Frank C. Jones (1932-2007)

Washington Post, Washington DC
May 15, 2007

Frank C. Jones, 74, a retired theoretical physicist, died May 2 of cancer at his home in Silver Spring.

Dr. Jones was born in Fort Worth and graduated from Rice University in 1954. He received a master's degree in 1955 and a doctorate in 1961, both in physics from the University of Chicago.

He was an instructor in physics at Princeton University before joining NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1963 as a National Research Council associate. He subsequently became a member of the Theory Division and the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics.

During his tenure at NASA, Dr. Jones made a number of pioneering contributions to understanding the origin and transport of cosmic rays. He produced a work on Compton scattering -- the decrease in energy of an X-ray when it interacts with matter -- that is still widely used.

From 1993 to 1995, he was head of the Theoretical High Energy Astrophysics Office and in 2003 served as acting chief of the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. He retired in 2005 and continued his affiliation with NASA as a Goddard emeritus scientist until his death.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Ardythe Grube Jones of Silver Spring; two children, Cheryl Mattis of Columbia and Timothy Jones of Silver Spring; two brothers; and four grandchildren.

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