Collected Experimental Papers, Volume 1

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Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1964 - Science - 4721 pages
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Physical Papers Omitted
Volume IV

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About the author (1964)

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1882, Percy Bridgman studied at Harvard University. He received his B.S. in 1900 and graduated summa cum laude in physics in 1904. The following year he received his M.A. and in 1908 he earned his Ph.D. Early in his career, Bridgman was drawn to studying the behavior of material when subjected to high pressures. Bridgman remained at Harvard after his student years; he was named research fellow and later professor in physics. During his research into high-pressure physics, Bridgeman explored the properties of many liquids and solids and designed innovative experimental equipment. He proposed a process for synthesizing diamonds, which was finally successfully implemented in 1955. This technique was favorably applied to other problems of mineral synthesis, and his work became the basis for a new school of geology based on experiments conducted at high pressures and temperatures. During the rise of totalitarianism in the 1930s, Bridgman wrote a manifesto, or a personal statement, in which he denied access to his laboratory to, and refused to discuss his work with, any citizen from a totalitarian state. During this decade, Bridgman wrote The Intelligent Individual and Society (1939). In 1946 Bridgman was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. He invented a chamber that could withstand temperatures never before attained. His apparatus opened the way for other scientific developments and advances in thermodynamics, the properties of matter, crystallography, and electric conduction in metals. Bridgman is widely known as a philosopher of science. Realizing that many ambiguities arise in an examination of scientific methodology, he published The Nature of Physical Theory (1936) and The Logic of Modern Physics (1927), in which he argued his view that a scientific concept is really a set of operations, a view that is still widely discussed. Bridgman died of bone cancer in 1969 at the age of 79.

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