Richard W. Henderson, 60-, a research scientist at The johns Hopkins University Applied hysics Laboratory who specialized in engineering physics, died Friday at his home in Columbia after a heart attack.

Mr. Henderson joined the Laboratory in 1959 and worked in aeronautics research for the Navy. His recent work involved the study and development of energy storage and generation systems, including the feasibility of the Laboratory's Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion programs.

The OTEC system was developed to make use of temperature differences between warm surfaces and cold depths in tropical waters to produce electricity. Mr. Henderson worked on systems to produce ammonia, methane and hydrogren at sea aboard OTEC ships.

He was a native of Elizabeth, N.J. and earned a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the University of Maine. He served in the Marine Corps in World War II.

Before joingin the Applied Physics Laboratory, Mr. Henderson worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in Cleveland and for hte National Academy of Sciences.

Survivors include his wife, the former Katherine Edith Jackman, of Columbia; a daughter, Susan Wright of Portland, Maine; two sons, Thomas, of Rindge, N.H., and Steven, of Norrisville, Md.; two brothers, Robert, of Reading, Mass., and William, of Oceanside, Calif., and three grandchildren.