Willard Libby is awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and elected to work at Princeton University. On 8th December 1941, the Fellowship is interrupted to begin military-related research due to the entry of the U.S. into World War II.
Willard Libby receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science".
Willard Libby marries Leona Woods Marshall, a professor of environmental engineering at UCLA and a staff member of the Rand Corporation.
Willard Libby enters the University of California. His interests at that time are English history and literature, but he decides to enrol as a mining engineer to pursue a more practical career. Gradually his roommates, chemistry graduate students, instil in Libby the passion for chemistry and eventually he earns a B.Sc. in chemistry.
Willard Libby is appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1962 he becomes Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.
Willard Libby dies at 71 in Los Angeles of a blood clot in his lung following a brief hospitalization for pneumonia. After his retirement in 1976, he remained professionally active until his death.
Willard Libby marries Leonor Hickey, by whom he will have twin daughters. In 1966 they divorce.
Willard Libby earns his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California studying under physical chemists Gilbert Newton Lewis and Wendell M. Latimer.
Willard Libby joins the Metallurgical Laboratory at Columbia University on the Manhattan District Project, on leave from the Department of Chemistry of the University of California. He works under Harold C. Urey to develop methods for separating uranium isotopes by gaseous diffusion for production of the first nuclear bomb.
Willard Libby's family relocates to an apple ranch north of San Francisco. Helping with work at the farm, Libby grows tall and strong.
Willard Libby joins the faculty at Berkeley as Instructor, becoming Assistant Professor in 1938 and Associate Professor in 1945. At Berkeley, during the 1930s, he builds sensitive Geiger counters to measure weak natural and artificial radioactivity.
Willard Libby is appointed member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission by President Eisenhower. He resigns from this position on 30th June, 1959.
Willard Libby is born in Grand Valley, Colorado to Ora Edward Libby, a farmer, and his wife, Eva May Rivers.
Willard Libby attends Analy High School in Sebastopol.
Willard Libby and his team spend several years developing extremely sensitive Geiger counters to measure carbon-14 in ancient materials. These counters needed to be extremely well-shielded to eliminate interference from background radiation. On the 4th March 1947 Libby and his students obtains the first age determination using the carbon-14 dating technique. Carbon-dating has become an important tool for anthropologists, archaeologists, geologists, and other earth scientists.
Libby is appointed Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Institute for Nuclear Studies of the University of Chicago. In 1946, he discovers that cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere produce traces of tritium, which can be used as a tracer for atmospheric water. By measuring tritium concentrations, he finds a technique for dating water and wine, and for measuring circulation patterns of water and the mixing of ocean waters.