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Leon N Cooper[1] (born February 28, 1930) is an American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, who with John Bardeen and John Robert Schrieffer, developed the BCS theory of superconductivity.[2][3] He is also the namesake of the Cooper pair and co-developer of the BCM theory of synaptic plasticity.[4]

Biography and career

Cooper graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1947[5][6] and received a B.A. in 1951,[7] M.A. in 1953,[7] and Ph.D. in 1954 from Columbia University.[7][8] He spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study and taught at the University of Illinois and Ohio State University before coming to Brown University in 1958.[8] He is the Thomas J. Watson Sr. Professor of Science at Brown, and Director of the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems.
Cooper with wife in 1972

In 1969 Cooper married Kay Allard. They had two children.[9]

He has carried out research at various institutions including the Institute for Advanced Study, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The character Sheldon Cooper, featured in the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, is named in part after Leon Cooper.[10]
Memberships and honors

Fellow of the American Physical Society
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Member of the American Philosophical Society
Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Associate member of the Neuroscience Research Program
Research Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1959–1966)
Fellow of the Guggenheim Institute (1965–66)
Nobel Prize Recipient for Physics (1972)[7]
Co-winner (with Dr. Schrieffer) of the Comstock Prize in Physics of the National Academy of Sciences (1968)[11]
Received the Award of Excellence, Graduate Faculties Alumni of Columbia University
Received the Descartes Medal, Academie de Paris, Université René Descartes.
Received the John Jay Award of Columbia College (1985)[7]
Recipient of seven honorary doctorates[7]


Cooper is the author of Science and Human Experience – a collection of essays, including previously unpublished material, on issues such as consciousness and the structure of space. (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Cooper is the author of an unconventional liberal-arts physics textbook, originally An Introduction to the Meaning and Structure of Physics (Harper and Row, 1968) and still in print in a somewhat condensed form as Physics: Structure and Meaning (Lebanon: New Hampshire, University Press of New England, 1992).

Cooper, L. N. & J. Rainwater. "Theory of Multiple Coulomb Scattering from Extended Nuclei", Nevis Cyclotron Laboratories at Columbia University, Office of Naval Research (ONR), United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (August 1954).
Cooper, L. N., Lee, H. J., Schwartz, B. B. & W. Silvert. "Theory of the Knight Shift and Flux Quantization in Superconductors", Brown University, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (May 1962).
Cooper, L. N. & Feldman, D. "BCS: 50 years", World Scientific Publishing Co., (November 2010).

On Consciousness: Leon Cooper


Many printed materials, including the Nobel Prize website, have referred to Cooper as “Leon Neil Cooper”. However, the middle initial N does not stand for Neil, or for any other name. The correct form of the name is, thus, “Leon N Cooper”, with no abbreviation dots
"Superconductivity". CERN official website. CERN.
Weinberg, Steven (February 2008). "From BSC to the LHC". CERN Courier. 48 (1): 17–21.
Bienenstock, Elie (1982). "Theory for the development of neuron selectivity: orientation specificity and binocular interaction in visual cortex". The Journal of Neuroscience. 2 (1): 32–48. PMID 7054394.
"Bronx Science Honored as Historic Physics Site by the American Physical Society". Retrieved 27 July 2012.
MacDonald, Kerri (15 October 2010). "A Nobel Laureate Returns Home to Bronx Science". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
"Leon Cooper". Retrieved 27 July 2012.
Vanderkam, Laura (15 July 2008). "From Biology to Physics and Back Again: Leon Cooper". Scientific American. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
Carey, Charles W. (2014). American Scientists. Infobase Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4381-0807-0.
The Big Bang Theory, la fórmula perfecta del humor. (October 31, 2010)
"Comstock Prize in Physics". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29.


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