Willard Frank Libby Facts

Willard Frank Libby Facts
Willard Frank Libby (December 17, 1908 to September 8, 1980) was an American physical chemist. Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics and other branches of science."
Interesting Willard Frank Libby Facts:
Willard Libby was born in Grand Valley, Colorado.
From 1927 to 1933 he studied at the University of California, Berkeley.
He earned a B.S. in 1931 and his PhD in chemistry in 1933.
After graduation he became an instructor in the chemistry department at Berkeley.
In 1941 he was given a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship but he was diverted to the Manhattan Project at Columbia University in 1945.
From 1945 to 1954 he was Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Nuclear Studies of the University of Chicago.
In 1954 he was appointed by President Eisenhower to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
He resigned from the Atomic Energy Commission in June of 1959 to take a position as Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles.
From 1954 to 1959 he was a Research Associate of the Carnegie Institute of Washington Geophysical Laboratory.
In January 1962 he became Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 1972 he created the first Environmental Engineering Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
After his retirement in 1977 he remained a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Libby's special field of study is hot atom chemistry, tracer techniques and isotope work.
He developed the use of Carbon-14 decay rate as a way to date objects in the range of 60,000 years or less.
He worked on the use of natural tritium in hydrology and geophysics.
He discovered that the rate of tritium decay could be used to trace water flow and date wine.
In addition to his Nobel Prize, he received the Research Corporation Award in 1951, The Chandler Medal in 1954, The American Chemical Society Award for Nuclear Applications in Chemistry in 1956, the Elliott Cresson Medal in 1957, the Albert Einstein Medal Award in 1959.


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