Philip Warren Anderson

Philip Warren Anderson

Overview
Philip Warren Anderson is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 and Nobel laureate. Anderson has made contributions to the theories of localization
Anderson localization
In condensed matter physics, Anderson localization, also known as strong localization, is the absence of diffusion of waves in a disordered medium. This phenomenon is named after the American physicist P. W...

, antiferromagnetism
Antiferromagnetism
In materials that exhibit antiferromagnetism, the magnetic moments of atoms or molecules, usuallyrelated to the spins of electrons, align in a regular pattern with neighboring spins pointing in opposite directions. This is, like ferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism, a manifestation of ordered magnetism...

 and high-temperature superconductivity
High-temperature superconductivity
High-temperature superconductors are materials that have a superconducting transition temperature above . From 1960 to 1980, 30 K was thought to be the highest theoretically possible Tc...

.

Anderson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 and grew up in Urbana, Illinois
Urbana, Illinois
Urbana is the county seat of Champaign County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,250. Urbana is the tenth-most populous city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area....

. He graduated from University Laboratory High School in Urbana in 1940. Afterwards, he went to Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 for undergraduate and graduate work, with a wartime stint at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in-between.
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Encyclopedia
Philip Warren Anderson is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 and Nobel laureate. Anderson has made contributions to the theories of localization
Anderson localization
In condensed matter physics, Anderson localization, also known as strong localization, is the absence of diffusion of waves in a disordered medium. This phenomenon is named after the American physicist P. W...

, antiferromagnetism
Antiferromagnetism
In materials that exhibit antiferromagnetism, the magnetic moments of atoms or molecules, usuallyrelated to the spins of electrons, align in a regular pattern with neighboring spins pointing in opposite directions. This is, like ferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism, a manifestation of ordered magnetism...

 and high-temperature superconductivity
High-temperature superconductivity
High-temperature superconductors are materials that have a superconducting transition temperature above . From 1960 to 1980, 30 K was thought to be the highest theoretically possible Tc...

.

Biography


Anderson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 and grew up in Urbana, Illinois
Urbana, Illinois
Urbana is the county seat of Champaign County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,250. Urbana is the tenth-most populous city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area....

. He graduated from University Laboratory High School in Urbana in 1940. Afterwards, he went to Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 for undergraduate and graduate work, with a wartime stint at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in-between. In graduate school he studied under John Hasbrouck van Vleck
John Hasbrouck van Vleck
John Hasbrouck Van Vleck was an American physicist and mathematician, co-awarded the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics, for his contributions to the understanding of the behavior of electrons in magnetic solids....

.

From 1949 to 1984 he worked at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, where he worked on a wide variety of problems in condensed matter physics
Condensed matter physics
Condensed matter physics deals with the physical properties of condensed phases of matter. These properties appear when a number of atoms at the supramolecular and macromolecular scale interact strongly and adhere to each other or are otherwise highly concentrated in a system. The most familiar...

. During this period he discovered the concept of localization
Anderson localization
In condensed matter physics, Anderson localization, also known as strong localization, is the absence of diffusion of waves in a disordered medium. This phenomenon is named after the American physicist P. W...

, the idea that extended states can be localized by the presence of disorder in a system; the Anderson Hamiltonian, which describes electrons in a transition metal
Transition metal
The term transition metal has two possible meanings:*The IUPAC definition states that a transition metal is "an element whose atom has an incomplete d sub-shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell." Group 12 elements are not transition metals in this definition.*Some...

; he also claimed to have discovered the "Higgs" mechanism
Higgs mechanism
In particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is the process in which gauge bosons in a gauge theory can acquire non-vanishing masses through absorption of Nambu-Goldstone bosons arising in spontaneous symmetry breaking....

 for generating mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 in elementary particle
Elementary particle
In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle not known to have substructure; that is, it is not known to be made up of smaller particles. If an elementary particle truly has no substructure, then it is one of the basic building blocks of the universe from which...

s; and the pseudospin approach to the BCS theory
BCS theory
BCS theory — proposed by Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer in 1957 — is the first microscopic theory of superconductivity since its discovery in 1911. The theory describes superconductivity as a microscopic effect caused by a "condensation" of pairs of electrons into a boson-like state...

 of superconductivity
Superconductivity
Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance occurring in certain materials below a characteristic temperature. It was discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes on April 8, 1911 in Leiden. Like ferromagnetism and atomic spectral lines, superconductivity is a quantum...

. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

 in 1963.

From 1967 to 1975, Anderson was a professor of theoretical physics at Cambridge University
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. In 1977 Anderson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 for his investigations into the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems, which allowed for the development of electronic switching and memory devices in computers. Co-researchers Sir Nevill Francis Mott and John van Vleck shared the award with him. In 1982, he was awarded the National Medal of Science
National Medal of Science
The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and...

. He retired from Bell Labs in 1984 and is currently Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. During his lifetime, he was highly regarded...

 Professor of Physics at Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

.

Anderson's writings include Concepts of Solids, Basic Notions of Condensed Matter Physics and The Theory of Superconductivity in the High-Tc Cuprates. Anderson currently serves on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America
Scientists and Engineers for America
-Mission statement:The organization's mission statement states:-SHARP Network:The Science, Health and Related Policies Network is a wiki to track congressional representatives, senators, and candidates as well as presidential candidates....

, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government. He is a certified first degree-master of the Chinese board game Go
Go (board game)
Go , is an ancient board game for two players that originated in China more than 2,000 years ago...

.

A 2006 statistical analysis of scientific research papers by José Soler, comparing number of references in a paper to the number of citations, declared Anderson to be the "most creative" physicist in the world.

Publications

  • Notes on Theory of Magnetism, Tokyo, 1954
  • Concepts in Solids, 1963 ISBN 9810232314
  • Basic Notions in Condensed Matter Physics 1984 ISBN 0201328305
  • A Career in Theoretical Physics 1994 ISBN 9812388664
  • The Theory of Superconductivity in the High Temperature Cuprates 1997 ISBN 0691043655
  • Philip W. Anderson, David Pines, Kenneth Arrow (Editor) Economy as an Evolving Complex System: the proceedings of the evolutionary paths of the global economy workshop, held sept., 1987 in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Perseus Publishing, 1988) ISBN 9780201156850
  • R Penrose; Philip W Anderson "The Large, the Small and the Human Mind," Nature 386, no. 6624, (1997): 456
  • "Thinking big" Nature. 437, no. 7059, (2005): 625
  • "Brainwashed by Feynman?" Physics today. 53, no. 2, (2000): 11
  • "Computing: Solving problems in finite time" Nature 400:6740, (1999): 115
  • "When the Electron Falls Apart - In condensed matter physics, some particles behave like fragments of an electron" Physics today 50:10, (1997): 42
  • "Physics: The opening to complexity" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 92:15, (1995): 6653
  • "Twenty years of talking past each other: The theory of high Tc" Physica. C, Superconductivity 460, (2007): 3

External links