David M. Lee

1996 Nobel Laureate in Physics

Biographical Data





            David Lee was born (1931) and raised in Rye, N.Y., a small town on the coast of Long Island Sound.  He attended Harvard University, graduating in January 1952.  After two years of military service during the Korean War, he attended graduate school in Physics, attaining a Masters degree from the University of Connecticut (1955) and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1959.  In January 1959 he joined the Physics department of Cornell University as an instructor.  Over the years, he worked his way up through the ranks at Cornell and is now the James Gilbert White Distinguished Professor of the Physical Sciences at Cornell.  In 1972, along with his two Cornell colleagues (Robert C. Richardson and Douglas D. Osheroff), he participated in the discovery of Superfluid 3He.  For this work, the group of three was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics as well as the Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society and the Simon Prize of the British Institute of Physics.  In addition to his work on Superfluid 3He, David has been active in research on superconductivity, spin polarized atomic hydrogen gas, solid helium, liquid 3He-4He mixtures and matrix isolated free radicals.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the British Institute of Physics.