Percy W. Bridgman


Percy Williams Bridgman

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Percy Williams Bridgman
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1946

Born: 21 April 1882, Cambridge, MA, USA

Died: 20 August 1961, Randolph, NH, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: “for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures, and for the discoveries he made therewith in the field of high pressure physics”

Prize share: 1/1


At very high pressures, matter takes on other properties and forms than under ordinary conditions. When Percy Bridgman set out to study optical phenomena under high pressure in 1905, some of the equipment broke apart. When he was going to repair it, he came up with an idea for a sealing device that proved to be more effective than expected. This led him to further develop equipment that could produce extremely high pressures. This allowed the examination of the altered structure and properties of various substances and materials under high pressure.

To cite this section
MLA style: Percy W. Bridgman – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Fri. 14 Jun 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.