Elias Gyftopoulos

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Elias Gyftopoulos
Born(1927-07-04)4 July 1927
Died23 June 2012(2012-06-23) (aged 84)
Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States
  • Greece
  • United States (from 1963)
Alma mater
Scientific career
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Elias Panayiotis Gyftopoulos (Greek: Ηλίας Παναγιώτης Γυφτόπουλος; July 4, 1927 – June 23, 2012) was a Greek-American engineer who contributed to thermodynamics both in its general formulation and its quantum foundations.[1]

Gyftopoulos received an undergraduate degree in mechanical and electrical engineering in 1953 from the National Technical University of Athens, and a Doctor of Science degree in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958. At MIT, he initially focused on nuclear reactor safety and control. After meeting professors George N. Hatsopoulos and Joseph H. Keenan,[2] his interests moved towards thermodynamics, in an attempt to give a consistent and rigorous exposition, free of the logical flaws and the limitations commonly associated with this discipline: the result was a non-statistical theory, applicable to both macroscopic and microscopic systems, both in equilibrium and in non-equilibrium.[3] His research culminated in the effort to give a quantum basis to thermodynamics with a physical theory unifying mechanics and Thermodynamics.[4]


  • Gyftopoulos, E. P.; Beretta, G. P. (2005) [1st ed., Macmillan, 1991]. Thermodynamics: Foundations and Applications. Mineola (New York): Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0486479255.


  1. ^ Professor emeritus Elias P. Gyftopoulos dies at 84 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; by Alissa Mallinson and Ilavenil Subbiah; published June 27, 2012; retrieved May 21, 2013
  2. ^ Hatsopoulos, G. N.; Keenan, J. H. (1982) [1st ed., Wiley, 1965]. Principles of General Thermodynamics. Krieger. ISBN 978-0898743036.
  3. ^ Gyftopoulos & Beretta 2005.
  4. ^ See, e.g.: http://www.quantumthermodynamics.org

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