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Pressing on: The legacy of Percy W. Bridgman

Abstract

A hundred years ago, Percy Bridgman invented mechanical devices that dramatically expanded the high-pressure range available for carrying out physics and chemistry experiments into an unprecedented regime of high densities. His pioneering work revolutionized condensed matter research.His spirit remains alive today as researchers continue to push back the boundaries of high-pressure science.

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Figure 1: Large volume high-pressure devices derived from those designed by Bridgman are used for materials synthesis, crystal growth and phase-equilibrium studies, and also for determination of properties such as electrical conductivity, melting and rheological phenomena in materials.
Figure 2: The miniature DAC is based on Bridgman's original idea of an opposed anvil press.

R. J. HEMLEY, GEOPHYS LAB, WASHINGTON DC

Figure 3: New technological materials obtained from high-pressure experiments.

P. LOUBEYRE, CEA, FRANCE

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McMillan, P. Pressing on: The legacy of Percy W. Bridgman. Nature Mater 4, 715–718 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat1488

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