Edward Mills Purcell

About Edward Mills Purcell

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: August 30, 1912
Birth Place: Taylorville, Illinois, USA, United States
Alma mater: Purdue University (BSEE) Harvard University (M.A.) Harvard University (Ph.D)
Known for: Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) Smith-Purcell effect 21 cm line Scallop theorem
Awards: Nobel Prize for Physics (1952) Oersted Medal (1967) National Medal of Science (1979) Max Delbruck Prize (1984) Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize (1988)
Fields: Physics
Institutions: Harvard University MIT
Doctoral advisor: Kenneth Bainbridge
Other academic advisors: John Van Vleck
Doctoral students: George Pake George Benedek Charles Pence Slichter
Other notable students: Nicolaas Bloembergen

Edward Mills Purcell

Edward Mills Purcell was born on August 30, 1912 in Taylorville, Illinois, USA, United States, is Physicist. Edward Mills Purcell was a well-known American physicist. He shared the ‘Nobel Prize’ for Physics in 1952 with Felix Bloch, a Swiss physicist working mainly in the United States. They were awarded the ‘Nobel Prize’ for "their development of new ways and methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements." Purcell is known in the science community for his independent discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) helps scientists determine the chemical structure and properties of materials with precision. NMR is also the basis of modern day magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used as a non-invasive diagnostic tool to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. Purcell not only made significant contribution to physics but contributed to astronomy as well. He is also remembered by biologists for his famous lecture “Life at Low Reynolds Number” in which he explained a principle called the Scallop theorem. He was the first to question the CP symmetry of particle physics. Purcell received many awards during his lifetime for his scientific, educational, and civic work. He served as a science advisor to the U. S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Edward Mills Purcell is a member of Scientists

Does Edward Mills Purcell Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Edward Mills Purcell has been died on March 7, 1997(1997-03-07) (aged 84)\nCambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

🎂 Edward Mills Purcell - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Edward Mills Purcell die, Edward Mills Purcell was 84 years old.

Popular As Edward Mills Purcell
Occupation Scientists
Age 84 years old
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Born August 30, 1912 (Taylorville, Illinois, USA, United States)
Birthday August 30
Town/City Taylorville, Illinois, USA, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Edward Mills Purcell’s zodiac sign is Virgo. According to astrologers, Virgos are always paying attention to the smallest details and their deep sense of humanity makes them one of the most careful signs of the zodiac. Their methodical approach to life ensures that nothing is left to chance, and although they are often tender, their heart might be closed for the outer world. This is a sign often misunderstood, not because they lack the ability to express, but because they won’t accept their feelings as valid, true, or even relevant when opposed to reason. The symbolism behind the name speaks well of their nature, born with a feeling they are experiencing everything for the first time.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Edward Mills Purcell was born in the Year of the Rat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are a good friend and are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, can be greedy, is ever curious, seeks knowledge and welcomes challenges. Compatible with Dragon or Monkey.

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Born and raised in Taylorville, Illinois, Purcell received his BSEE in electrical engineering from Purdue University, followed by his M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He was a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity while at Purdue. After spending the years of World War II working at the MIT Radiation Laboratory on the development of microwave radar, Purcell returned to Harvard to do research. In December 1946, he discovered nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with his colleagues Robert Pound and Henry Torrey. NMR provides Scientists with an elegant and precise way of determining chemical structure and properties of materials, and is widely used in physics and chemistry. It also is the basis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century. For his discovery of NMR, Purcell shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in physics with Felix Bloch of Stanford University.


Purcell was the author of the innovative introductory text Electricity and Magnetism. The book, a Sputnik-era project funded by an NSF grant, was influential for its use of relativity in the presentation of the subject at this level. The 1965 edition, now freely available due to a condition of the federal grant, was originally published as a volume of the Berkeley Physics Course. Half a century later, the book is also in print as a commercial third edition, as Purcell and Morin. Purcell is also remembered by biologists for his famous lecture "Life at Low Reynolds Number", in which he explained a principle referred to as the Scallop theorem.


Purcell was the recipient of many awards for his scientific, educational, and civic work. He served as science advisor to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. He was President of the American Physical Society, and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1979, and the Jansky Lectureship before the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Purcell was also inducted into his Fraternity's (Phi Kappa Sigma) Hall of Fame as the first Phi Kap ever to receive a Nobel Prize.

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