Science: Up from the Elevator

Nicholas Constantine Christofilos is a rumpled, somewhat obstreperous lone wolf in the ordered ranks of modern physicists. He has no degrees in physics, little formal training. But time and again, he has brought forth ideas that have proved right.

Christofilos was born in Boston in 1916, the son of Greek immigrant parents who ran a small restaurant. When he was seven, they took him back to Greece. In the National Technical University at Athens, Christofilos took electrical engineering. After graduation in 1938, he went to work for an elevator-building company. When the Germans...

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