|Birth||(1924-02-17)February 17, 1924 Chicago, Illinois|
|Birth Place||Chicago, Illinois|
|Death||(2020-05-02)(aged 96) Manassas, Virginia|
|Died At||Manassas, Virginia|
|Alma Mater||University of Chicago|
|Institution||United States Geological Survey)
Events Occured in Scienctist Life
Meyer Rubin (February 17, 1924 – May 2, 2020) was an American geologist known for his radiocarbon dating work with the United States Geological Survey.
After graduating from Englewood High School, South Side, Chicago, in 1941, Rubin enlisted into a University of Chicago run pre-meteorology training program (class "B") for the United States Army Air Forces (AAF); active duty effective March 3, 1943.
Rubin finished his training in September 1943, and was shipped off first to Port Moresby, New Guinea, and then later to the Philippines, to help forecast weather for AAF long range flights in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Rubin returned to the States in 1946 and attended the University of Chicago, from which he earned his master's degree, and later his Ph.D. in Geology.
Rubin joined the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C., on June 14, 1950 as a member of the Branch of Military Geology, then led by Frank C. Whitmore,
In 1952, Hans E. Suess was hired by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to set up a radiocarbon dating laboratory in Washington, D.C. and built the radiocarbon apparatus in a basement space in the GSA Building (former Department of the Interior Building) located at 1800 F St., NW.
In early 1953, Corrine Alexander joined the radiocarbon project, followed by Rubin in December of the same year.
Routine radiocarbon 14C measurements were begun in the summer of 1953.Willard Libby, inventor of the 14C dating method and 1960 Nobel Prize winner used a solid carbon method for sample determination, whereas Suess, upon seeing Libby's method in Chicago knew that he would try the gas, acetylene C2H2, as he had success with acetylene in the 1930s in Germany for other radiochemical determinations.
Rubin became director of the USGS Radiocarbon Laboratory in 1955 when Suess left to set up a new laboratory at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.The next few years at the USGS were devoted to perfecting the acetylene technique and applying it to a multitude of geological and archaeological research.
Rubin continued his research on the Wisconsin glacial stage and used the results for his doctoral dissertation, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956.In 1973, Rubin and the laboratory moved into a newly built USGS national headquarters in Reston, Virginia.
In April 1955, Rubin and Suess published the second set of 14C results from the lab's first year of operation.
Flint and Rubin published a brief assessment of the stratigraphic meaning of these samples and their 14C age determinations in May 1955.
In 1963, Rubin questioned the validity of 14C dates from sea snail shells.
In 1964, Rubin and A. A. Rosen, of the U.S. Public Health Service, showed that by measuring 14C content of surface water it is possible to determine the relative contributions of industrial pollution (from fossil fuels) and domestic pollution (from domestic sewage and garbage) in streams—desirable information for planning abatement measures.
This work was expanded upon in 1975 by Spiker and Rubin, when they published a water pollution study describing the measurement of 14C activity of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in surface water and groundwater, this time applying high-intensity ultraviolet radiation to large water samples to convert DOC to CO2 via photo-oxidation, for 14C measurement.
In 1965, Bruce B. Hanshaw, William Back, and Rubin determined the origin of saline water contaminating the Ocala Limestone aquifer near Brunswick, Georgia by measuring the 14C activity of water in and around the aquifer.
First publishing together in 1967, George Plafker, Rubin, and their colleagues did painstaking fieldwork after the magnitude 9.2 Alaskan earthquake in 1964, covering hundreds of kilometers of Alaskan shoreline in small boats, helicopters, and float-equipped aircraft after the 1964 quake helped to launch a new field of megathrust earthquake geology, which used observations of the placement and 14C dating of intertidal organisms such as acorn barnacles, mussels and rockweed to determine the amounts of vertical change in land relative to sea level near subduction zones.
See Plafker, Lajoie & Rubin 1992, pp.
In 1968, Rubin co-authored with John Chapman Frye, H. B. Willman, and R. F. Black the official USGS "Definition of Wisconsinan Stage," which defined and described the Wisconsinan Stage of the Pleistocene and its substages as time-stratigraphic units for use in Illinois and Wisconsin.
In 1973, Rubin dated charcoal from campfires used by Paleo-Indians at Flint Run Complex in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, to be 10,000 years old—the oldest evidence of man in the state at the time.
Rubin thoroughly analyzed Mount St. Helens in the years and months preceding its 1980 eruption.
He worked with Dwight Crandell and Donal R. Mullineaux on their paper published in 1975, which correctly predicted an eruption could occur before the turn of the century.
In 1977, Rubin collaborated with Harry E. Gove and others in early demonstrations of successful 14C measurement using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Rochester.
Development of this technique made possible the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin, as it allowed for much smaller samples to be used.
This very exciting epoch in the geologic history of North America was followed chronologically by Rubin in a series a radiocarbon dates, which contributed to publications such as "Great Salt Lake, and precursors, Utah: the last 30,000 years" (1984).In August 1986, thousands of people were found dead on the shores of Lake Nyos, Cameroon.
In 1956, Rubin received a Washington Academy of Sciences Award in the Physical Sciences.
In 1974, Rubin received a Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award.
Rubin has been designated as a Scientist Emeritus for the Eastern Geology & Paleoclimate Science Center, now renamed the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, Reston, VA, by the USGS.On a less serious note, Rubin was also given the 1962 Geological Society of Washington Sleeping Bear Award for best humor during a GSW meeting.
Hanshaw, Bruce B.; Rubin, Meyer; Back, William; Friedman, Irving (1 January 1967), Radiocarbon Determinations Applied to Groundwater Hydrology.
Plafker, George; Rubin, Meyer (1978). "Uplift history and earthquake recurrence as deduced from marine terraces on Middleton Island, Alaska" (PDF).
Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2019.
Elmore, David; Gove, Harry E.; Beukens, R. P.; Litherland, A. E.; Purser, K. H.; Rubin, Meyer, "A method for dating the Shroud of Turin", La Sindone e la Scienza: 428–436 Scott, W.E.; McCoy, W.D.; Shroba, R.R.; Rubin, M. (1983).
Archived from the original on Jan 2, 2017.