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Philip W. Anderson

Philip W. AndersonAKA Philip Warren Anderson

Born: 13-Dec-1923
Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Solid state physics

Military service: US Naval Research Laboratory (1943-45)

American physicist Philip W. Anderson won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977, for his research into the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems, which led to the introduction of greatly advanced electronic switching and memory devices for computers. In 1958 he explored the phenomenon of electron localization, or Anderson localization, wherein beyond a critical amount of impurity scattering the diffusive motion of an electron halts. In 1959 he published a theory explaining "superexchange", an interaction between the electrons of two molecular entities mediated by one or more molecules or ions. In 1961 he developed what is now called the Anderson model, to explain the behavior of heavy fermion systems.

Since winning his Nobel honors, Anderson has used his public platform to speak out against the "Star Wars" military missile program, and against federal funding for a proposed $8B superconducting supercollider in Texas.

Father: Harry Warren Anderson (plant pathologist)
Wife: Joyce Gothwaite (painter, m. 1947, one daughter)
Daughter: Susan (b. 1948)

    High School: University Laboratory High School, Urbana, IL (1939)
    University: BS, Harvard University (1943)
    University: MS, Harvard University (1947)
    University: PhD, Harvard University (1949)
    Professor: Theoretical Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University (1961-62)
    Fellow: Theoretical Physics, Jesus College, University of Cambridge (1967-75)
    Professor: Joseph Henry Professor of Physics, Princeton University (1975-)

    APS Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize 1964
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics 1975
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1977 (with John H. van Vleck and Nevill F. Mott)
    National Medal of Science 1982
    Bell Laboratories (1949-84)
    Accademia dei Lincei
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1966
    American Institute of Physics
    American Physical Society
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    The Japan Academy Foreign Member
    National Academy of Sciences 1967
    National Science Foundation Aspen Center for Physics, 1997-2002
    Royal Society
    Santa Fe Institute 1986-

Author of books:
Concepts of Solids (1963, physics)
Basic Notions of Condensed Matter Physics (1983, physics)
A Career in Theoretical Physics (1994, memoir)
The Theory of Superconductivity in the High-Tc Cuprates (1997, physics)


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