© The Nobel Foundation
David M. Lee

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

David M. Lee: Nobel Prize in Physics Recipient-1996
by Seymour “Sy” Brody

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

He was born on January 20, 1931, in Rye, New York. His parents were children of Jewish immigrants, who came from England and Lithuania in the late 1800s. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother was a school teacher.

Lee went through the public school system, graduating Rye High School, in1948. He went to Harvard University and received a B.S. Degree in Physics, in 1952. After graduation, he did military service during the Korean War, 1952-1954.

He went to the University of Connecticut and received a Master’s Degree in Physics, in 1955. He went to Yale University and received his Ph.D. in Physics, 1959.

Lee became a member of the faculty of Cornell University, in 1959. It was here that he met his wife, Dana, who was working on a Ph.D. in biochemistry and nutrition. She was born in Thailand and her mother was a native and her father was Danish. They had two sons, who are now married and have children.

David M. Lee has received many awards and honors:
● Guggenheim Fellowships in 1966 and 1974
● Simon Memorial Prize of the British Physical Society, 1976
● Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society, 1981
● Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1990
● A member of National Academy of Sciences, 1991
● Elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, 1982
● Elected a Fellow of American Association of the Advancement of Science, 1982
● A visiting scientist of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1966-1967
● A visiting professor at the University of Florida, 1974-1975
● A visiting professor at the University of San Diego, 1988

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