Prof. Kazimierz Rzążewski – Winner of the FNP Prize 2015
Prof. Kazimierz Rzążewski from the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw has received the 2015 Foundation for Polish Science Prize in the field of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences for discovery of the phenomenon of magnetostriction in ultracold gases with dipole forces.
Prof. Kazimierz Rzążewski—physicist, professor and former director of the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. His research involves quantum mechanics and optics, statistical physics of quantum gases, and the theory of selective systems. A fellow of the American Physical Society and the British Institute of Physics, a visiting professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester in the US, JILA at the University of Colorado, the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, and the University of Stuttgart. Former member of the editorial staff of Journal of Physics B, co-editor of European Physics Letters, winner of such honours as the Humboldt Foundation Award and the Galileo Medal from the International Commission for Optics. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
He is the author of over 200 scientific publications.
The Foundation for Polish Science Prize is awarded for discovery of the phenomenon of magnetostriction in ultracold gases with dipole forces. Prof. Rzążewski has made an innovative contribution to the growth of the physics of atomic gases, and in particular the discovery of the method by which internal magnetic fields regulate and shape the volume of dipole clouds in such gases. He was the author of a groundbreaking publication in 2000 in which the phenomenon of magnetostriction (changes in the shape and volume of the atom cloud in connection with internal magnetic forces) in ultracold dipolar gases was predicted for the first time. This was subsequently confirmed in numerous experiments, first on condensed chromium gas and then on other condensates. The phenomenon he discovered of magnetostriction in dipolar condensates was not only the first such phenomenon identified in a quantum gas, but also the first discovery of a mechanical anisotropic phenomenon in any gas.
Not long after that, Prof. Rzążewski wrote the first article on dipolar Fermi gases, applying a generalization of the Thomas–Fermi model. In recent years he has continued his research on dipolar gases and related issues, and written more than ten scientific articles on this topic.
Today Prof. Kazimierz Rzążewski is one of the most influential European researchers in the field of quantum optics and one of the most important figures in the field of ultracold atomic gases. He laid the foundations for development of this discipline, which is why he is regarded today on the international arena as a researcher who helped to create and shape this field. His research, which has led to production of ultracold gases on demand, is opening up many new possibilities in the field of metrology (determination of precise time and frequency).