Edward Mills Purcell Biography
Birthday: August 30, 1912 (Virgo)
Born In: Taylorville, Illinois, United States
Edward Mills Purcell was a well-known American physicist. He shared the ‘Nobel Prize’ for Physics in 1952 with Felix Bloch, a Swiss physicist working mainly in the United States. They were awarded the ‘Nobel Prize’ for "their development of new ways and methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements." Purcell is known in the science community for his independent discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) helps scientists determine the chemical structure and properties of materials with precision. NMR is also the basis of modern day magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used as a non-invasive diagnostic tool to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. Purcell not only made significant contribution to physics but contributed to astronomy as well. He is also remembered by biologists for his famous lecture “Life at Low Reynolds Number” in which he explained a principle called the Scallop theorem. He was the first to question the CP symmetry of particle physics. Purcell received many awards during his lifetime for his scientific, educational, and civic work. He served as a science advisor to the U. S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.