László Tisza

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László Tisza t
Laszlo Tisza.jpg
BornJuly 7, 1907
DiedApril 15, 2009(2009-04-15) (aged 101)
Alma mater University of Budapest
University of Göttingen
Leipzig University
Known for Microscopic theory of the superfluid component of liquid helium
AwardsFellow, American Physical Society
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Guggenheim Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical physics
Quantum mechanics
Institutions Kharkiv Theoretical Physics School
Collège de France
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral students Martin J. Klein
Herbert Callen

László Tisza (July 7, 1907 – April 15, 2009) was Professor of Physics Emeritus at MIT. He was a colleague of famed physicists Edward Teller, Lev Landau and Fritz London, and initiated the two-fluid theory of liquid helium. [1]

Edward Teller Hungarian-American nuclear physicist

Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist who is known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb", although he did not care for the title. He made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy, and surface physics. His extension of Enrico Fermi's theory of beta decay, in the form of Gamow–Teller transitions, provided an important stepping stone in its application, while the Jahn–Teller effect and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory have retained their original formulation and are still mainstays in physics and chemistry. Teller also made contributions to Thomas–Fermi theory, the precursor of density functional theory, a standard modern tool in the quantum mechanical treatment of complex molecules. In 1953, along with Nicholas Metropolis, Arianna Rosenbluth, Marshall Rosenbluth, and Augusta Teller, Teller co-authored a paper that is a standard starting point for the applications of the Monte Carlo method to statistical mechanics. Throughout his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and for his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality.

Lev Landau Soviet physicist

Lev Davidovich Landau was a Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics.

Fritz London American physicist

Fritz Wolfgang London was a German physicist and professor at Duke University. His fundamental contributions to the theories of chemical bonding and of intermolecular forces are today considered classic and are discussed in standard textbooks of physical chemistry. With his brother Heinz London, he made a significant contribution to understanding electromagnetic properties of superconductors with the London equations and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on five separate occasions.


United States

In 1941, Tisza immigrated to the United States and joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research areas included theoretical physics and the history and philosophy of science, specifically on the foundation of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. He taught at MIT until 1973.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology University in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The Institute is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university, with a campus that extends more than a mile alongside the Charles River. Its influence in the physical sciences, engineering, and architecture, and more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, management, and social science and art, has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Philosophy of science is a sub-field of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern what qualifies as science, the reliability of scientific theories, and the ultimate purpose of science. This discipline overlaps with metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, for example, when it explores the relationship between science and truth.

Thermodynamics branch of physics concerned with heat, work, temperature, and thermal or internal energy

Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that deals with heat and temperature, and their relation to energy, work, radiation, and properties of bodies of matter. The behavior of these quantities is governed by the four laws of thermodynamics, irrespective of the specific composition of the material or system in question. The laws of thermodynamics are explained in terms of microscopic constituents by statistical mechanics. Thermodynamics applies to a wide variety of topics in science and engineering, especially physical chemistry, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.


Tisza was the author of the 1966 book, Generalized Thermodynamics. The 1982 publication, Physics as Natural Philosophy: Essays in Honor of László Tisza, was written by Tisza's colleagues and former students in honor of his 75th birthday.


He was a Fellow of The American Physical Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and had been a visiting professor at the University of Paris in Sorbonne.

The American Physical Society (APS) is the world's second largest organization of physicists. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the prestigious Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than twenty science meetings each year. APS is a member society of the American Institute of Physics.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences United States honorary society and center for independent policy research

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. Founded in 1780, the Academy is dedicated to honoring excellence and leadership, working across disciplines and divides, and advancing the common good.

University of Paris former university in Paris, France

The University of Paris, metonymically known as the Sorbonne, was a university in Paris, France, active 1150–1793, and 1806–1970.

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  1. Friedman, Jerome; Greytak, Thomas J.; Kleppner, Daniel (July 2009). "Obituary: Laszlo Tisza". Physics Today. 62 (7): 65. Bibcode:2009PhT....62g..65F. doi:10.1063/1.3177236.