Vera Rubin

Vera Rubin
Photograph
Vera Rubin in 2009
BornVera Cooper
(1928-07-23)July 23, 1928
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedDecember 25, 2016(2016-12-25) (aged 88)
Princeton, New Jersey
ResidencePrinceton, New Jersey
NationalityAmerican
Alma materVassar College, Cornell University, Georgetown University
Known forGalaxy rotation problem, dark matter, Rubin–Ford effect
AwardsBruce Medal, Dickson Prize in Science, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, National Medal of Science
Scientific career
FieldsAstronomy
InstitutionsGeorgetown University, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Fluctuations in the Space Distribution of the Galaxies (1954)
Doctoral advisorGeorge Gamow
Other academic advisorsWilliam Shaw, Martha Carpenter
Notable studentsSandra Faber, Rebecca Oppenheimer

Vera Florence Cooper Rubin (n/; July 23, 1928 – December 25, 2016) was an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates.[1] She uncovered the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves. This phenomenon became known as the galaxy rotation problem, and was evidence of the existence of dark matter.[2] Although initially met with skepticism, Rubin's results were confirmed over subsequent decades. Her legacy was described by The New York Times as "ushering in a Copernican-scale change" in cosmological theory.[1][3]

Beginning her academic career as the sole undergraduate in astronomy at Vassar College, Rubin went on to graduate studies at Cornell University and Georgetown University, where she observed deviations from Hubble flow in galaxies and provided evidence for the existence of galactic superclusters.[1][3]

Rubin spent her life advocating for women in science and was known for her mentorship of aspiring women astronomers. Her data provided some of the first evidence for dark matter, which had been theorized by Fritz Zwicky in the 1930s. She was honored throughout her career for her achievements, and received the Bruce Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the National Medal of Science, among others.[3][4]

Early life

Vera Rubin was born Vera Florence Cooper, on July 23, 1928, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the younger of two sisters. Her parents were Jewish immigrants: Philip Cooper, a Lithuanian-American electrical engineer who worked at Bell Telephone and Rose Applebaum Cooper, of Bessarabian origin, who worked at Bell until their marriage.[1][5] Her father was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, as Pesach Kobchefski.[5]

The Coopers moved to Washington, D.C. in 1938,[1] where 10-year-old Vera developed an interest in astronomy watching the stars from her window.[1][6] She built a crude telescope out of cardboard with her father, and began to observe and track meteors.[7][8][9] She attended Coolidge Senior High School, graduating in 1944.[8]

Rubin's older sister, Ruth Cooper Burge, eventually became an administrative law judge in the United States Department of Defense.[5]

Other Languages
العربية: فيرا روبين
asturianu: Vera Rubin
تۆرکجه: ورا روبین
Bân-lâm-gú: Vera Rubin
български: Вера Рубин
català: Vera Rubin
čeština: Vera Rubin
Cymraeg: Vera Rubin
dansk: Vera Rubin
Deutsch: Vera Rubin
eesti: Vera Rubin
Ελληνικά: Βέρα Ρούμπιν
español: Vera Rubin
euskara: Vera Rubin
فارسی: ورا روبین
français: Vera Rubin
Gàidhlig: Vera Rubin
galego: Vera Rubin
한국어: 베라 루빈
italiano: Vera Rubin
עברית: ורה רובין
Lëtzebuergesch: Vera Rubin
മലയാളം: വേര റൂബിൻ
Nederlands: Vera Rubin
norsk: Vera Rubin
norsk nynorsk: Vera Rubin
پنجابی: ویرا روبن
polski: Vera Rubin
português: Vera Rubin
русский: Рубин, Вера
shqip: Vera Rubin
Simple English: Vera Rubin
slovenčina: Vera Rubinová
slovenščina: Vera Cooper Rubin
suomi: Vera Rubin
svenska: Vera Rubin
Türkçe: Vera Rubin
українська: Вера Рубін
ייִדיש: ווערא רובין