Our last meeting was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Dr. Robert N. Compton, Sr. Corporate Fellow Emeritus, ORNL and Professor Emeritus (Physics and Chemistry), the University of Tennessee presented information on a topic titled “On the Origin of the Universe and Life on Earth.”
Humans have long desired to understand our origin and place in the grand Cosmos. The last 100 years have provided new concepts and observations that give us more clues regarding the origin of the Universe, and information related to these concepts and observations were addressed during this talk. Additionally, rationale for the current, scientifically accepted value for the age of the Earth was discussed. Dr. Compton also discussed some of his recent research, which has focused on the origin and evolution of the amino acid pool that eventually led to complex life forms.
Dr. Compton earned degrees in Physics from Berea College (BA), the University of Florida (MS) and the University of Tennessee (PhD). He was a Senior Corporate Fellow at ORNL from 1965-1995. He has served as a professor in various capacities at the University of Tennessee (he retired in 2015), the University of Aarhus, the University of Paris and the FOM Institute in Amsterdam. He is an Erskine Fellow and has presented a series of lectures in New Zealand on the Manhattan Project.