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Douglas Dean Osheroff (born August 1, 1945) is an Americanmarker physicist who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics with David Lee and Robert C. Richardson "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3"


Osheroff's father was the son of Jewish immigrants who left Russiamarker and his mother was the daughter of Slovak immigrants. Osheroff, born in Aberdeen, Washingtonmarker, earned his Bachelor's degree in 1967 from Caltechmarker, where he attended lectures by Richard Feynman and did undergraduate research for Gerry Neugebauer.

Osheroff joined the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics at Cornell Universitymarker as a graduate student, doing research in low-temperature physics. Together with David Lee, the head of the laboratory, and Robert C. Richardson, Osheroff used a Pomeranchuk cell to investigate the behaviour of 3He at temperatures within a few thousands of a degree of absolute zero. They discovered unexpected effects in their measurements, which they eventually explained as phase transitions to a superfluid phase of 3He. Lee, Richardson and Osheroff were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1996 for this discovery.

Osheroff received a Ph.D. from Cornell Universitymarker in 1973. He then worked at Bell Labsmarker in Murray Hill, New Jerseymarker for 15 years, continuing to research low-temperature phenomena in 3He. In 1987 he moved to the Departments of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford Universitymarker, where he also served as department chair from 1993-96. His research is focused on phenomena that occur at extremely low temperatures.

Osheroff was selected to serve on the Space Shuttle Columbia investigation panel, serving much the same role as Richard Feynman did on the Space Shuttle Challenger panel.

He currently serves on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government.

Osheroff is left-handed, and he often blames his slight quirks and eccentricities on it. He is also an avid photographer and introduces students at Stanford to medium-format film photography in a freshman seminar titled "The Technical Aspects of Photography." In addition, he has taught the Stanford introductory physics course on electricity and magnetism on multiple occasions, most recently in Spring 2008, as well as undergraduate labs on low temperature physics.

See also

External links


  1. Biography on the Nobel Foundation website

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