Edward Mills Purcell

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Purcell, Edward Mills


Born Aug. 30, 1912, in Taylorville, 111. American physicist.

Purcell studied at Purdue and Harvard universities. From 1941 to 1945 he worked at the radiation laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 1938 he has taught at Harvard University, where he has been a professor since 1949. In 1952, Purcell shared a Nobel Prize with F. Bloch for the discovery in 1946 of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in solids. He showed that NMR can be used to detect the nuclear magnetic moment. This work laid the foundation for NMR spectroscopy. In 1951, Purcell and H. I. Ewen detected the 21-cm line of interstellar hydrogen.


“Observation of a Line in the Galactic Radio Spectrum.” Nature. 1951, vol. 168, no. 4270, p. 356.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Swiss-born American physicist Felix Bloch (1905-1983) and the American physicist Edward Mills Purcell (b.
Edward Mills Purcell born; an American physicist; helped to develop radio astronomy; the first to detect the 21cm hydrogen line.