Area of physics

Experimental Particle physics

Research Interests

High energy physics

Biographical Sketch

A native of Rome, Italy, Osborne received his BS from the California Institute of Technology, where he studied under Nobel Laureate Robert A. Millikan, famed for his oil drop experiment that measured for the first time the value of the elementary charge. After Caltech, Osborne served in the U.S. Navy, tending radar on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

Osborne’s MIT career began with conducting research at the Laboratory for Nuclear Science in 1948 and with directing the MIT Synchrotron in 1950, where he carried out pioneering experiments in the photo-production of pions (pi-mesons), aiming to shed light on how these newly discovered subatomic particles are produced.

Later he worked with his students to develop the Differential Cerenkov Counter. Used to identify particles over a wide range of masses, the Cerenkov Counter has had important applications in the field of particle and nuclear physics.

Osborne joined the MIT faculty in 1959. In total, he devoted more than 50 years to understanding the fundamental building blocks of matter and the forces with which they interact. Osborne continued his pion photo-production studies at the Cambridge Electron Accelerator (CEA), which opened in 1962.

Osborne next joined Taylor, Rosenson and Friedman in an experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago, studying deep-inelastic neutrino scattering from the nucleon. Their experiment provided an “important test of the Standard Model, our current model of the fundamental particles and their interactions,” noted Friedman.

Collaborations at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) National Laboratory, the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) in Texas and at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, followed.

Selected Publications

Publications from inSPIRE (with links to the arXiv).

Last updated on March 31, 2015 1:58 PM