David Morris Lee - Scientists, Timeline and Facts

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David Morris Lee's Personal Details

David Morris Lee is an American physicist who was a joint winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 20, 1931
NationalityAmerican
FamousHarvard University, Yale University, Scientists, Physicists
SpousesDana (2 children)
Known asDavid Lee
Universities
  • Harvard University,Yale University
  • Yale University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Harvard University
Notable Alumnis
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
Birth PlaceRye, New York
GenderMale
FatherMarvin Lee
MotherAnnette (Franks)
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inRye, New York
Famous asPhysicist

// Famous Physicists

David Morris Lee's photo

Who is David Morris Lee?

David Morris Lee is an American physicist who won a share of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Robert C. Richardson and Douglas Osheroff “for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3." Their discovery, which is mainly of theoretical significance, confirms a number of predictions in quantum theory. It also has a key role to play in the theory of strings. Born in New York to descendents of Jewish immigrants from England and Lithuania, Lee grew up near the sea and spent a considerable time of his childhood exploring the coastline, collecting frogs, fish, salamanders, snakes and worms. This is how his fascination with nature and science began which would eventually lead him to his life’s calling. He also loved railways from childhood and developed an interest in meteorology as a teenager. As a youngster he had planned to study biological sciences but over the years he was more drawn towards physics which he chose as his major at Harvard University. He proceeded to complete his master’s degree and research before taking a job at Cornell University. In the 1970s he began the work, which ultimately won him the Nobel Prize. In collaboration with Robert C. Richardson and Douglas Osheroff, he performed important research in low-temperature physics which lead to the discovery of superfluidity in helium-3.

// Famous Alumni of Yale University

Childhood & Early Life

David Morris Lee was born in Rye, New York, on January 20, 193, to Annette (Franks), a teacher, and Marvin Lee, an electrical engineer. His parents were descendants of Jewish immigrants from England and Lithuania.

He grew up near the sea shore and spent his childhood collecting frogs, fish, salamanders, snakes and worms. Along with his fascination for nature, he also loved railways and amassed an impressive collection of railway timetables covering the entire U.S.A.

During his teenage he developed an interest in meteorology and started maintaining his own weather records. He was deeply influenced by the book ‘The Mysterious Universe’ by Sir James Jeans which kindled his love for physics.

He performed well in studies in high school and was also active in sports. He graduated in 1948 and attended Harvard University where he majored in physics. After completing his bachelor’s degree in 1952 he served in the U.S. Army for 22 months.

He continued his studies following his discharge from the army and obtained a master's degree from the University of Connecticut. He enrolled in the Ph.D. program in physics at Yale University in the summer of 1955. There he worked with Professor Henry A. Fairbank in the low-temperature physics group, primarily experimenting on liquid 3He.

Career

He earned his PhD in 1959 and accepted a teaching position with the Physics Department of Cornell University in Ithaca. The very next year he was promoted as assistant professor and made an associate professor in 1963. He rose to the position of a full professor by 1968 and became professor emeritus in 2007.

At Cornell, Lee was assigned the responsibility of setting up a research laboratory in low temperature physics and teach courses in the physics department. The new Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics developed well during the 1960s with the addition of scientists like John D. Reppy, and Robert C. Richardson. His collaborator in research also included Douglas D. Osheroff, a graduate student working with them who later became a professor at Stanford University.

The group of scientists performed significant research in low-temperature physics. In the 1970s, Lee, along with Richardson and Osheroff used a Pomeranchuk cell to investigate the behavior of 3He at temperatures within a few thousandths of a degree of absolute zero.

Their initial research led to several important findings, including what they termed as phase transitions to a superfluid phase of 3He. Their works also encompassed the discovery of the tri-critical point on the phase separation curve of liquid 3He-4He mixtures, the antiferromagnetic ordering in solid helium-3, and the discovery of nuclear spin waves in spin polarized atomic hydrogen gas.

The team’s discovery of superfluidity in helium-3 set the pace for further research in this field which eventually enabled scientists to directly study the strange quantum mechanical effects in macroscopic (visible) systems that previously could only be studied indirectly in molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles.

Lee remains active on in the scientific fraternity and is currently teaching physics at Texas A&M University. He also moved his laboratory from Cornell to Texas A&M University in 2009.

Major Works

Lee is best known for his research in low-temperature physics, and especially the discovery of superfluidity in helium-3 over the course of his collaborative work with Douglas D. Osheroff and Robert C. Richardson. He also performed important research relating to liquid, solid and superfluid helium (4He, 3He and mixtures of the two).

Awards & Achievements

David Morris Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, and Robert C. Richardson were awarded the Sir Francis Simon Memorial Prize of the British Institute of Physics (1976) and Oliver Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society (1981) for the discovery of superfluid 3He.

Lee, Osheroff, and Richardson were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1996 “for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3."

Lee is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Personal Life & Legacy

Shortly after arriving at Cornell, David Morris Lee met his future wife Dana, who was a Ph.D. student in nutrition and biochemistry at that time. The couple has two sons and has been happily married for several decades.

// Famous Alumni of Harvard University

David Morris Lee awards

YearNameAward

Other

Nobel Prize in Physics (1996)
Oliver Buckley Prize (1981)
Sir Francis Simon Memorial Prize (1976)
Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1970)

David Morris Lee biography timelines

  • // 1948 To 1952
    He performed well in studies in high school and was also active in sports. He graduated in 1948 and attended Harvard University where he majored in physics. After completing his bachelor’s degree in 1952 he served in the U.S. Army for 22 months.
  • // 1955
    He continued his studies following his discharge from the army and obtained a master's degree from the University of Connecticut. He enrolled in the Ph.D. program in physics at Yale University in the summer of 1955. There he worked with Professor Henry A. Fairbank in the low-temperature physics group, primarily experimenting on liquid 3He.
  • // 1976 To 1981
    David Morris Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, and Robert C. Richardson were awarded the Sir Francis Simon Memorial Prize of the British Institute of Physics (1976) and Oliver Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society (1981) for the discovery of superfluid 3He.
  • // 1996
    Lee, Osheroff, and Richardson were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1996 “for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3."
  • // 2009
    Lee remains active on in the scientific fraternity and is currently teaching physics at Texas A&M University. He also moved his laboratory from Cornell to Texas A&M University in 2009.

// Famous Scientists

David Morris Lee's FAQ

  • What is David Morris Lee birthday?

    David Morris Lee was born at 1931-01-20

  • Where is David Morris Lee's birth place?

    David Morris Lee was born in Rye, New York

  • What is David Morris Lee nationalities?

    David Morris Lee's nationalities is American

  • Who is David Morris Lee spouses?

    David Morris Lee's spouses is Dana (2 children)

  • What was David Morris Lee universities?

    David Morris Lee studied at Harvard University,Yale University, Yale University, University of Connecticut, Harvard University

  • What was David Morris Lee notable alumnis?

    David Morris Lee's notable alumnis is Harvard University, Yale University

  • Who is David Morris Lee's father?

    David Morris Lee's father is Marvin Lee

  • Who is David Morris Lee's mother?

    David Morris Lee's mother is Annette (Franks)

  • What is David Morris Lee's sun sign?

    David Morris Lee is Capricorn

  • How famous is David Morris Lee?

    David Morris Lee is famouse as Physicist