Willard Frank Libby was an American physical chemist noted for his role in the 1949 development of radiocarbon dating, a process which revolutionized archaeology and palaeontology. For his contributions to the team that developed this process, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960. A 1927 chemistry graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, from which he received his doctorate in 1933, he studied radioactive elements and developed sensitive Geiger counters to measure weak natural and artificial radioactivity. During World War II he worked in the Manhattan Project’s Substitute Alloy Materials Laboratories at Columbia University, developing the gaseous diffusion process for uranium enrichment. After the war, Libby accepted professorship at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Nuclear Studies, where he developed the technique for dating organic compounds using carbon-14.
|Born:||Willard Frank Libby, December 17, 1908, Grand Valley, Colorado|
|Died:||September 8, 1980, Los Angeles, California|
|Institutions:||University of California, Berkeley, SAM Laboratories, University of Chicago, University of California, Los Angeles|
|Alma mater:||University of California, Berkeley|
|Thesis:||Radioactivity of ordinary elements, especially samarium and neodymium: method of detection (1933)|
|Doctoral students:||Maurice Sanford Fox, Frank Sherwood Rowland|
|Known for:||Radiocarbon dating|
|Notable awards:||Elliott Cresson Medal (1957), Willard Gibbs Award (1958), Joseph Priestley Award (1959), Albert Einstein Award (1959), Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1960), Arthur L. Day Medal (1961)|
About Willard Frank Libby
Physical chemist whose carbon dating method of determining age revolutionized archaeology and earned him the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He also did research on tritium and found that it could be used for dating water.
At 25 years of age he obtained his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, where he then became a lecturer and later assistant professor.
Measuring the levels of a carbon isotope allowed his technique to precisely measure the age of objects tens of thousands of years old.
His second wife Leona Woods Marshall was involved in the testing of the world’s first nuclear reactor.
Owen Chamberlain, like him, was among the scientists who worked on the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II.
Information related to Willard Libby
- Columbia University people
- Nobel laureates in Chemistry
- American physical chemists
- American Nobel laureates
- Manhattan Project people
If you are getting married, reserve the day at the Lightner Museum, the best of st Augustine wedding venues .