Arthur Holly Compton: The Adventures of a Citizen Scientist

by John J. Compton

Perhaps one never knows one’s parents, really knows them. You never know their early lives and, as a kid, you are living inside your own skin, not theirs. Growing up in Chicago, I never knew my dad was famous. He was just a firm, affectionate, if too busy father figure, who loved music and the outdoors, played tennis better than I could, was awfully good with tools, and could explain scientific ideas so well that I almost understood them. I knew he was a physicist and taught at the University of Chicago, and he and mother often took me on lecture or research trips, but I did not know what it was all about. During the war, when he was one of those in charge of the bomb project and we had moved to Oak Ridge, he was just a hard-working ordinary man doing a war job like everybody else

 PSCF 62, no. 1 (2010): 53–60

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