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John Riley Holt, FRS (1918 – 2009), Experimental
was born and educated in Runcorn and came from a traditional family of
Runcorn ship builders. His mother ran a bakery in the town.
Holt was a close assistant and colleague of the Nobel Prize winner -
Sir James Chadwick, discoverer of the neutron. He was hailed as
Chadwick's best researcher.
Holt played a part in the Manhattan Project and later became one of the
pioneers of elementary particle physics. He carried out dangerous
nuclear fission experiments underground during air raids.
A quiet man, almost unknown outside of the world of physics, his
research and discoveries are continually used today as part of the
basic principles of quantum mechanics.