Percy Williams Bridgman


Born
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The United States
April 21, 1882

Died
August 20, 1961

Website

Genre

Influences


Percy Williams Bridgman (21 April 1882 – 20 August 1961) was an American physicist who won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the physics of high pressures. He also wrote extensively on the scientific method and on other aspects of the philosophy of science.

Bridgman entered Harvard University in 1900, and studied physics through to his Ph.D.. From 1910 until his retirement, he taught at Harvard, becoming a full professor in 1919. In 1905, he began investigating the properties of matter under high pressure. A machinery malfunction led him to modify his pressure apparatus; the result was a new device enabling him to create pressures eventually exceeding 100,000 kgf/cm² (10 GPa; 100,000 atmospheres). This was a huge improvement ov
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Average rating: 3.94 · 49 ratings · 3 reviews · 21 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Logic of Modern Physics

3.94 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 1927 — 6 editions
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The Nature of Thermodynamics

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 1941 — 10 editions
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The Nature of Physical Theory

3.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1936
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The Way Things Are

4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1959 — 3 editions
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The Physics Of High Pressure

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1971
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A Sophisticate's Primer of ...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1962 — 5 editions
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Dimensional Analysis

2.50 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1922 — 25 editions
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Reflections of a Physicist

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 1980
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Studies in Large Plastic Fl...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 1964 — 2 editions
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A Condensed Collection of T...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 1925
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More books by Percy Williams Bridgman…
“Not only are there meaningless questions, but many of the problems with which the human intellect has tortured itself turn out to be only 'pseudo problems,' because they can be formulated only in terms of questions which are meaningless. Many of the traditional problems of philosophy, of religion, or of ethics, are of this character. Consider, for example, the problem of the freedom of the will. You maintain that you are free to take either the right- or the left-hand fork in the road. I defy you to set up a single objective criterion by which you can prove after you have made the turn that you might have made the other. The problem has no meaning in the sphere of objective activity; it only relates to my personal subjective feelings while making the decision.”
Percy Williams Bridgman, The Nature of Physical Theory

“The attitude which the man in the street unconsciously adopts towards science is capricious and varied. At one moment he scorns the scientist for a highbrow, at another anathematizes him for blasphemously undermining his religion; but at the mention of a name like Edison he falls into a coma of veneration. When he stops to think, he does recognize, however, that the whole atmosphere of the world in which he lives is tinged by science, as is shown most immediately and strikingly by our modern conveniences and material resources. A little deeper thinking shows him that the influence of science goes much farther and colors the entire mental outlook of modern civilised man on the world about him.”
Percy Williams Bridgman, Reflections of a Physicist

“I believe it to be of particular importance that the scientist have an articulate and adequate social philosophy, even more important than the average man should have a philosophy. For there are certain aspects of the relation between science and society that the scientist can appreciate better than anyone else, and if he does not insist on this significance no one else will, with the result that the relation of science to society will become warped, to the detriment of everybody.”
P. W. Bridgman, Reflections of a Physicist

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