21st Century Science & Technology

Dr. Robert Moon, speaking in 1987 at Human Rights Commission hearings on the LaRouche case.
Who Was Robert J. Moon?

Robert James Moon (1911-1989): Arriving at the University of Chicago at the age of 16 in 1928, Moon expressed his intention to solve the problem of controlled thermonuclear fusion. Arthur Compton, then chair of the Physics Department, told him his department was not working on that problem, and sent him to the chairman of the Department of Physical Chemistry, William Draper Harkins.

Moon earned a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry under Harkins, and then a doctorate in Physics. He taught in both departments at the University of Chicago, starting in the 1930s. During World War II, he played a key role in the Manhattan Project; he later conducted biophysical research in connection with Argonne National Laboratory.

In the 1930s, Moon built the second cyclotron in the world, with many improvements over the first device constructed by E.O. Lawrence. During the Manhattan Project, he solved the problem of the carbon moderator, making the first atomic pile possible. After the war, he constructed the first scanning X-ray microscope, and pioneered in optical biophysics studies on the action potential in nerves.

His study of the electrodynamic theories of André-Marie Ampère and Wilhelm Weber, led him to reconsider the usual interpretation of the Rutherford scattering data, which ignores the variation in force between charged particles as a result of relative velocities and accelerations. Calculations based on the Weber electrodynamics forced Moon to re-conceptualize most of what is, still today, taken for granted in atomic and nuclear physics.

From 1974 onward, he was a key collaborator of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. A founding member of the Fusion Energy Foundation, from 1984-1986 he edited its International Journal of Fusion Energy. He was a member of the advisory board of 21st Century Science & Technology, until his death in 1989.

As an outgrowth of seminars conducted with LaRouche and other scientific collaborators in the 1984-1986 period, Moon came up with his proposal for a geometric ordering of the atomic nucleus, inspired by Johannes Kepler’s conception of the solar system, as described in his work Mysterium Cosmographicum.

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