(May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991)

John Bardeen gained fame after becoming the first (and so far the only) person who won two Nobel Prizes in physics. But that is not why he is on this list. His intellect alongside research outputs, and their influences on electronics developments, placed him here. The transistor was invented by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley (in 1947), when they worked in collaboration. Shockley was their lab manager then. But his arrogance and unruly attitudes towards Bardeen and Brattain ensured that those two ended all cooperation with him. Notwithstanding, the trio shared the Nobel Prize in 1956 for the invention. Although Bardeen never participated in advancing transistors beyond that year of invention, his role and credit cannot be expunged. He proceeded to work on Superconductivity with Leon Cooper and John Schrieffer (who was his former doctorate student). Their efforts culminated in the 1957 proposition of the first microscopic theory of superconductivity, known now as Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer Theory. In 1972, those three shared Nobel Prize for it. Their work on superconductivity is crucial for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technique, which in turn, remains essential for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In addition to John Schrieffer, Nick Holonyak Jr., (who discovered the first visible wavelength GaAs laser diode), is Bardeen’s ex-student of international repute. As honor for his contributions to science, the-then world’s biggest electronics company, Sony Corporation, setup a US$3 million John Bardeen professorial chair endowment at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1990. Subsequently (in 2008), his native USA commemorated him through stamps and several other monuments.


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