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Douglas D. Osheroff

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Douglas D. Osheroff: Nobel Prize in Physics Recipient-1996
by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Douglas D. Osheroff is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1996, which he shared with David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson, for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3.

He was born on August 1, 1945, in Aberdeen, Washington. He grew up in a medical family. His father and all his children were doctors or they married them. His father was the son of Jewish immigrants who came to America to escape the pogroms of Tzarist Russia.

After going through public school, Osheroff enroled in the California Institute of Technology and received a B. S. Degree, in 1967. To avoid the smog of Pasadena smog, he went to Cornell University. It was here that he first met his wife, Phyllis Liu, but she was very busy with her studies. Three years later, after she received her Ph.D., they were married, in 1970. Osheroff received his Ph.D., in 1973.

He then went to work at AT&T Bell laboratories, 1972-1987. Osheroff decided to take a position as a professor of physics at Sanford University, in 1987, and has been there through his career.

Douglas D. Osheroff has received many award and honors:
● Fellow of the American Physical Society
● Fellow of Arts and Sciences
● A member of the National Academy of Sciences
● Simon Memorial Prize, 1976
● Oliver E. Buckley Prize, 1981
● MacArthur Prize Fellow, 1981
● Walter J. Gores Award for Teaching, 1991
● Chairman of the Physics Department, Stanford University, 1993-1996

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