Polish Physical Society in Warsaw Jerzy Garbarczyk (Warsaw University of Technology)

Before the Polish Physical Society was founded, in Warsaw, a locally-based Physical Society was founded at the Polytechnic on January 28, 1919.

Józef Kowalski-Wierusz became the chairman, but soon he devoted himself to a diplomatic career. Stanisław Kalinowski, who was the main initiator of the establishment of the PPS, became the vice-chairman.

The Physical Society in Warsaw formally transformed into the Warsaw Branch of the PPS on the fifth of May 1920. Wacław Werner became the first chairman of WB.

The Warsaw Branch from the very beginning was very active in organizing popular science lectures in physics, which enjoyed great interest.

The Comitee of the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Physical Society informs that on Friday, March 22 this year. at. 20 at the Physics Department of the University of Technology, 75 Koszykowa St. Dr. M. Wolfke will again give a lecture illustrated with numerous experimets, entitled "New elementary particles of matter" Content: neutron, positron, "neutrino" hypothesis. This lecture will be repeated in the face of numerous requests from the public who, due to lack of space, could not hear him before.
Attendance at lectures reached up to 350 people and physics auditoriums located at the University of Warsaw and Warsaw University of Technology were bursting at the seams.

In the interwar period, two congresses of PPS were organized in Warsaw: I - in 1923 and VI - in 1932. The ceremonial inaugurations and endings of both of them took place in the representative Main Hall of the Warsaw University of Technology. Lectures of the First Congress were held mainly at the University of Warsaw, while the Sixth Congress - at the Warsaw University of Technology.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the leading figures of PPS in Warsaw (and throughout the country) were Stefan Pieńkowski (UW) and Mieczysław Wolfke (WUT). Pieńkowski was an outstanding organizer of scientific life and the creator of a physics center recognized on a European scale at 69 Hoża St. Leading Polish physicists like A. Jabłoński, Sz. Szczeniowski, L. Sosnowski and many others was his pupils. Mieczysław Wolfke was undoubtedly one of the greatest Polish physicists in history. He is widely regarded as a precursor of holography, and is also a co-discoverer of the liquid variety of helium II, which in later years proved to be the superfluid phase.

In 1937, the list of Warsaw Branch of the PPS members was 115.

During the occupation, the PPS activity was suspended. An interesting episode from this period is the fact that Wacław Werner was hiding a radium preparations belonging to the Radiological Laboratory of Warsaw Scientific Society (TNW - Towarzystwo Naukowe Warszawskie) from the Germans in the basement of his house.

After the war, thanks to Stefan Pieńkowski, the reconstruction of the Polish Physical Society began vigorously. In Warsaw, for three consecutive years: 1947, 48 and 49 Congresses of Physicists were held: X, XI and XII. The chairmen of the Warsaw Branch of the Polish Physcial Society in 1949–52 were successively: the outstanding theoretician in optics - Wojciech Rubinowicz, and later the creator of the Warsaw semiconductor school and the organizer of the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences - Leonard Sosnowski.

It took forty years to wait for the next Warsaw congress. This congress, bearing the number XXX, was held at the University of Warsaw in 1989.

In the second half of the 20th century, a lot changed on the map of physics centers in Warsaw, new research institutes were created, but Warsaw Branch og the PPS consistently carried out its statutory tasks.

In 2005, the XXXVIII Congress was organized at the Warsaw University of Technology, which was particularly solemn due to the celebration of the World Year of Physics.

In January 2019, the Warsaw Branch organized an occasional session related to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Physical Society in Warsaw. Over the past 100 years, the Warsaw Branch has been successively managed by around 30 presidents (data from the 1930s are incomplete). In 2020, the list of active members of Warsaw Branch of the PPS includes 388 people.

(in the photo: deliberations of the 6th Congress of Polish Physicists in the Small Hall of the Warsaw University of Technology)

102/5000 Jerzy E. Garbarczyk - a graduate of the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw - is a professor working at the Faculty of Physics at the Warsaw University of Technology.

He specializes in solid state ionics. He is interested in superionic conductors and nanomaterials resulting from thermal nanocrystallization of glasses with mixed ion-electron conductivity. Nanomaterials with unique physical properties are synthesized in his research team. He was the supervisor of six PhD theses.

He is the author of three academic textbooks on the basics of physics and solid state physics. He also prepared a monograph on the history of physics at the Warsaw University of Technology.

In the nineties he was vice-dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Applied Physics at the Warsaw University of Technology, later - deputy director of the Institute of Physics at the Warsaw University of Technology, and then served as deputy dean of the Faculty of Physics of Warsaw University of Technology for two terms.

In the years 2002-06 he was the coordinator of the European Center of Excellence CEPHOMA (Center of Photonics and Materials for Prospective Applications).

In the World Year of Physics 2005 he was the chairman of the Organizing Committee of the XXXVIII Congress of the Polish Physical Society in Warsaw. During this period, for four years he was the chairman of the Warsaw Branch of the PPS.

October 16, 2020 at 4pm

Physics Hall, Warsaw Univeristy of Technology


Photos by Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe and Jerzy Garbarczyk