Found in a Box

I recently ascended to Czar of Physics. (Oops — I mistyped Chair and it autocompleted to Czar!) It’s not my first year as Czar, but this time, during the handover from the previous Czar, I inherited a small cardboard box. Inside I found a stack of old Wooster ΣΠΣ membership cards. (ΣΠΣ is Greek for SPS and signifies the SPS honor society; SPS is an initialism for the Society of Physics Students.) The two cards in the accompanying photograph are especially interesting. Karl modestly lists his position as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His brother Arthur reports being a professor at the University of Chicago but doesn’t mention the Nobel Prize he won four years earlier for scattering light from electrons. The Compton effect helped convince physicists of the wave-particle duality of matter and subsume classical mechanics in quantum mechanics.

Wooster Compton brothers sigma pi sigma membership cards

Some Wooster Sigma Pi Sigma membership cards; click for a larger view

About John F. Lindner

John F. Lindner was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and educated at the University of Vermont and Caltech. He is an emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at The College of Wooster and a visiting professor at North Carolina State University. He has enjoyed multiple yearlong sabbaticals at Georgia Tech, University of Portland, University of Hawai'i, and NCSU. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics, celestial mechanics, and neural networks.
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