Joseph Kaplan

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Joseph Kaplan (September 8, 1902 — October 3, 1991) was a Hungarian-born American physicist. [1][2][3][4][5]

Kaplan was notable for his studies of atmospheric phenomena, for his international activities in geophysics.[1][3] Kaplan also participated in efforts to launch the first Earth satellite.[5] Kaplan was a member of the National Academy of Sciences,[1][3] a fellow of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences,[3] chairman of the U.S. National Committee for the International Geophysical Year,[1][4][5] the founder and first director of the Institute of Geophysics at the University of California (later known as the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics),[1][4][5] an aerospace adviser to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon,[1][4] a recipient of the Smithsonian Institution's Hodgkins Medal in 1967,[4] the head of the Air Force's Air Weather Service during World War II,[1] a professor and professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Los Angeles,[1] a fellow of American Geophysical Union,[3] an honorary member of American Meteorological Society,[3] a fellow of American Physical Society,[3] an honorary member of National Association of Science Writers,[3] and a founding member of the International Academy of Astronautics.[3]

The Los Angeles Times said that Kaplan was "a pioneer in the chemistry and physics of the stratosphere".[4] The Baltimore Sun called him "an expert on auroras and similar lights in the sky".[2]

Notable awards and distinctions[edit]

Career and life[edit]

Kaplan was born in Tapolca, Hungary in 1902. In 1910 at the age of 8 he immigrated to the United States with his parents and 11 brothers and sisters. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. degree in chemistry and a M.S. and Ph.D. in physics. He spent his entire academic career at the University of California at Berkeley (1928–1970). Kaplan died of a heart attack on October 3, 1991 in Santa Monica, California at the age of 89.