cooking for breakfast, scattering its contents on the kitchen floor. He had just heard that he had won the Nobel Prize for Physics along with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for their invention of the transistor. That evening Bardeen was startled again, this time by a parade of his colleagues from the University of Illinois marching to the door of his home bearing champagne and singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".
  • John Bardeen was an avid golfer and a good one. Whenever possible, he sought out golf courses during research or consulting trips. According to the stories, he was as proud of hitting a "hole in one" as he was to win a second Nobel Prize.
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