Nicholas Christofilos Physicist

Nicholas Constantine Christofilos (Νικόλαος Χριστοφίλου) (December 16, 1916 – September 24, 1972) was a Greek-American physicist. Christofilos was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Greece. He attended the National Technical University of Athens at age 18, and graduated with a degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in 1938. He remained in Greece during World War II, working for an Athens elevator maintenance company during the Nazi occupation. He later founded his own elevator company. During all of this, he maintained an amateur interest in accelerator physics and high-energy particle physics, and studied German and American texts on the subjects extensively. In 1946 he independently developed ideas for a synchrotron and in 1949 he conceived the strong-focusing principle. Rather than publishing in a journal he submitted a patent application in the US and Greece. His discovery went unnoticed for several years, and strong focusing was rediscovered by Ernest Courant et al. in 1952 (who acknowledged his priority one year later), and applied to accelerators at BNL, Cornell and CERN. Christofilos was offered a position at Brookhaven in 1953.

Personal details

Date of birth
December 16th, 1916
United States of America
Date of death
September 24th, 1972 at age of 55
Places lived
Boston , Massachusetts
pop. 645,966 (2013)


1. National Technical University of Athens Colleges/University

The National Technical University of Athens (Greek: Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο, National Metsovian Polytechnic), sometimes known as Athens Polytechnic, is among the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions of Greece. It is named Metsovion in honor of its benefactors Nikolaos Stournaris, Eleni Tositsa, Michail Tositsas and Georgios Averoff, whose origin is from the town of Metsovo in Epirus.

Type National university
Institution colors
Heroon Polytechniou 9, Zografou, 15780 - Athens, Attica
2010. 8,500
2010. 1,500
Official web page
Wikipedia article

Institution social analysis

Notable alumni by career
Notable alumni by gender

People attended National Technical University of Athens connected by profession and/or age

b. 1940., Physicist
b. 1921., Poet
b. 1921., Mathematician
b. 1919., Military officer
b. 1911., Politician
b. 1914., Architect
b. 1948., Academic
b. 1951., Politician


Check Nicholas Christofilos on wikipedia.

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