Bridgman, P.W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1882-04-21
Death 1961-08-20
Americans
French, German, English, Spanish; Castilian, Italian

Biographical notes:

Percy Williams Bridgman (1882-1961), was a physicist.  His contributions to the field concern the effects of high pressures on materials and their thermodynamic behavior, contributions that would not have been possible without the equipment, particularly a seal, that he invented himself.  He also contributed to crystallography, electrical conduction in metals, and the philosophy of modern physics.  He was a Nobel laureate in physics (1946) and recipient of many other honors.  He earned his Harvard AB 1904, Harvard AM 1905, and Ph.D. 1908.  He joined the Harvard Faculty in 1908, was appointed Instructor (1910) and Assistant Professor (1919), before becoming Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 1926.  He was appointed Higgins University Professor in 1950.  Bridgman published more than 260 papers and 13 books.  He took his own life in 1961, rather than dying of the cancer with which he had been diagnosed.

From the guide to the Papers of Percy Williams Bridgman, (inclusive), 1905-1982, (Harvard University Archives)

Physicist (high pressures, metallic conduction). On the physics faculty at Harvard University from 1904; consultant, United States Army, 1942-1945; president American Physical Society, 1942; Nobel Prize for physics, 1946.

From the description of Crank theories collection, 1925-1961. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79973558

Percy Williams Bridgman (1882-1961), was a physicist. His contributions to the field concern the effects of high pressures on materials and their thermodynamic behavior, contributions which would not have been possible without the equipment, particularly a seal, that he invented himself. He also contributed to crystallography, electrical conduction in metals, and the philosophy of modern physics. He was a Nobel laureate in physics (1946) and recipient of many other honors. He earned his Harvard AB 1904, Harvard AM 1905, and Ph.D. 1908. He joined the Harvard Faculty in 1908, was appointed Instructor (1910) and Assistant Professor (1919), before becoming Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 1926. He was appointed Higgins University Professor in 1950. Bridgman published more than 260 papers and 13 books. He took his own life in 1961, rather than dying of the cancer with which he had been diagnosed.

From the description of Papers of Percy Williams Bridgman, 1905-1982 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76972984

The Unity of Science Movement was a philosophic program that developed from the positions of the "Vienna Circle" philosophers of the late 1920s. The movement's founder and chief promoter was the sociologist Otto Neurath; and Charles W. Morris of the University of Chicago and Rudolph Carnap were also very active in the group's administration. Phillip Frank, Hans Reichenbach, Louis Roughier, Joergen Joergensen, Herbert Feigl, Carl Hempel and Victor F. Lenzen also contributed to the literature of unified science, whose advocates sought a common empirical attitude towards all the sciences and strove to develop a single, comprehensive scientific language. The participants in the movement believed a unified philosophical and methodological foundation for the sciences could be constructed by these means, and by the careful excision from science of "metaphysical," i.e., nonempirical concepts.

Along with their philosophic program, the members of the movement undertook the publication of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. Otto Neurath began organizing this project in 1935 during the first of many International Congresses for the Unity of Science. Throughout the 1930s there was an outpouring of unified science literature from sources including the journal Erkenntnis (edited by Rudolph Carnap and Hans Reichenbach), the publication series Einheitswissenschaft, and the American journals Philosophy of Science and the Journal of Symbolic Logic. Though the initial interest in the movement among philosophers was strong, activity in the Unity of Science Movement was severely restricted by the outbreak of the Second World War. Only the first two of the planned 200 volumes of the Encyclopedia were ever published. The congresses were stopped in 1941, the last having been held at the University of Chicago. Neurath relocated in England during the war and died there in 1945. Many of the other European members of the movement immigrated to the United States and contributed to the development of American scientific philosophy in the 1950s and 1960s.

From the guide to the Unity of Science Movement. Records, 1934-1968, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

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Subjects:

  • Relativity (Physics)
  • Nuclear physics
  • Space and time
  • Physics--Philosophy
  • Relativity (Physics)--Research
  • Eccentrics and eccentricities
  • Matter
  • Mathematics--Societies, etc
  • Cosmology
  • Ether (Space)
  • Thermodynamics--Research
  • Magnetism
  • Quantum theory
  • Atomic theory
  • Electricity
  • Metallurgy

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  • Physicists

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