David M. Lee

Facts

David M. Lee

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

David M. Lee

Born: 20 January 1931, Rye, NY, USA

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

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

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 David Lee, Douglas Osheroff, and Robert Richardson verified that helium-3 also becomes superfluid at extremely low temperatures.

To cite this section
MLA style: David M. Lee – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Tue. 16 Oct 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1996/lee/facts/>

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