US physicist. His research into machinery producing high pressure led in 1955 to the creation of synthetic diamonds by General Electric. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics 1946.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was educated at Harvard, where he spent his entire academic career.
Bridgman's experimental work on static high pressure began in 1908, and because this field of research had not been explored before, he had to invent much of his own equipment; for example, a seal in which the pressure in the gasket always exceeds that in the pressurized fluid. The result is that the closure is self-sealing. His discoveries included new, high-pressure forms of ice.
His technique for synthesizing diamonds was used to synthesize many more minerals and a new school of geology developed, based on experimental work at high pressure and temperature. Because the pressures and temperatures that Bridgman achieved simulated those deep below the ground, his discoveries gave an insight into the geophysical processes that take place within the Earth. His book Physics of High Pressure 1931 still remains a basic work.
City in Michigan (USA); zip code 49106.