Skip to Content

John Gibson Winans

Born: 1902
Death: 1990

Physicist and University at Buffalo professor emeritus John Gibson Winans was born in Mexico, Missouri on July 2, 1902, graduated from Colorado College in 1923, received his master's from Dartmouth in 1924, and earned his doctorate from University of Wisconsin in 1927. He was a National Research Fellow at Princeton University from 1927-1928, and an International Education Board Fellow at the University of Gottingen, Germany from 1928-1929. In 1930, Winans became Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin. During this time, he also became a research physicist for Sylvania Electric Products Co. in 1945, and was an aeronautical research engineer at Langley Aeronautical Lab for three months during 1957. In 1962, Winans left his position in Wisconsin to become a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Buffalo, becoming professor emeritus ten years later.

Winans researched visible and ultraviolet spectroscopy, and helped pioneer experimental quantum mechanics. He also was interested in aviation, and became well-known for his proposal for circular runways at airports. Winans was involved in local politics and sought the 1976 Democratic nomination to run against Representative Jack F. Kemp. 

Winans died in Millard Fillmore Hospital on January 1, 1990 at the age of 87

Affiliation(s): Physics
Record Group(s): 20
Biographical File Contains:
  • Obituary