The gallery of founders and personalities
Founders and personalities of the Institute of Physical Chemistry
The author of 11 personalities is professor Zdeněk Herman.
PROF. Dr. JAROSLAV HEYROVSKÝ, DrSc.
(1890 - 1967)
First professor of physical chemistry at Charles University (appointed 1926), founder of the Institute of Polarography (1950; laterly the Institute of Polarography of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 1953) and its founding director until 1963. As the founder of the Czech school of physical chemistry, he educated several generations of physical chemists. Inventor of the electroanalytical polarographic method, for which he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry (1959). Besides polarography with mercury drop electrode and its applications, he also developed oscilographic polarography. Author of several books and textbooks.
PROF. RNDr. RUDOLF BRDIČKA, DrSc.
(1906 - 1970)
A student of Professor Heyrovský, post-war professor of physical chemistry at the School of Natural Science of Charles University, founder of the Laboratory (1953; laterly the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 1955) and its founding director until his death in 1970. A leading representative of the Academy of Sciences. Contributed significantly to the development of polarography (the Brdička reaction, kinetic currents) and to reaction kinetics in general. Author of a standard textbook in physical chemistry (1952; translated to several languages, with 15 German editions).
PROF. RNDr. JIŘÍ KORYTA, DrSc.
(1922 - 1994)
An outstanding personality of the Institute of Polarography of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, and professor at Charles University. Conducted research in many areas of electrochemistry, including processes on the streaming mercury electrode, electrochemistry of complex compounds, and the influence of electro-non-active compounds on electrode processes. Later pioneered the study of processes on the interphase of two immiscible electrolyte solutions, and transfer of ions over the liquid-liquid interphase. Co-authored a textbook on electrochemistry, translated into several languages.
RNDr. VLADIMÍR ČERMÁK, DrSc.
(1920 - 1980)
Founding member of the Institute of Physical Chemistry. Following his dissertation in polarography, co-author of the construction of the first mass spectrometer; with V. Hanuš, pioneer of the discipline in Czechoslovakia. Later studied elementary ion-molecule collision processes, particularly ionization processes involving electronically excited neutral particles and atoms or molecules. Inventor of the method of Penning ionization electron spectroscopy, the only spectroscopic method originating from this country. Made globally-acknowledged contributions to the development of the molecular physics of elementary processes.
RNDr. VLADIMÍR HANUŠ, CSc.
(1923 – 2009)
Founding member of the institute, student of Professor Brdička, deputy director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, until 1972. His dissertation in polarography brought him widespread recognition. Co-author of the construction of the first mass spectrometer in this country; with V. Čermák, pioneer of this discipline in Czechoslovakia. Established the field of organic mass spectrometry in Czechoslovakia, making significant globally-recognised contributions. An outstanding research personality with board knowledge of chemistry.
PROF. RNDr. ANTONÍN VLČEK, DrSc.
(1927 - 1999)
A leading personality at the Institute of Polarography, and its director (1965-1972). After merger with the Institute of Physical Chemistry, director of the new J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry (1972-1989). Member of the IUPAC executive, and professor of physical chemistry. Conducted research in physical and inorganic chemistry, investigating inorganic and complex compounds by electrochemical methods.
DOC. RNDr. JAROSLAV KŮTA, DrSc.
(1924 - 1981)
A student and key co-worker of Professor Heyrovský at the Institute of Polarography, associate professor of physical chemistry at Charles University. Studied in particular processes on dropping mercury electrode. Co-author (with Professor Heyrovský)) of a textbook on polarography, translated into several languages.
PROF. Ing. EDUARD HÁLA, DrSc.
(1919 - 1989)
Joined the institute in the late 1950s with his entire group (E. Erdös, J. Bareš) when further pedagogic activity at the Institute of Chemical Technology was made impossible. Later moved with part of his group to the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals, where he served as the deputy director. A significant representative of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (and member of its Presidium). Co-founder of the school of thermodynamics in Czechoslovakia, his work concerned studies of phase equilibria using methods of classical and statistical thermodynamics, particularly problems and applications of liquid-vapor equilibria. Author or co-author of numerous textbooks and monographs.
PROF. RNDr. JAROSLAV KOUTECKÝ, DrSc.
(1922 - 2005)
Founded and led the institute’s theoretical department since the early 1950s. Became a professor of physical chemistry at Charles University (1967). Emigrated (1970) to the USA where he held a professorship. Thereafter remained professor at the Freie Universitat in Berlin (1974-2005). Since 1989, participated actively in the organization of science in the Czech Republic. Founder of the quantum theory of molecular systems, he educated many outstanding theorists. His theoretical work in polarography, physics of surfaces and chemisorption, structure and properties of molecules and clusters, and the development of theoretical methods, earned world-wide recognition.
PROF. RNDr. JOSEF PLÍVA, DrSc.
(1924 – 2000)
A student of Professor Heyrovský, worked (late 1940s) in molecular spectroscopy, and in the determination of the molecular structure of substances, at the Central Chemical Institute. Moved (early 1960s) with his group (D. Papoušek, M. Horák) from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry to the Institute of Physical Chemistry, where he was involved in molecular physics and the theory of molecular vibrational motion. Emigrated (1969) and remained thereafter professor at the State University of Pennsylvania, USA. Founder of the Czech school of theoretical and experimental infrared spectroscopy, a discipline to which he made significant contributions throughout his career.
DOC. RNDr. ČESTMÍR JECH, CSc.
(1925 - 2002)
A student of Professor Běhounek, a radiophysicist, founding member of the institute. Participated in the construction of the first mass spectrometer in Czechoslovakia, later returning to radiophysics and radiochemistry. Became known internationally for the application of radiophysical methods in physical chemistry, in particular to studies of the solid phase, surfaces and catalysis. His work in popularizing science is also noteworthy.
Autorem perokreseb 11 osobností je profesor Zdeněk Herman, vědecký pracovník Oddělení spektroskopie.
Prof. RNDr. Zdeněk Herman, DrSc., Dr.h.c. (1934)
Absolvent matematicko-fyzikální fakulty University Karlovy, obor fyzikální chemie a radiochemie. V Ústavu fyzikální chemie Akademie věd pracuje od r. 1957. Zabývá se hmotnostní spektrometrií a kinetikou a dynamikou iontových srážek. Zavedl k nám metodu molekulových paprsků, aplikovanou na tento výzkum, zvláště pak na výzkum dynamiky chemických reakcí iontů metodou rozptylu ve zkřížených paprscích částic. Působil také v zahraničí, v USA na Yaleově universitě (1964-65, hostující vědecký pracovník 1966) a jako hostující profesor na University of Colorado (1968-69) a JILA (Joint Institut for Laboratory Astrophysics, Boulder, 1980, 2001) a na University of Chicago (1993-97) jakož i na řadě institucí v Německu, Rakousku, Francii, Velké Britanii a Japonsku. Jeho práce byla oceněna v Německu udělením Ceny Alexandra von Humboldta (1992) a u nás hlavní cenou České hlavy za celoživotní dílo (2003). Mezinárodní odborné časopisy mu věnovaly speciální čestná čísla k šedesátým (J.Phys.Chem. 99, No.42, 1995) a 75. narozeninám (Int. J. Mass Spectrom., Vol. 280, 2009). Po roce 1990 se stal u nás profesorem fyzikální chemie na VŠCHT Praha (1996) a je čestným profesorem iontové fyziky na Universitě v Innsbrucku (1993), kde mu byl také udělen čestný doktorát (2009).
Galerie portrétů Zakladatelů a osobností Ústavu fyzikální chemie byla slavnostně otevřena při neformálním setkání pamětníků těchto osobností ale i několika mladých vědců, jejich pokračovatelů, krátkou vernisáží 26. června 2012 dopoledne.
Fota: K. Stejskalová, archiv ÚFCH JH