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Leon N. Cooper

Leon N. CooperBorn: 28-Feb-1930
Birthplace: New York City

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: BCS Theory of Superconductivity

American physicist Leon N. Cooper is the "C" in the BCS Theory of Superconductivity; the other two initials represent John Bardeen, Robert Schrieffer. All three men shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1972.BCS theory is the first widely-accepted explanation of superconductivity, a phenomenon of physics first discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes wherein electrical resistance disappears at very low temperatures. Cooper's key contribution to BCS Theory was his 1956 discovery that electrons that ordinarily repel each other could instead, under extreme low temperature conditions, be grouped into pairs, a phenomenon now referred to as Cooper pairs. He has also studied the low-temperature superfluid state, and the brain and central nervous system.

Father: (typographer)
Mother: (d. 1938)
Wife: (m., two children)

    High School: Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY (1947)
    University: BA, Columbia University (1951)
    University: MA, Columbia University (1953)
    University: PhD, Columbia University (1954)
    Scholar: University of Illinois (1955-57)
    Teacher: Ohio State University (1957-58)
    Teacher: Brown University (1958-62)
    Professor: Brown University (1962-66)
    Professor: Goddard University Professor, Brown University (1966-74)
    Administrator: Center for Neural Science, Brown University (1973-)
    Professor: Watson Professor of Science, Brown University (1974-)

    Guggenheim Fellowship 1965-66
    NAS Cyrus B. Comstock Prize in Physics 1968 (with Robert Schrieffer)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1972 (with John Bardeen, Robert Schrieffer)
    Descartes Medal in Cognitive Studies 1977
    College de France Medal 2000
    Nestor, Inc. Co-Founder, 1975
    Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow, 1959-66
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Philosophical Society
    American Physical Society
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Institute for Advanced Study 1954-55
    International Neural Network Society Executive Committee
    National Academy of Sciences
    National Science Foundation Fellowship, 1954-55
    Society for Neuroscience
    US Defense Department Member, Defense Science Board
    Phi Beta Kappa Society
    Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

Author of books:
An Introduction to the Meaning and Structure of Physics (1968)
The Physics and Application of Superconductivity (1968, with Brian B. Schwartz)
Introduction to Methods of Optimization (1970)
Methods and Applications of Linear Programming (1974)
Physics: Structure and Meaning (1992)
How We Learn, How We Remember (1995)
Theory of Cortical Plasticity (2004)


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