Lee, David Morris, 1931–, American physicist, b. Rye, N.Y., Ph.D. Yale, 1959. Lee joined the faculty at Cornell in 1959, moving to Texas A&M Univ. in 2009. He was a co-recipient, with Douglas Osheroff and Robert Richardson, of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery that a rare isotope of helium with only one neutron, known as helium-3, exhibits superfluidity at extremely low temperatures. Conducted in the early 1970s at Cornell, the research showed that helium-3 becomes superfluid at a temperature much lower than the normal helium isotope, helium-4, and that the key to the transition is the magnetic behavior of helium-3 rather than its hydrodynamics. The work was considered a breakthrough in low-temperature physics.
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