Arthur Compton
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1892
Date of Death: 1962
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Presbyterian
Occupation: Physicist, Author of Non-Fiction, Clergyman, Educator
Spouse: Betty Charity McCloskey
Children: Arthur Alan, John Joseph
Professional Affiliations: Washington University in St. Louis
University of Chicago
University of Minnesota
Turtledove Appearances:
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): In the Balance;
Tilting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct
Arthur Holly Compton (September 10, 1892 – March 15, 1962) was an American physicist and Nobel laureate in physics for his discovery of the Compton effect. He served as Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1945 to 1953. During World War II, Compton was instrumental in organizing the Manhattan Project which built the first atomic bomb.

Arthur Compton in Worldwar

Arthur Compton was the head of the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory, and one of the people in charge of the United States' efforts to build an atomic bomb, a key weapon against the Race's Conquest Fleet.[1] While initially he preferred the group stay in Chicago, he and his team transferred to Denver in 1942 when Chicago's fall to the Race seemed inevitable. In Denver, the team were able to produce a successful atomic pile in 1943.[2] Compton urged caution after a German pile melted down, killing several physicists, including Werner Heisenberg.[3]


  1. In the Balance, pg. 95.
  2. Tilting the Balance, pg. 345.
  3. Ibid., pg. 408.