Libby, a physical chemist, is best known for leading a team at the University of Chicago that developed a technology in the late 1940s—radiocarbon dating—that revolutionized how we understand the history of the earth and its living species.It has successfully determined the age of artifacts up to 50,000 years ago.

Among the artifacts from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute that Prof.

Willard Libby tested during the radiocarbon dating development process was this wood from an ancient Egyptian coffin.

In June 1952, Time Magazine popularized Libby’s discovery, running an article describing how radiocarbon dating was used to measure the age of a charred piece of oak from England’s mysterious Stonehenge monument “at 3,800 years old—give or take about 275 years.” Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1960 "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science." Willard F.

Willard Libby visited Lindau and lectured two times, first at the physics meeting in 1971 and then at the chemistry meeting 1974.

The artifact, more than 2,000 years old, dates to the Egyptian Ptolemaic period.

OI founder James Henry Breasted purchased the artifact, and many others, during his honeymoon trip to Egypt in 1894-95.

Libby left Berkeley for Princeton University in 1941 on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and, when World War II broke out, he went to work at Columbia University, where he participated on the Manhattan Project to develop an atomic weapon.

After the war ended, Libby returned to his research in nuclear chemistry at the department of chemistry and Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago.

Libby describes how he with radio-chemical methods has been able to put a date on matter about 7 500 years old and predicts that he will reach 10 000 years.