|Who is it?||Physicist|
|Birth Day||August 30, 1912|
|Birth Place||Taylorville, Illinois, USA, United States|
|Age||108 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||March 7, 1997(1997-03-07) (aged 84)\nCambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
|Alma mater||Purdue University (BSEE) Harvard University (M.A.) Harvard University (Ph.D)|
|Known for||Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) Smith-Purcell effect 21 cm line Scallop theorem|
|Awards||Nobel Prize for Physics (1952) Oersted Medal (1967) National Medal of Science (1979) Max Delbruck Prize (1984) Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize (1988)|
|Institutions||Harvard University MIT|
|Doctoral advisor||Kenneth Bainbridge|
|Other academic advisors||John Van Vleck|
|Doctoral students||George Pake George Benedek Charles Pence Slichter|
|Other notable students||Nicolaas Bloembergen|
Born and raised in Taylorville, Illinois, Purcell received his BSEE in electrical engineering from Purdue University, followed by his M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He was a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity while at Purdue. After spending the years of World War II working at the MIT Radiation Laboratory on the development of microwave radar, Purcell returned to Harvard to do research. In December 1946, he discovered nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with his colleagues Robert Pound and Henry Torrey. NMR provides Scientists with an elegant and precise way of determining chemical structure and properties of materials, and is widely used in physics and chemistry. It also is the basis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century. For his discovery of NMR, Purcell shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in physics with Felix Bloch of Stanford University.
Purcell was the author of the innovative introductory text Electricity and Magnetism. The book, a Sputnik-era project funded by an NSF grant, was influential for its use of relativity in the presentation of the subject at this level. The 1965 edition, now freely available due to a condition of the federal grant, was originally published as a volume of the Berkeley Physics Course. Half a century later, the book is also in print as a commercial third edition, as Purcell and Morin. Purcell is also remembered by biologists for his famous lecture "Life at Low Reynolds Number", in which he explained a principle referred to as the Scallop theorem.
Purcell was the recipient of many awards for his scientific, educational, and civic work. He served as science advisor to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. He was President of the American Physical Society, and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1979, and the Jansky Lectureship before the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Purcell was also inducted into his Fraternity's (Phi Kappa Sigma) Hall of Fame as the first Phi Kap ever to receive a Nobel Prize.