in reference to the polio vaccine, 1955, from name of Russian-born U.S. microbiologist Albert B. Sabin (1906-1993), who developed it. As a unit of sound absorption by 1934, for U.S. physicist Wallace C. Sabine (1868-1919), founder of architectural acoustics.
1834, from Latinized form of Greek kation "going down," neuter present participle of katienai "to go down," from kata "down" (see cata-) + ienai "to go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). Proposed by the Rev. William Whewell, English polymath, and published by English physicist Michael Faraday. Compare ion.