|Prof. Jan Kalinowski, |
Dean of the Faculty 1985-1990
|Prof. Mieczysław Chybicki, |
Dean of the Faculty 1990-1993
|Prof. Czesław Szmytkowski, |
Dean of the Faculty 1993-1996
|Henryk Sodolski, |
Ph.D, D.Sc., Assoc. Prof.
Dean of the Faculty 1996-2002
|Prof. Jan Godlewski, |
Dean of the Faculty 2002-2008
|Prof. Józef E. Sienkiewicz, |
Dean of the Faculty 2008-2012
The tradition of developing the exact sciences (mathematics and physics) at Gdansk University of Technology dates back to its foundation (its inauguration ceremony was held on 6th October 1904). The first Rector was Prof. Hans von Mangoldt; an eminent mathematician and author of textbooks that are still held in high regard today. According to the first statute, the University comprised five "professional" Faculties (Architecture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Ocean Engineering and Technology, and Chemistry) and the General Sciences Faculty.
In 1922 there were fundamental organisational changes. New Faculties were established and at the same time some Faculties were merged, with three Schools being created. School I of General Sciences comprised Faculty Ib of Mathematics and Physics. This organisational set up, with a few minor changes (small changes in Faculty names and the establishment of the Aeronautical Faculty as a separate unit within School III) was to last until the beginning of World War II.
One of the largest capital investment projects undertaken by the expanding University was the construction of the building connected with the Main University Block and which housed the Auditorium Maximum lecture theatre, intended for teaching physics and seating 400 persons (photographs dating from 1930 from the collections of the History Lab of Gdansk University of Technology). This lecture theatre was designed with regard to its use for academic teaching by the eminent physicist, Prof. Carl Ramsauer and was equipped with functional demonstration facilities and a unique, movable wall separating the lecture theatre from these facilities, making it possible to prepare demonstrations during lectures. The Auditorium Maximum was, at the time, one of the most state-of-the-art lecture theatres in Europe.
The most outstanding physicists closely associated with Gdansk University of Technology in the pre-War period were: the aforementioned designer of the academic teaching facilities of the Auditorium Maximum lecture theatre, Prof. Carl Ramsauer, who became renowned for his research on the interactions between electrons and molecules and discovered the eponymous Ramsauer effect, Walter Kossel, who investigated the X-ray spectra of crystals and was one of the founders of the theory of heteropolar bonds, the renowned physicist, Max Wien, Eberhard Buchwald, the superb educator and Rector of the University of Technology in its jubilee year of 1929/30, Georg Hass, who headed the leading laboratories in the USA after last war and others. Among lecturers invited from outside the University were such famous names as: Svante Arrhenius, Max von Laue and Ludwig Prandtl.
In the War years the numbers of students and teaching staff fell drastically. In January 1945 classes were finally suspended, the professors departed and the most valuable apparatus and books were taken to Schmalkalden in Thuringia, where a substitute university of technology was supposed to be set up. Even whilst the war was still raging, in January 1945 preparations commenced for the reopening of Gdansk University of Technology which had suffered serious damage. Operational groups were appointed to deal with safeguarding and organising the University. By way of a decree of the Council of Ministers dated 24th May 1945 Gdansk University of Technology was legally transformed into a Polish academic institution. Academic staff started arriving in ever greater numbers, mainly from the Lviv and Warsaw Universities of Technology, and they included many eminent, renowned professors in their number.
The first physicist that came to Gdansk was Prof. Ignacy Adamczewski. In mid-August 1945 the Physics Department was established at Gdansk University of Technology and on 21st September the Rector officially appointed Prof. I. Adamczewski as its head. It was Prof. I. Adamczewski that inaugurated the reborn Gdansk University of Technology post-war teaching activities by giving the first lecture in the Auditorium Maximum lecture theatre on 22nd October 1945. This was a physics lecture for students from three Faculties: Chemistry, Architecture and Civil & Maritime Engineering. This lecture was formally recognised as the starting point of Gdansk University of Technology activities. At the same time, headed by Prof. I. Adamczewski, a group of scientists started scientific research on ionisation and electrical conduction of liquid dielectrics.
In November 1945 under the umbrella of the Mechanical and Electrical Faculty that was in the process of being set up at the time, the separate Physics Department, called Physics Department I from that time onwards, came into being. The Department headed by Prof. I. Adamczewski was then called Physics Department II.
Physics Department I. The first head of Physics Department I was Prof. Mieczysław Wolfke, the theoretical physicist and co-discoverer of two forms of helium and the precursor of holography. After Prof. W. Wolfke went abroad, Prof. I. Adamczewski took over the running of the Department on a temporary basis, and in the autumn of 1946, the eminent physicist and brilliant educator, Prof. Arkadiusz Piekara was brought over from Poznań to take up the post of head of Physics Department I. The subject matter of the scientific research conducted under the leadership of Prof. A. Piekara included dielectric polarisation in dipolar fluids, ferroelectrics and electro-optical effects in dielectrics. In 1952 Prof. A. Piekara returned to Poznań and the Department was returned to the care of Prof. I. Adamczewski.
In 1954 Prof. Włodzimierz Mościcki became the head of Physics Department I. He initiated scientific research on geochronology, and particularly on dating organic artefacts using the carbon isotope C - 14.
In 1956, at the initiative of Prof. W. Mościcki, under the umbrella of the Communications Faculty that existed at the time, the Applied Physics major was set up drawing on the resources of both Physics Departments, and it stayed in this form until 1964. It marked the beginnings of the Applied Physics and Mathematics Faculty that was established many years later.
In 1967 Prof. W. Mościcki moved to Gliwice, and Czesław Bojarski, Ph.D. became the head of Physics Department I and the focus of scientific research changed to molecular luminescence and radioluminescence.
Physics Department II. Physics Department II was headed by Prof. Ignacy Adamczewski for its entire existence and he also held the post of the head of the Medical Physics Department at the Medical University of Gdansk at the same time. The main areas of scientific research in Physics Department II were the physics of liquid dielectrics, methods for the detection and dosimetry of atomic radiation and for the application of radioactive isotopes in technology.
Apart from scientific research and thorough teaching, in which demonstrations played a major role in lectures, for which physics was famous, considerable effort was put into popularising physics. Popular Saturday lectures incorporating demonstrations addressed to secondary school pupils and teachers enjoyed and continue to enjoy high attendance numbers. From 1967 Poland-wide lectures were held as part of the Television University of Technology which was a one-off on a global scale.
In 1961 Gdansk physicists were the organisers of the Convention of Polish Physicists which was attended by in excess of 500 physicists from Poland and all over the world.
The Inter-Faculty Institute of Physics. In March 1969 departments were abolished in Polish universities and were replaced by institutes which came into being on 1st October. The Inter-Faculty Institute of Physics and Inter-Faculty Institute of Mathematics were established at the Gdansk University of Technology.
Prof. Ignacy Adamczewski was the first director of the Inter-Faculty Institute of Physics. The Institute was made up of 7 Teaching Units that supported individual Faculties of Gdansk University of Technology. Initially, the existing scientific research was continued at the Institute.
In 1971 Prof. I. Adamczewski spent 3 years in England and Olgierd Gzowski, Ph.D. became the director of the Institute. During this period scientific research in the areas of solid state physics and molecular physics started to develop.
In 1974 Jan Kalinowski, Ph.D. took on the role of Institute director. At the time there were 7 scientific research teams: 1. Organic crystals, 2. Photoluminescence, 3. Internal friction in solids, 4. Amorphous bodies (mainly glasses), 5. Ionic and electron interactions, 6. Dielectrics and organic semiconductors, 7. Solution spectroscopy.
In 1981 the position of Institute director passed to Andrzej Januszajtis, Ph.D. Three large scientific research teams were active at that time: 1. Organic solids, 2. Inorganic solids, 3. Molecular physics.
The most important event in the sphere of teaching was the restarting of courses in the Applied Physics major in 1973. This was a response to the increasing demand for physicists in industry and industrial research institutes.
The Inter-Faculty Institute of Mathematics also came into being in 1969. The first director of the Institute was Prof. Piotr Besala, and when he retired in 1979, it was Jurand Ryterski, Ph.D. who took over the role. The Institute consisted of 7 Teaching Units supporting individual Faculties, 2 Descriptive Geometry Units and a separate Mathematical Machines Unit.
Applied Physics and Mathematics Faculty. The considerable expansion of the academic staff and the courses of study that had been refined and tried & tested over many years in the Applied Physics major paved the way for the creation of the Applied Physics and Mathematics Faculty in 1983.
Andrzej Januszjtis, Ph.D. became the first Dean of the Faculty. His successors were in turn: Prof. Jan Kalinowski (from 1986), Prof. Mieczysław Chybicki (from 1990), Prof. Czesław Szmytkowski (from 1993), Prof. Henryk Sodolski (from 1996), Prof. Jan Godlewski (from 2002) and Prof. Józef E. Sienkiewicz (from 2008 r.).
When it was established the Faculty had 9 Departments (4 Physics Departments, 3 Mathematics Departments, the Fluid Mechanics Department and the Descriptive Geometry Department). The scientific research included the following: solid state physics (mainly organic glasses and crystals), molecular physics (photoluminescence and collisions of electrons with molecules and ions), fluid mechanics, mathematical analysis, differential equations, numerical methods and calculus of probability.
Nowadays the Faculty consists of 7 Departments, 4 Physics Departments (PY) and 3 Mathematics Departments (MA):
- Nonlinear Analysis and Statistics (MA),
- Probability Theory and Biomathematics (MA),
- Differential Equations and Mathematics Applications (MA),
- Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (PY),
- Solid State Physics (PY),
- Theoretical Physics and Quantum Information (PY),
- Physics of Electronic Phenomena (PY),
which conduct researches in numerous important areas of theoretical physics, quantum information, atomic physics, luminescence, materials physics, nanotechnology, molecular electronics, computer modeling and simulation, superconductivity, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells, renewable energetics (Physics Departments) and nonlinear analysis, statistics, differential equations, dynamical systems, probability theory, graph theory, biomathematics (Mathematics Departments).
Our Faculty has been awarded the right to confer the degrees of doctor, habilitated doctor and the title of professor in physics, as well as doctoral degrees in mathematics.
The Faculty’s study offer includes courses in 5 different fields of study, providing students with various skills, desired also from the point of view of modern economic development:
- Technical Physics with specializations in: Applied Physics, Nanotechnology, Physics and Energy Conversion Engineering, Applied Information Technology
- Mathematics with specializations in: Applied Mathematics, Computer Geometry and Graphics (M. Sc.), Financial Mathematics, Biomathematics, Bioinformatics (M. Sc.)
- Materials Engineering (in cooperation with Faculty of Chemistry and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) with specialization in Advanced Functional Materials Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering (in cooperation with Faculty of Chemistry and Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics) with specialization in Physics in Medicine
- Nanotechnology (in cooperation with Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) with specializations in: Nanomaterials and Functional Nanostructures, Nanomaterials for Power Engineering (M. Sc.), Nanomaterials in Engineering, Medicine and Cosmetology
The Faculty offers also doctoral studies in physics (SDF).
Based on materials from
History Lab of the Gdansk University of Technology
Drawn up by Krystyn Kozłowski, Ph.D., P.eng.