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Gilbert N. Plass


Gilbert Norman Plass was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on March 22, 1920. He was a physicist who developed an early computer model of infrared radiative transfer and published a number of articles on carbon dioxide and climate between 1953 and 1959. He received a B.S. from Harvard University in 1941 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1947. He worked as an associate physicist at the Metallurgical Laboratory (Manhattan District) of the University of Chicago from 1942 to 1945. He became an instructor of physics at Johns Hopkins University in 1946. In 1955 Plass moved out of academics, serving for a year as a staff scientist with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. He then joined the advanced research staff of the Aeronutronic division of the Ford Motor Company. In 1960, he became manager of the research lab at Ford’s theoretical physics department and a consulting editor of the journal Infrared Physics. In 1963, he accepted a position as the first professor of atmospheric and space science at the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (now the University of Texas, Arlington) where he remained for five years. In 1968, he arrived at Texas A&M University, where he served as professor of physics and head of the department. He is the author of six books, including Infrared Physics and Engineering (1963) and more than 100 articles on radiative transfer and climate change, nuclear fission and neutron physics, electromagnetic and gravitational action at a distance, electron emission, and electrostatic electron lenses. He passed away in Bryan, Texas, on March 1, 2004.

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Carbon Dioxide and the Climate