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John Bardeen was born on May 23, 1908, in Madison, Wisconsin, United States, and died on January 30, 1991, in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. He made significant contributions to the fields of electrical engineering and physics, particularly in the development of the transistor and the theory of superconductivity.
Bardeen married Jane Maxwell in 1938 and had three children. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University. Bardeen worked at various institutions, including Bell Labs and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
His intellectual curiosity, combined with a knack for practical problem-solving, motivated him to pursue a career in physics and electrical engineering. His keen insights into the behavior of electrons in solid materials enabled groundbreaking advancements in technology and theoretical physics.
Bardeen's most notable discovery was the transistor, which he developed with Walter Brattain and William Shockley at Bell Labs. This invention revolutionized the field of electronics and paved the way for the development of nearly all modern electronic devices.
Later, in collaboration with Leon Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer, Bardeen developed the BCS theory (named after their initials), a microscopic theory of superconductivity. This theory explains how electrical resistance in certain materials disappears at very low temperatures.
Bardeen is the only person to have received the Nobel Prize in Physics twice. The first was in 1956, shared with Brattain and Shockley for the invention of the transistor. The second was in 1972, shared with Cooper and Schrieffer for the development of the BCS theory of superconductivity. His work on transistors and superconductivity significantly advanced our understanding and technological utilization of quantum mechanics.
While Bardeen did not create a 'formula' in the conventional sense, the BCS theory he co-developed presents a comprehensive mathematical description of superconductivity. The crucial concept is the formation of Cooper pairs, where two electrons with opposite spins and momentum form a bound state at low temperatures, leading to superconductivity.
Given the complexity of the BCS theory, a detailed mathematical representation is beyond the scope of this biography.
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