Kosta Tsipis, MIT physicist and advocate for nuclear disarmament, dies


TAGS: Obituary, Diaspora

Kosta Tsipis, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a prominent voice for nuclear disarmament, died at his home Saturday at the age of 86.

Born in Greece, Tsipis moved to the United States in 1954 to study electrical engineering and physics.

After earning a PhD at Columbia University, he joined the physics department at MIT. He later became director of the university’s Program in Science and Technology for International Security, which he co-founded in 1977.

In 1984, Tsipis earned the The Leo Szilard Lectureship Award which is given annually by the American Physical Society for “outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society.”

He was also a longtime member of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, a Nobel peace prize-winning crisis group that works to reduce the threats posed by nuclear weapons.

During his academic career, Tsipis wrote four books – including “Arsenal: Understanding weapons in the nuclear age” (1983) and “New Technologies, Defense Policy, and Arms Control” (1989) – and authored more than 70 scientific papers.