Polish Physical Society in Poznań Henryk Drozdowski (University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań)

In Poznań, before the First World War, there was Königliche Akademie zu Posen - Higher Teacher Education Center.

The director of this institution, Paul Spiess, was a physicist who equipped the physical unit well, which was located during the Prussian partition on the second floor of the Collegium Minus. It was the collections of this department that became the basis for organizing physics in 1919 at the University of Poznań, and then the Poznań Branch of the PPS.

The Poznań Branch of the Polish Physical Society was created on June 30, 1923.

The first chairman of the Branch Board was elected prof. Tadeusz Pęczalski, who built from scratch the Department of Theoretical Physics of the University of Poznań.

prof. Tadeusz Pęczalski

Professor T. Pęczalski was the chairman of the Poznań Branch of the PPS in 1924-1928. In 1928/29 the Department was headed by prof. Władysław Smosarski, then from 1930 for several years again prof. T. Pęczalski.

The Poznań Branch of the PPS hosted foreign physicists. In 1927, Paul Langevin gave a lecture: Sur les ondes acoustiques.

In 1935, Prince Louis de Broglie was a guest of the Department and gave a lecture discussing his work in the field of wave mechanics.

Finally, in Poznań, Irena Joliot-Curie gave a lecture on artificial radioactivity.

After the liberation of Poznań in 1945, the University was rebuilt. With great effort and organizational talent, Poznań physics "resurrected" prof. Szczepan Szczeniowski. He also resumed the activities of the Poznań Branch of the Polish Physical Society.

After World War II, the Poznań Branch was registered on May 21, 1949. The chairmen of the Department were, in order, eminent professors: Szczepan Szczeniowski, Stanisław Loria, and Arkadiusz H. Piekara.

from the left: prof. Szczepan Szczeniowski, prof. Stanisław Loria, prof. Arkadiusz Piekara

Professor Sz. Szczeniowski became a member of the PPS Main Board and the editor-in-chief of the magazine „Advances in Physics”. The magazine was edited in Poznań from mid-1949 to 1951. He left a great work in the form of a six-volume textbook Experimental Physics.

Professors: Marek Kwiek, Edmund Karaśkiewicz, Andrzej Pilawski, Zdzisław Pająk, Antoni Śliwiński, Jerzy Małecki, Jerzy Pietrzak, Jadwiga Stankowska, Andrzej Dobek, and Stanisław Hoffmann also served as chairmen of the Poznań Branch of the PPS.

The longest working in the branch authorities were: prof. Tadeusz Hilczer (secretary of the Poznań Branch 1953-1984) and doc. Andrzej Pilawski - 25 years.

In 2020, Poznań Branch of the PPS has 134 people.

Five congresses of Polish Physicists took place in Poznań in the years: 1930, 1952, 1969, 1991, 2013.

(in the photo from the left: Prof. Tadeusz Pęczalski, French physicist Louis de Broglie (Nobel Prize winner 1929 in physics), Rector of the University of Poznań Prof. Stanisław Runge, Poznań, 1935)

Henryk Drozdowski works as a professor at the Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University.

He was the head of the Physics Didactics Department (2008-2012) and the head of the Optics Department (2012-2014).

He is the chairman of the Board of the Poznań Branch of the PPS since 2017, after the term of office of prof. Roman Świetlik and Mrs. prof. Alina Dudkowiak.

He conducts research in the field of X-ray condensed phase structural analysis. He specializes in the physics of liquids and amorphous bodies. He promoted three physics doctors.

His area of interest is also the popularization of physics. He is the author of a textbook for physics and other natural science students: A Physical Picture of the World.

During the lecture I will tell about the most interesting characters and events from the history of the Poznań Branch of the Polish Physical Society.

October 16th, 2020 at 6.30pm

Physics Hall, Warsaw University of Technology


Photos by Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe, Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu