Richardson, Robert Coleman

Richardson, 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). He was co-recipient with Douglas OsheroffOsheroff, 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.
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 and 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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 of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics 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. Conducted in the early 1970s at Cornell, the research 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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. Richardson also was an advocate of improved science education in American schools.
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