- Vera Rubin
Vera (Cooper) Rubin (born
23 July 1928) is an astronomerwho has done pioneering work on galaxyrotation rates. Her opus magnus was the uncovering of the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves. This phenomena became known as the galaxy rotation problem.
Currently, the theory of
dark matteris the most popular candidate for explaining this, although the alternative theory of MOND ( Modified Newtonian Dynamics) also gaining much support from the scientific community.
After she earned an
A.B.from Vassar College( 1948) she tried to enroll at Princeton but never received their graduate catalog as women there were not allowed in the graduate astronomy program until 1975. She applied to Cornell University, where she studied physics under Philip Morrison, Richard Feynman, and Hans Bethe. There she earned a M.A. in 1951. Then in 1954at Georgetown Universityshe earned a Ph.D. under George Gamow.
Vera Rubin also has honorary Doctors of Science degrees from numerous universities, including Harvard and Yale. Rubin is currently a research astronomer at the
Carnegie Institution of Washington. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. So far she has co-authored 114 peer reviewed research papers.
All four of her children have earned Ph.D.s in the
natural sciences or mathematics: David (1950), Ph.D. geology, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey; Judith Young (1952), Ph.D. cosmic-ray physics, an astronomer at the University of Massachusetts; Karl (1956), Ph.D. mathematics, a mathematician at Stanford University; and Allan (1960), Ph.D. geology, a geologist at Princeton University.
She is the author of "Bright Galaxies Dark Matters" (Masters of Modern Physics), AIP Press, 1996, ISBN 1-56396-231-4
Dickson Prize for Science
National Medal of Science( 1993)
Henry Norris Russell Lectureshipin 1994
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Societyin 1996:She was only the second female recipient of this medal, the first being Caroline Herschelin 1828.
James Craig Watson Medalin 2004Named after her
Asteroid 5726 Rubin
Recent documentary interview
Vera Rubin can be seen on the BBC documentary
Most of the Universe is Missing. [ cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/missing.shtml |title=Most of the Universe is Missing (Text summary)|accessdate=2008-05-18 ]
Galaxy rotation problem
*Robert Rubin, "Vera Rubin" in "OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics", Nina Byers and Gary Williams, ed., Cambridge University Press 2006.
* [http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/content/view/122/168/ Vera Rubin at Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington]
* [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000ACDF5-CFD1-1CE1-8583809EC5880000&pageNumber=1&catID=9 Vera Rubin autobiography notes at Scientific American]
* [http://cwp.library.ucla.edu/Phase2/Rubin,_Vera_Cooper@931234567.html Vera Rubin in CWP at UCLA]
* [http://webs.wichita.edu/lapo/vr.htm Vera Rubin's Dark Universe]
* [http://www.amnh.org/education/resources//rfl/web/essaybooks/cosmic/p_rubin.html Vera Rubin and Dark Matter, American Museum of Natural History]
* [http://www.petergruberfoundation.org/Rubin.htm Vera Rubin at Peter Gruber Foundation]
* [http://www.astrosociety.org/education/resources/womenast_bib.html Astronomical Society of the Pacific: Women in Astronomy]
* [http://webs.wichita.edu/lapo/wia.html Lake Afton Public Observatory: Women in Astronomy]
* [http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S11/75/58Q44/index.xml?section=newsreleases Princeton University 2005 honorary degrees press release]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.