Washington, D.C. 20549

                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT

                       Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of
                       the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                                 Date of Report
                       (Date of earliest event reported):

                                October 11, 2001

                           THERMO ELECTRON CORPORATION
             (Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware                               1-8002                         04-2209186
(State or other jurisdiction of    (Commission File             (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)         Number)            Identification Number)

81 Wyman Street, P.O. Box 9046
Waltham, Massachusetts                                                02454-9046
(Address of principal executive offices)                              (Zip Code)

                                 (781) 622-1000
                         (Registrant's telephone number
                              including area code)

Item 5.  Other Events

     On October 11, 2001,  Thermo Electron  Corporation (the "Company") issued a
press release  announcing that its Board of Directors approved a distribution to
the holders of record of the  Company's  common stock on November 7, 2001 of all
of the  shares  of its  wholly-owned  subsidiary,  Viasys  Healthcare  Inc.  The
distribution is scheduled to occur on November 15, 2001.

     The full text of the  Company's  press  release  dated  October 10, 2001 is
filed as Exhibit  99.1 to this  Current  Report on Form 8-K and is  incorporated
herein by reference.

Item 7.  Financial Statements, Pro Forma Financial Information and Exhibits

      (a)   Financial Statements of Business Acquired: Not applicable.

      (b)   Pro Forma Financial Information: Not applicable.

      (c)   Exhibits

            99.1    Press Release dated October 11, 2001.


     Pursuant to the  requirements  of the Securities  Exchange Act of 1934, the
Registrant  has duly  caused  this  report  to be  signed  on its  behalf by the
undersigned thereunto duly authorized, on this 12th day of October, 2001.

                                        THERMO ELECTRON CORPORATION

                                        By:   /s/ Theo Melas-Kyriazi
                                             Theo Melas-Kyriazi
                                             Vice President and Chief Financial

                      Thermo Electron Announces Details of
                            Viasys Healthcare Spinoff

WALTHAM,  Mass., October 11, 2001 - Thermo Electron Corporation (NYSE:TMO) today
announced  that its board of  directors  has  approved the spinoff of its wholly
owned  Viasys  Healthcare  Inc.  subsidiary  as a  dividend  to Thermo  Electron
shareholders.  On November 15, 2001,  Thermo Electron will distribute all of its
shares  of  Viasys  Healthcare  to  Thermo  Electron  shareholders  of record on
November 7, 2001.  Immediately after the planned  distribution,  Thermo Electron
will no longer own shares of Viasys Healthcare.

     Thermo Electron expects to distribute  approximately .1428 shares of Viasys
Healthcare  common stock for each share of Thermo  Electron  common  stock.  The
final  ratio  will be based on the  actual  number  of  Thermo  Electron  shares
outstanding on the November 7 record date. Thermo Electron shareholders entitled
to the  dividend  will  receive  stock  certificates  for whole shares of Viasys
Healthcare  common stock and cash  payments for any  fractional  shares.  Thermo
Electron  has  received a ruling  from the  Internal  Revenue  Service  that the
dividend of Viasys Healthcare shares will qualify as a tax-free distribution for
U.S.  federal  income tax  purposes,  except  that the cash  received in lieu of
fractional shares will be taxable.

     Thermo  Electron  shareholders  will not be  required to take any action in
order to receive the Viasys  Healthcare  common stock.  Viasys  Healthcare stock
certificates  will be delivered to the record  addresses of the Thermo  Electron

     Viasys  Healthcare  has  filed  with  the  U.S.   Securities  and  Exchange
Commission a preliminary  information statement on Form 10 containing details of
the distribution and information  about Viasys  Healthcare.  On the distribution
date, Thermo Electron will mail the definitive  information  statement to Thermo
Electron  shareholders  entitled to receive the  dividend,  together  with stock
certificates representing the distributed shares.

     Viasys Healthcare designs,  manufactures,  and markets a variety of medical
devices,  instruments,  and specialty  products for use in a range of healthcare
services. It operates through three divisions.  The Respiratory Care group makes
instruments  and  equipment  for the  diagnosis  and  treatment of  respiratory,
circulatory,  and sleep-related disorders. The Neuro-Care group makes diagnostic
and monitoring  devices for nerve,  brain,  hearing,  and other  disorders.  The
Medical/Surgical   Products  group  manufactures  surgical  implant  components,
critical  care  tube-feeding  systems,  medical-grade  polyurethanes,   surgical
barrier-control  systems,  as  well  as a line  of  wireless  patient-monitoring
systems.  Products  in  development  address  solutions  for the  diagnosis  and
treatment  of  asthma,  stroke  rehabilitation,  advanced  respiratory  distress
syndrome,   and  systems  used  in  the  critical  care  and  surgical   arenas.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Viasys Healthcare has operations in
California,  Illinois,  Massachusetts,  Wisconsin,  and Germany, and markets its
products worldwide. In 2000, it had revenues of approximately $346 million.


     Thermo   Electron   Corporation   is   a   global   leader   in   providing
technology-based instruments, components, and systems that offer total solutions
for markets ranging from life sciences to  telecommunications to food, drug, and
beverage production.  The company's powerful  technologies help researchers sift
through data to make  discoveries  that will fight disease or prolong life. They
allow  manufacturers to fabricate critical  components  required to increase the
speed and quality of communications.  And they automatically monitor and control
online   production  to  ensure  that  quality  standards  are  met  safely  and
efficiently.  Thermo Electron,  based in Waltham,  Massachusetts,  reported $2.3
billion in revenues in 2000 and employs  approximately  12,000 people worldwide.
For more information on Thermo Electron, visit

The following constitutes a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities
Litigation  Reform Act of 1995:  This  press  release  contains  forward-looking
statements that involve a number of risks and  uncertainties.  Important factors
that could cause actual  results to differ  materially  from those  indicated by
such  forward-looking  statements are set forth under the heading "Risk Factors"
in the company's  Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended  December
30, 2000. These include risks and uncertainties  relating to: integration of the
company's  instrument  businesses,  the  ability  to  improve  internal  growth,
liquidity  and  prospective  performance  of a  subsidiary  to be spun off,  the
company's guarantee of obligations of a subsidiary that was spun off, the effect
of exchange rate fluctuations on international operations,  potential impairment
of  goodwill,  the  need to  develop  new  products  and  adapt  to  significant
technological   change,   dependence  on  customers  that  operate  in  cyclical
industries, the effect of changes in governmental regulations, and dependence on
customers' capital spending policies and government funding policies.

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