The Marian Smoluchowski Medal was awarded to prof. dr hab. Ryszard Horodecki from the International Centre for Quantum Theory Technologies at the University of Gdańsk. This is the highest honour awarded by the Polish Physical Society. The UG scientist was recognised for his contribution to the foundations of quantum computing theory and the development of physics in Poland. Together with prof. Ryszard Horodecki, the PTF honoured 11 scientists with other awards.
Prof. Ryszard Horodecki belongs to a small group of world physicists who have created and are currently developing the foundations of a new interdisciplinary field - quantum information, which involves discoveries such as quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation or dense coding. His body of work includes 100 publications, majority of them in Philadelphia-listed journals, cited more than 16,000 times (IH=42).
'I am self-taught in my field. As a young, fresh graduate of the Faculty of Electronics at the Gdańsk University of Technology, I found myself in the newly established Department of Theoretical Physics at the Higher School of Pedagogy in Gdańsk. And that was my Oxford,' said this year's laureate of the Marian Smoluchowski Medal in an interview with Gazeta Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego about the beginnings of his research career. 'There were a lot of lectures and not many workers; apart from me, only the head of the department and one trainee worked in the department. To pass on reliable knowledge to the students, I first had to acquire it myself, digging around in libraries, books, and articles, as smartphones did not exist half a century ago.'
Prof. Ryszard Horodecki and his sons Paweł and Michał (who started working with him already during their studies) and later also with Karol created a team that achieved significant results in Gdańsk. The concepts introduced there, such as bound entanglement, entanglement activation and quantum deficit, have permanently entered world literature. A series of groundbreaking papers in quantum information, including the discovery of bound entanglement and an effective method for entanglement detection (entanglement witness), found wide recognition abroad, initiating intensive international collaboration.
The Polish Physical Society also honoured dr hab. Michał Parniak with the Wojciech Rubinowicz Scientific Award. The physicist from the Centre for New Technologies at the University of Warsaw was recognised for a series of outstanding scientific papers published over a period of five years, which represent the development of techniques for controlling light interacting with matter at the quantum level.
This year's PTF laureates for their doctoral and master's theses were:
- dr. Krzysztof Giergiel from the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science at the Jagiellonian University for his thesis entitled Time Crystal Phenomena - Zygmunt Florenty Wróblewski Award
- dr Anna Dawid-Łękowska from the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, for the thesis entitled Quantum many-body physics with ultracold atoms and molecules: exact dynamics and machine learning - an award
- mgr Radosław Szymon from the Faculty of Fundamental Technological Research, Wrocław University of Technology, for the thesis entitled Characterisation of structural and electrical properties of semiconductor structures based on Zn(Cd, Mg) grown on Si and Al 2 O 3 substrates - the Arkadiusz Piekara Prize
- mgr Karol Łukanowski from the Centre for New Technologies, University of Warsaw, for his work entitled Upper bounds on key rates in device-independent quantum key distribution - a distinction
For the popularisation of physics, the Krzysztof Ernst Medal was awarded to the following team: dr hab. Krzysztof Petelczyc (Warsaw University of Technology), dr Izabela Skwira-Chalot (University of Warsaw), prof. dr hab. Jerzy Garbarczyk (Warsaw University of Technology), mgr inż. Ewelina Kędzierska (Non-public High School No. 40 in Warsaw), dr hab. Ewa Dębowska, prof. UWr (University of Wrocław), prof. dr hab. Andrzej Maziewski (University of Białystok), dr hab. inż. Anna Kalbarczyk (Warsaw University of Technology).
The awards will be presented during the 48th Congress of Polish Physicists, to be held at the beginning of September in Gdańsk.