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Rigden, John S. 1934-

RIGDEN, John S. 1934-

PERSONAL: Born January 10, 1934, in Painesville, OH; son of William P. (a water company employee) and Eltheda X. (a homemaker; maiden name, Weaver) Rigden; married Dorothy Takala, 1953 (divorced, 1983); married Diana E. Wyllie (a consultant in education), 1985; children: Jeffrey W., Gregory J., Jonathan R., Keith D., Karen R. Montes de Oca, L. Brick. Education: Eastern Nazarene College, B.S., 1956; Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D., 1960. Politics: "Moderate-liberal." Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, Hudson steam locomotives.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Department of Physics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA, assistant professor, 1961-64, associate professor of physics, 1964-67; Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, associate professor of physics, 1967-68; University of Missouri—St. Louis, associate professor, 1968-78, professor of physics, 1978-87; American Institute of Physics, College Park, MD, director of physics programs, 1987-97. International Science Exhibition, U.S. representative.

MEMBER: American Physical Society (fellow), History of Science Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow).

AWARDS, HONORS: Fulbright fellow in Burma and Uruguay; honorary D.Sc., Denison University.


Physics and the Sound of Music, Wiley (New York, NY), 1977, 2nd edition, 1985.

Rabi: Scientist and Citizen, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1987.

(Editor, with Laurie M. Brown) Most of the Good Stuff: Memories of Richard Feynman, American Institute of Physics (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics, five volumes, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1996.

(Editor, with Judy R. Franz) Physics in the Twentieth Century, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1999.

Hydrogen: The Essential Element, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.

Contributor to books. Contributor of more than 100 articles and reviews to scientific journals. Editor, American Journal of Physics, 1977-87; coeditor, Physics in Perspective, 1999—.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Einstein: The Standard of Greatness.

SIDELIGHTS: John S. Rigden once told CA: "I have had a long fascination for I. I. Rabi, one of the twentieth century's foremost physicists. Rabi was not only an outstanding physicist (he won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1944), but also a statesman of science. He saw in physics a cultural force, a means to bridge cultural, ideological, and nationalistic differences. Rabi, along with J. Robert Oppenheimer, was behind the Baruch Plan presented to the United Nations in June, 1946. He also organized the first International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in 1955."

Recently Rigden added: "Science is dependent on the support of the general public. If that support is to be sustained, citizens must understand and accept the values that undergird the quest for new knowledge. Thus it is crucial that communication between scientists and the general public be maintained. My writing has been motivated by my desire to edify the general reader about physics."



Los Angeles Times Book Review, July 14, 1987.

New York Times Book Review, May 10, 1987.

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