Osheroff, Douglas Dean

Osheroff, Douglas Dean,

1945–, American physicist, b. Aberdeen, Wash., Ph.D. Cornell, 1973. He was a professor at Cornell from 1973 to 1987, when he joined the faculty at Stanford. Osheroff was also a researcher at Bell Labs from 1973 to 1982. He shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics with David LeeLee, David Morris,
1931–, American physicist, b. Rye, N.Y., Ph.D. Yale, 1959. Lee joined the faculty at Cornell in 1959, moving to Texas A&M Univ. in 2009. He was a co-recipient, with Douglas Osheroff and Robert Richardson, of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for their
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 and Robert RichardsonRichardson, Robert Coleman,
1937–2013, American physicist, b. Washington, D.C. Ph.D. Duke Univ., 1966. Richardson was a professor at Cornell from 1968 until his death; he was the university's first provost for research (1998–2003).
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 for their discovery that a rare isotope of helium with only one neutron, known as helium-3, exhibits superfluiditysuperfluidity,
tendency of liquid helium below a temperature of 2.19°K; to flow freely, even upward, with little apparent friction. Helium becomes a liquid when it is cooled to 4.2°K;.
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 at extremely low temperatures. The research, which was conducted in the early 1970s at Cornell, showed that helium-3 becomes superfluid at a temperature much lower than the normal helium isotope, helium-4, and that the key to the transition is the magnetic behavior of helium-3 rather than its hydrodynamics. The work was considered a breakthrough in low-temperature physicslow-temperature physics,
science concerned with the production and maintenance of temperatures much below normal, down to almost absolute zero, and with various phenomena that occur only at such temperatures.
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. Osheroff served on the board that investigated the breakup (2003) of the space shuttle Columbia during reentry.