Robert C. Richardson, 1996 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, will speak about the research and discovery that earned him the award during two presentations April 13 at Colorado State University.
The presentations are sponsored by the university’s physics department and are free and open to the public. The general presentation is part of the Galeener Memorial Lecture Series, named in honor of the late Frank Galeener, a physics professor at Colorado State.
Richardson, a physics professor at Cornell University, shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in physics with David Lee, also a professor at Cornell, and Doug Osheroff, a professor at Stanford University who conducted research with the two professors while he was a graduate student at Cornell.
The trio earned the prize for their 1973 discovery of a phenomenon called superfluidity in a rare isotope of helium known as helium-3. By chilling this specific form of helium to near absolute zero, the liquid takes on a set of unusual characteristics, such as losing the viscosity associated with ordinary fluids. As a result, superfluid helium-3 can flow without resistance. The discovery finally confirmed the expectation by many scientists that superfluidity in helium-3 could be obtained and even produced some properties that the scientific community had not expected.
Richardson’s first presentation, "The Discovery of Superfluid Helium-3," will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Senate Chambers. This talk will include more technical explanations of Richardson’s discovery and is geared toward physics students and scientists at Colorado State and throughout the Northern Front Range.
A second presentation, "The World at Very Low Temperature," begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Engineering Building Lecture Hall, Room AR100. This talk is geared toward a general audience and will touch on the field of low-temperature physics more broadly.
For more information on the presentations, call (970) 491-5263.