Leon N. Cooper

Previous Bardeen Quad Tour StopReturn to Bardeen Quad Tour MapNext Bardeen Quad Tour Stop


Leon Cooper

Leon Cooper


Leon Cooper was born in New York on February 28, 1930. He is an American physicist and is widely known as for his work with John Bardeen and John Robert Schrieffer in developing the BCS Theory of Superconductivity while at the University of Illinois.

“Cooper Pairs” was his main contribution to the BCS Theory. Cooper Pairs is the phenomenon that electrons are attracted to each other in superconductors when normally they are not attracted to each other.

He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1972 for his contribution to the theory. He is also known for his contributing work of the BCM Theory of synaptic plasticity and Cooper pairs.

Leon graduated from Bronx High School of Science in 1947. Wanting to continue his education, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he received his B.A. in 1951, M.A. in 1953, and Ph.D. in 1954 in Physics. Upon completing his education, he pursued a position at the Institute for Advanced Study for a year. He then taught at the University of Illinois from 1955 to 1957 and Ohio State University before finally settling at Brown University in 1958. Cooper was appointed the Henry Ledyard Goddard university professor from 1966 to 1974 at Brown University, and then the Thomas J. Watson, Sr. professor of Science in 1974, and Director of the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems.

– Materials Science and Research. Formerly the Physics Building, this is where Cooper’s office was located.

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


Leon N. Cooper. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia Britannica online. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/136281/Leon-N-Cooper

Leon Cooper. (2014, November 19). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Cooper.

Nobelprize.org. (n.d.). Leon N. Cooper – Biographical. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1972/cooper-bio.html, Image of Cooper.

Soylent Communications. (2014). Leon N. Cooper Retrieved from http://www.nndb.com/people/854/000099557/  (Thumbnail Image)