John P. Xanthakis (1904 - 1994)
Member of the Academy of Athens, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (born 1904). He got the degree in Mathematics from the University of Athens, Greece (1925), the Ph.D. from the same University (1929) and further education at the University of Strasburg (1930-1934). He worked as a high school teacher (1934-1939), Professor at the National Military School of Athens (1939-1940) and as Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1940-1956). He was elected as a member of the Academy on Athens in 1955 and he has served as its President (1964) and Publication secretary and member of its Governing Board since then. He has been twice a vice-minister of Agriculture in temporary Greek Governments (1963 and 1964) and Chairman to many boards of ￼scientific societies. He had served for many years as a Chairman of the National Astronomical Committee. He had written many papers in mathematical Analysis, Astronomy (especially on solar activity) and 7 textbooks. A special “Compedium in Astronomy” has been published by D. Reidel Publishing Co. (1982) on the occasion of his 25 years scientific activity. He had been a warm supporter of the publication of the first edition of this list of Greek Astronomers (1992) as Chairman of the National Astronomical Committee.
Basilis Xanthopoulos was a greek theoretical physicist, who made several fundamental contributions in General Relativity and Gravitational Physics until his premature death on November 27, 1990.
He was born in Drama, Greece, and studied Mathematics at the University of Thessaloniki. He continued his graduate studies at the University of Chicago (USA) where, in 1978, he obtained his PhD under the supervision of Robert Geroch. He taught and worked as a researcher at the Universities of Montana, Syracuse, and Harvard in the US, as well as at the Max Planck Institute, in Germany. He returned to Greece as Chief Assistant at the University of Thessaloniki (1979-1982) before joining the Department of Physics of the University of Crete as an Assistant Professor (1982-1983), Associate Professor (1983-1987), and Professor (1987-1990). He was the Chairman of the Department (1987-1990) at the time of his death.
Basilis was one of the closest collaborators of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (Nobel Prize in Physics 1983). They published together many important papers on black holes, colliding gravitational waves, space time perturbations, and other topics in General Relativity.