World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Edward Mills Purcell

Article Id: WHEBN0000396531
Reproduction Date:

Title: Edward Mills Purcell  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Nicolaas Bloembergen, Felix Bloch, Yevgeny Zavoisky, Nobel Prize in Physics, Nuclear physics
Collection: 1912 Births, 1997 Deaths, American Nobel Laureates, American Nuclear Physicists, American Physicists, Experimental Physicists, Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University Alumni, Harvard University Faculty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Faculty, Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, National Medal of Science Laureates, Nobel Laureates in Physics, People from Christian County, Illinois, Purdue University Alumni, Winners of the Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Edward Mills Purcell

Edward Purcell
Edward Mills Purcell (1912–1997)
Born (1912-08-30)August 30, 1912
Taylorville, Illinois, USA
Died March 7, 1997(1997-03-07) (aged 84)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Nationality United States
Fields Physics
Institutions Harvard University
MIT
Alma mater Purdue University (BSEE)
Harvard University (M.A.)
Harvard University (Ph.D)
Doctoral advisor Kenneth Bainbridge
Other academic advisors John Van Vleck
Doctoral students Nicolaas Bloembergen
George Pake
George Benedek
Charles Pence Slichter
Known for Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
Smith-Purcell effect
21 cm line
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Physics (1952)
Oersted Medal (1967)
National Medal of Science (1979)
Max Delbruck Prize (1984)
Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize (1988)
Horn antenna used by Harold I. Ewen and Edward M. Purcell at the Lyman Laboratory of Physics at Harvard University in 1951 for the first detection of radio radiation from nuclear atomic hydrogen gas in the Milky Way at a wavelength of 21 cm. Now at National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV.[1]

Edward Mills Purcell (August 30, 1912 – March 7, 1997) was an American physicist who shared the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physics for his independent discovery (published 1946) of nuclear magnetic resonance in liquids and in solids.[2] Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has become widely used to study the molecular structure of pure materials and the composition of mixtures.

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Biography

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.[3] 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.[4] 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 also made contributions to astronomy as the first to detect radio emissions from neutral galactic hydrogen (the famous 21 cm line due to hyperfine splitting), affording the first views of the spiral arms of the Milky Way.[5] This observation helped launch the field of radio astronomy, and measurements of the 21 cm line are still an important technique in modern astronomy. He has also made other seminal contributions to solid state physics, with studies of spin-echo relaxation, nuclear magnetic relaxation, and negative spin temperature (important in the development of the laser). With Norman F. Ramsey, he was the first to question the CP symmetry of particle physics.

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.

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",[6] in which he explained a principle referred to as the Scallop theorem.

See also

References

  1. ^ "E. M. Purcell - Biography". The Nobel Prize in Physics 1952 Felix Bloch, E. M. Purcell.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Greek101.com
  4. ^ Purcell, E.; Torrey, H.; Pound, R. (1946). "Resonance Absorption by Nuclear Magnetic Moments in a Solid". Physical Review 69: 37.  
  5. ^ Ewen, H. I.; Purcell, E. M. (1951). "Observation of a Line in the Galactic Radio Spectrum: Radiation from Galactic Hydrogen at 1,420 Mc./sec". Nature 168 (4270): 356.  
  6. ^ Purcell, E. M. (1977). "Life at low Reynolds number". American Journal of Physics 45: 3–1.  

External links


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.