Professor Lucjan Sobczyk

Prof. Sobczyk

Professor Lucjan Sobczyk is one of the outstanding Polish physico-chemists. He is currently working in the Faculty of Chemistry of Wroclaw University, where he leads the Laboratory of Dielectrics and Structure of Organic Compounds. He was born on August 4th, 1927 in Natalin. He studied in the Department of Chemistry of the Technical University of Wroclaw. In 1948 he started to work as vice-assistant in the group of Physical Chemistry directed by Prof. K. Gumiński. Here he completed his Master degree thesis on the kinetics of ion exchange in 1951, graduating with a Masters degree in chemical engineering. He left the same year for graduate studies in the Soviet Union. He did his research work under the supervision of the very well known physico-chemist Prof. Ya.K. Syrkin at the Institute of Fine Chemical Technology in Moscow, specializing in the theory of chemical bonds and the structure of molecules. His Ph.D.thesis was focused on studies of dielectric polarization of hydrogen bonded systems.

After graduation, in 1954, with the degree of Candidate of Chemical Sciences, he rejoined the Physical Chemistry group at the Technical University of Wroclaw. In 1956 he was given the task to organize a new Physical Chemistry Laboratory at Wroclaw University, becoming its director in 1959.

In 1962 Lucjan Sobczyk received his D.Sc. (habilitation) degree at the Technical University of Wroclaw for research on the electron structure of pyridine derivatives.

Scientific research in the laboratory directed by Prof. L. Sobczyk focuses on different aspects of hydrogen bonds, application of physical methods to the elucidation of the molecular structures and phase transitions in dielectrics. These projects were established by Prof. L. Sobczyk due to scientific collaborations with Prof. M. Magat at Sorbonne in Paris, Prof. M. Davies at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and Prof. D. Hadzi at Boris Kidric Institute in Ljubljana.

The most outstanding scientific achievements of the group are studies on charge distribution in hydrogen bonds by means of dipole moment measurements and nuclear quadrupole resonance, solvent effects and spectroscopic behaviour of hydrogen bonded system. An important field of his activity is the dielectric relaxation in liquids, plastic crystals and ferroelectric crystals.

Another area of Prof. L. Sobczyk's interest is research on a new family of very strong hydrogen bonds NHN (isotope effect anomalies, among others). In the course of the search for materials with potentially interesting properties, new ferroelectric crystals have been discovered: RbHSeO4 and (NH4)HSeO4 and a large family of Alkylammonium Halogeno Antimonates and Bismuthates.

Prof. Lucjan Sobczyk is the author or co-author of 14 books and monographs, 15 review articles and well over 210 original research papers. Of special interest are two academic handbooks: "Chemia Fizyczna dla Przyrodników" (Physical Chemistry for Biologists) (co-authored with A. Kisza) and "Eksperymentalna Chemia Fizyczna" (Experimental Physical Chemistry) (co-authored with A. Kisza, K. Gatner and A. Koll).

Twenty two students have graduated from professor Sobczyk's laboratory, 9 of them have received D.Sc. (habilitation) degrees and 6 have become full professors.

Throughout his academic career Prof. Sobczyk has been involved in teaching students. He has lectured 20 different courses in physical chemistry at undergraduate and graduate levels for students majoring in various disciplines. Of special note is the cycle of lectures on Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry. Since 1968 he is leading a well known seminar on "Dielectric and Optical Aspects of Intermolecular Interactions". The meetings devoted to different areas of physical organic chemistry are organized yearly. Prof. Sobczyk was the initiator and coorganizer of the first international conference called: "Workshop on Hydrogen Bond Research". He was the director of the VIII th conference in this series. In 1993 he initiated a new series of international symposia on isotope effects.

Prof. Sobczyk has served in a multitude of positions: he was vice-dean and dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at Wrocław University; vice-rector for Research and International Relations: for many years he was a member of the University Senate. He was the editor of the series entitled: "Dielectric and Optical Aspects of Intermolecular Interactions".

He was elected a Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1976.

Outside of his university he was involved at different levels in many scientific organizations and associations. He was an initiator and for many years chairman of the Physical Organic Chemistry Section of the Polish Chemical Society, he was a chairman of the Wroclaw Division of the Polish Chemical Society, a member of the board, vice-president and president of the board of the Polish Chemical Society and a member of the Wroclaw Scientific Society Council. He is the chairman of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Low Temperature and Structural Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. For many years he was the editor of the physical chemistry section of the journal Wiadomosci Chemiczne (Chemical News) and a member of the Advisory Board Journal of Molecular Liquids. He is a member of the editorial board of Wiadomosci Chemiczne, Polish Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Physics Reports.

For three terms, from its creation, he was a member of the Central Qualification Committee for Scientific Staff in Poland.

Professor Sobczyk has been awarded with the Medals of Jan Zawidzki and Jędrzej Sniadecki, from the Polish Chemical Society and with the J. Hanus Medal from the Czechoslovak Chemical Society. He is awarded with many Polish state Orders and particulary with Golden Merit Cross., Officer and Knight Crosses of Order Polonia Restituta and the Medal of National Education Commission. He has received the honorary doctor degree from the University of Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

He is married and has two children. His hobbies are bridge and classical music.

Koll A.