Elias Gyftopoulos

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Elias Gyftopoulos
Born (1927-07-04)4 July 1927
Athens, Greece
Died 23 June 2012(2012-06-23) (aged 84)
Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States
  • Greece
  • United States (from 1963)
Fields Thermodynamics
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater

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

Gyftopoulos graduated in Mechanical and Electrical engineering in 1953 at the National Technical University of Athens, and became Doctor of Science in Electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958. In the latter university, he started as teacher on Nuclear reactor safety and control. After knowing professor George N. Hatsopoulos, his work and the one of professor 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 to 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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