John Bardeen

John Bardeen was an American electrical engineer and physicist best known for his theory of superconductivity and the discovery of transistors.

Early life

John Bardeen was born on May 23, 1908 in Madison, Wisconsin, to Dr. Charles R. Bardeen who was a anatomy professor, and his wife Althea Harmer who was an artist. When he was 12 years old, Bardeen’s family was struck by tragedy when Althea suddenly died.


John Bardeen graduated from Madison Central High School at the age of fifteen. Although he could have graduated earlier, his graduation was postponed due to the loss of his mother and several courses he was attending at the time at another high school. In 1923, John Bardeen entered the University of Winsconsin-Madison where he chose to study engineering and was was init