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Leon Cooper

Leon Cooper

H403/0289

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Leon Cooper. Historical portrait of the US physicist Leon Neil Cooper (born 1930). Cooper worked with Bardeen and Schrieffer to develop their BCS (Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer) theory of superconductivity from 1955-57. Cooper showed that at low temperatures electrons could form pairs (Cooper pairs). These pairs then act together to remove the resistance to electrical conductivity (producing superconductivity). Schrieffer used a statistical approach to extend the single pair model to solids with many pairs. The trio shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for Physics. Cooper has also worked on the superfluid state at low temperatures and on theories of the central nervous system.

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