Scope and Contents
Call Number: SC1181
Osheroff, Douglas D.
Title: Douglas Dean Osheroff papers
3 Linear feet
Summary: Laboratory notebooks.
Language(s): The materials are in English.
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[identification of item], Douglas D. Osheroff Papers (SC1181). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford
University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Douglas Dean Osheroff (born August 1, 1945) is a physicist known for his work in experimental condensed matter physics, in
particular for his co-discovery of superfluidity in Helium-3. For his contributions he shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics
along with David Lee and Robert C. Richardson.
Osheroff was born in Aberdeen, Washington. His father, William Osheroff, was the son of Jewish immigrants who left Russia.
His mother, Bessie Anne (Ondov), a nurse, was the daughter of Slovak immigrants (her own father was a Lutheran minister).
Osheroff earned his Bachelor's degree in 1967 from Caltech, 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 University 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 thousandths 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 University in 1973. He then worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey 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 University, 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 an avid photographer and introduces students at Stanford to medium-format film photography in a freshman seminar
titled "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.
Among his physics outreach activities, Osheroff participated in the science festivals for middle and high school students,
is an official guest of honor at the International Young Physicists' Tournament 2013.
He married Phyllis Liu-Osheroff in 1970.
Scope and Contents
The materials consist of laboratory notebooks.
Particles (Nuclear physics)--Laboratories.
Physics--Study and teaching.