Percy Williams Bridgman

About Percy Williams Bridgman

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: April 21, 1882
Birth Place: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, United States
Cause of death: Suicide
Alma mater: Harvard University
Known for: High-pressure physics Operationalism Operational definition
Awards: Rumford Prize (1917) Elliott Cresson Medal (1932) Comstock Prize in Physics (1933) Nobel Prize in Physics (1946) Fellow of the Royal Society (1949) Bingham Medal (1951)
Fields: Physics
Institutions: Harvard University
Doctoral advisor: Wallace Clement Sabine
Doctoral students: Francis Birch Gerald Holton John C. Slater John Hasbrouck Van Vleck

Percy Williams Bridgman

Percy Williams Bridgman was born on April 21, 1882 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, United States, is Physicist. Percy Williams Bridgman was an American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics for developing new techniques in the field of high-pressure physics and for his work on the effect of pressure on solids, liquids and gases. He was the designer of self-tightening joints which made it possible for scientist to carry out experiments where pressures up to 420,000 kilograms per square centimeter could be exerted with a special ‘seal’ that he had developed. Earlier scientists were able to get a maximum of only 3,000 kilograms per square centimeter of pressure during their experiments. He was the first person to enunciate the ‘theory of operationalism’ which says that all scientific concepts could be explained by a set of operations. He had a fertile imagination, intuition and a capacity for analyzing mechanical details which helped him use his dexterity in developing scientific equipment of various kinds. He was never influenced by any external means such as the demands of a society, administrative work or personal weaknesses during his experimental work throughout his career. He helped develop sound-detection systems for anti-submarine warfare during the First World War. He worked on the Manhattan Project on the compressibility of uranium and plutonium during the Second World War.
Percy Williams Bridgman is a member of Scientists

Does Percy Williams Bridgman Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Percy Williams Bridgman has been died on 20 August 1961(1961-08-20) (aged 79)\nRandolph, New Hampshire, United States.

🎂 Percy Williams Bridgman - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Percy Williams Bridgman die, Percy Williams Bridgman was 79 years old.

Popular As Percy Williams Bridgman
Occupation Scientists
Age 79 years old
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Born April 21, 1882 (Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, United States)
Birthday April 21
Town/City Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Percy Williams Bridgman’s zodiac sign is Taurus. According to astrologers, Taurus is practical and well-grounded, the sign harvests the fruits of labor. They feel the need to always be surrounded by love and beauty, turned to the material world, hedonism, and physical pleasures. People born with their Sun in Taurus are sensual and tactile, considering touch and taste the most important of all senses. Stable and conservative, this is one of the most reliable signs of the zodiac, ready to endure and stick to their choices until they reach the point of personal satisfaction.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Percy Williams Bridgman was born in the Year of the Horse. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Horse love to roam free. They’re energetic, self-reliant, money-wise, and they enjoy traveling, love and intimacy. They’re great at seducing, sharp-witted, impatient and sometimes seen as a drifter. Compatible with Dog or Tiger.

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Bridgman entered Harvard University in 1900, and studied physics through to his Ph.D. From 1910 until his retirement, he taught at Harvard, becoming a full professor in 1919. In 1905, he began investigating the properties of matter under high pressure. A machinery malfunction led him to modify his pressure apparatus; the result was a new device enabling him to create pressures eventually exceeding 100,000 kgf/cm (10 GPa; 100,000 atmospheres). This was a huge improvement over previous machinery, which could achieve pressures of only 3,000 kgf/cm (0.3 GPa). This new apparatus led to an abundance of new findings, including a study of the compressibility, electric and thermal conductivity, tensile strength and viscosity of more than 100 different compounds. Bridgman is also known for his studies of electrical conduction in metals and properties of crystals. He developed the Bridgman seal and is the eponym for Bridgman's thermodynamic equations.


Bridgman married Olive Ware, of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1912. Ware's father, Edmund Asa Ware, was the founder and first President of Atlanta University. The couple had two children and were married for 50 years, living most of that time in Cambridge. The family also had a summer home in Randolph, New Hampshire, where Bridgman was known as a skilled mountain climber.


His philosophy of science book The Logic of Modern Physics (1927) advocated operationalism and coined the term operational definition. In 1938 he participated in the International Committee composed to organise the International Congresses for the Unity of Science. He was also one of the 11 signatories to the Russell–Einstein Manifesto.


Bridgman received Doctors, honoris causa from Stevens Institute (1934), Harvard (1939), Brooklyn Polytechnic (1941), Princeton (1950), Paris (1950), and Yale (1951). He received the Bingham Medal (1951) from the Society of Rheology, the Rumford Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1919), the Elliott Cresson Medal (1932) from the Franklin Institute, the Gold Medal from Bakhuys Roozeboom Fund (founder Hendrik Willem Bakhuis Roozeboom) (1933) from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Comstock Prize (1933) of the National Academy of Sciences.


Bridgman was a member of the American Physical Society and was its President in 1942. He was also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He was a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and Honorary Fellow of the Physical Society of London.


The Percy W. Bridgman House, in Massachusetts, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark designated in 1975.


In 2014, the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) approved the name bridgmanite for perovskite-structured (Mg,Fe)SiO3, the Earth's most abundant mineral, in honor of his high-pressure research.

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