Geek Of The Week: Vera Rubin

Geek Of The Week: Vera Rubin

Vera Cooper Rubin was an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. 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.

Dr. Rubin transformed modern physics and astronomy with her observations showing that galaxies and stars are immersed in the gravitational grip of vast clouds of dark matter. Her work helped usher in a Copernican-scale change in cosmic consciousness, namely the realization that what astronomers always saw and thought was the universe “is just the visible tip of a lumbering iceberg of mystery.” She was presented with the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1996, for “scientific distinction” and “determination and fortitude in advancing the rĂ´le of women in astronomy,” the first woman to be honoured since Caroline Herschel in 1828. Dr. Rubin passed away on Christmas day and so i decided to pick her as this weeks Geek of the Week.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.