Nicolaas Bloembergen in 1995. (Harvard University)
 September 9
Nicolaas Bloembergen, a Dutch-born American scientist who ate tulip bulbs to survive during World War II and went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics, died Sept. 5 at a retirement community in Tucson. He was 97.His son, Brink Bloembergen, who confirmed the death, said the cause was cardiorespiratory failure.Over a much-honored career that included 40 years on the faculty of Harvard University, Dr. Bloembergen became a pioneer and major contributor in three significant areas of physics, all of which have significant applications in daily life.He was one of the pioneers in the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques, which have become invaluable to modern medicine for creating images of the tissues of the body.A paper published by Dr. Bloembergen and co-authors on the subject of NMR was said for many years to be one of the most quoted articles in the physics literature. Published in the Physical Review, it was by Dr. Bloembergen, Edward M. Purcell and Robert V. Pound and relied heavily on Dr. Bloembergen’s doctoral thesis.

In physicists’ shorthand the paper was known as “BPP.”

Dr. Bloembergen was also recognized for making important advances in the development of the maser, a device similar to the laser but that amplifies microwaves rather than light waves.