John Robert Schrieffer

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John Robert Schrieffer

John Robert Schrieffer is a physicist born May 31, 1931 in Oak Park, Illinois. He is best known for his contributing work on the BCS Theory of Superconductivity with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper at the University of Illinois for which they received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1972. He published his book on the BCS Theory, titled Theory of Superconductivity, in 1964.

As a child he was passionate about rockets and ham radio. These passions led him into the field of electrical engineering. In 1949 he graduated from Eustis High School and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at MIT, he became fascinated with physics and decided to switch majors. He received his B.A. in 1953 and his Ph.D. in physics from Illinois in 1957. During his graduate program he worked directly under Professor John Bardeen as a graduate researcher, which led to him helping develop the BCS Theory. After graduating, Schrieffer spent time at several universities including Illinois from 1959 – 1962.

– Materials Science and Engineering Building. Formerly the Physics Building, this is where Schrieffer would have worked on the BCS Theory.

– Bardeen Quad. Historical Marker located on the west end of the Bardeen Quad, near Engineering Hall and south of the creek.


John Robert Schrieffer. (2014, November 19). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from (photo from Nationaal Archief, Dutch National Archives)

John Robert Schrieffer. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia Britannica online. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from