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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1996
David M. Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, Robert C. Richardson

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Robert C. Richardson - Facts

Robert C. Richardson

Robert C. Richardson

Born: 26 June 1937, Washington, DC, USA

Died: 19 February 2013, Ithaca, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Prize motivation: "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3"

Field: superfluidity

Prize share: 1/3

Work

When certain substances are cooled to extremely low temperatures, they become superfluid, flowing without any friction. This applies to helium-4, the most common form of helium, but for a long time the superfluidity of helium-3 was in dispute. The different types of helium are described by different quantum mechanical rules and equations under which helium-4 has a whole-number spin while helium-3 has a half-number spin. In 1972 Robert Richardson, .David Lee, and Douglas Osheroff verified that helium-3 also becomes superfluid at extremely low temperatures

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