Dr. Douglas OsheroffScience Buddies Advisory Board, Dr. Douglas Osheroff
Dr. Douglas Osheroff, along with Drs.
Osheroff and his colleagues used a Pomeranchuk cell to investigate the behavior of helium-3 at very low temperatures.
They observed unexpected effects in their measurements, which they eventually explained as phase transitions to a superfluid phase of helium-3.
Dr. Osheroff received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1973.He then worked for 15 years at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey.In 1987, he moved to Stanford University, where he is Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and holds the J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professorship in Physics.He also served as department chair from 1993-96.His current research focuses on the behavior of quantum fluids, solids, and gasses at ultra-low temperatures.
When students were not competing in the robot ring, they had the once-in-a-lifetime the chance to meet Nobel Prize Award Winner and Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Physics, Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff, who was present signing autographs and taking pictures alongside a VEX Claw Bot that held the gold medallion.
Dr. Douglas Osheroff,co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics, Professor at the Department of Physics at Stanford University
Nobel Thoughts-- | Douglas OsheroffImprobable Research
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NOBEL THOUGHTS -- Douglas Osheroff
Douglas OsheroffDouglas Osheroff is a professor of physics at Stanford University.
In 1996 he, David Lee, and Robert Richardson were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3.
[Editor's note: also see the interview with Professor Osheroff that was published in AIR 5:1.
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Professor Osheroff, Stanford University Physics Department Chair and Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, served on the 13-member Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) that probed the loss of the space shuttle Columbia in February 2003. (The full text of the report can be found on the CAIB web site, which also includes appendices such as videos.) Professor Osheroff described how the Board determined early on the physical cause of the accident: a breach in the Thermal Protection System caused by a piece of insulating foam which separated from the External Tank shortly after launch.
The Board decided to examine the conditions that allowed the accident to happen, in particular in view of the fact that dropping foam had been a known and recurrent issue.
One of the Board's conclusions was that the accident was rooted in NASA's organizational and cultural problems.
The discussion period of the Café focused on questions about the future of the Shuttle program and of manned space exploration.
Professor Osheroff said that a manned exploration of Mars was not likely to produce scientific results worth the $1 trillion estimated cost.
He stressed that NASA should concentrate on further developing its excellent robotics technology.
The discussion was animated and often humorous, and Professor Osheroff ended the evening by giving a talented rendition of "Reincarnation", a Cow Boy poem by Wallace McRae! (The poem can be found at http://www.cowboypoetry.com/mcrae.htm#Rein)
Douglas Osheroff was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington,.He did his undergraduate work at Caltech, receiving his B.S. in physics in 1967.His graduate work was done at Cornell University, where his Ph.D. thesis work resulted in the discovery of three superfluid phases of liqud 3He.
These phases are neutral analogs to the superconductors, but with greater complexity in their order.
Leaving Cornell in the fall of 1972, he spent the next fifteen years in the physical research division at AT&T Bell Laboratories, the last six as the head of their Low Temperature and Solid State Research Department.
Here, in collaboration, he worked on the newly discovered superfluid phases of liquid 3He, the nature of nuclear spin order in solid 3He, and made the first observations of weak localization in thin disordered metallic films.
In 1987 he came to Stanford University.
At Stanford, Osheroff is the J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics and the Gerhard Casper University Fellow for Undergraduate Education.
His research there still focuses on the properties of condensed matter near the absolute zero of temperature.
He has also served as chair of the Physics Department at Stanford from 1993-96, and again from 2001-04.In 2003 he served as a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which determined the causes of the accident that led to the destruction of Space Shuttle Columbia during re-entry, on Feb. 1, 2003.Osheroff has received numerous honors for his research.
These include the Sir Francis Simon Memorial Award, the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize, the MacArthur Prize Fellowship Award, and the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physics.
In 1991 Stanford University gave him their Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Osheroff is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.Douglas and his wife Phyllis enjoy classical music, hiking and photography.
At Stanford University Osheroff shares his interest in photography by teaching a freshman seminar entitled "Technical Aspects of Photography", and often uses his favorite photo images to decorate his lectures.
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