Rubin, Vera

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© Bob Rubin.

A high school physics teacher tried to steer Vera Cooper Rubin away from science. A college admissions officer suggested that she avoid majoring in astronomy. Senior astronomers took a scornful view of her first paper in 1950. In the 1970s Rubin and Kent Ford measured the rotational velocities of interstellar matter in orbit around the center of the nearby Andromeda galaxy. Their readings, confirmed by observations on other galaxies, led them to infer that the galaxies must contain dark matter. Confirmation of that fact sealed Rubin's reputation as an astronomer. (Unit: 10)