Highlights of the Los Alamos Origins Debate – Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Highlights of the Los Alamos Origins Debate

John R. Baumgardner, Ph.D.

Expanded by Nicholas Petersen

The following article has been adapted from my contributions to an ongoing debate over origins issues in the letters to the editor section of our local newspaper1. Our town, Los Alamos, located in the mountains of northern New Mexico, is the home of the Los Alamos National Laboratory which, with approximately 10,000 employees, is one of the larger scientific research facilities in the United States.

About John Baumgardner

image002John R. Baumgardner, Ph.D. Geophysics and Space Physics

John Baumgardner has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA (1983). Dr. Baumgardner served as staff scientist in the Fluid Dynamics Group of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico from 1984 to 2004. He is famous for his development of the TERRA program, a 3-D spherical finite element model for the earth’s mantle. Beginning in 1995 Dr. Baumgardner assisted the German Weather Service in adapting methods from the TERRA code as the basis for a new operational global weather forecast model known as GME that is now used in Germany and twenty other countries. Dr. Baumgardner also served four years of active duty as a project officer at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM, where he had responsibilities in the design of the resonator optics for a large, classified CO2 gas dynamics laser. For further biographic information, see (

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  1. A collection of these letters is available on the World Wide Web at: [which link is now obsolete, but now available from]. 

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