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Proffesor Aleksander Jabłoński, Doctor Honoris Causa of Gdansk University

Last modified: 
2016, April 21 - 9:40am

Prof. dr hab Aleksander Jabłońskipl



Aleksander Jabłoński was born on the 26th February 1898 in Woskriesenowka, Ukraine. Having graduated, in the year 1916, from the secondary school in Kharkiv, he studied physics, first at the University of Kharkiv and then, from 1919, at the University of Warsaw. During that time he was forced to discontinue his studies several times due to the military service in the Polish Army, which was then being formed. After finishing his studies in 1925, he took up the position of assistant in the Laboratory of Experimental Physics at the University of Warsaw, which was led by prof. Stefan Pieńkowski. In 1930 he obtained his doctor's degree, which was based on the thesis concerning the influence of the length of excitation wave on fluorescence spectra. Afterwards, in 1931, as a holder of the Rockefeller Fund scholarship, he went to Berlin, to the laboratory of prof. P. Pringsheim, one of the most renowned experts on luminescence at the time. He also spent a few months in Hamburg, in prof. O. Stern's laboratory. After his return to Poland, Aleksander Jabłoński obtained his post-doctoral degree, based on his dissertation concerning the influence of intermolecular interactions on the phenomena of absorption and light emission.

In 1938 Aleksander Jabłoński moved to the Stefan Batory Laboratory of Experimental Physics in Vilnius. In 1939 he took part in the September Campaign and then, via various camps and Iraq, he reached Great Britain together with the Polish Army. In the years 1943-1945 he taught physics at the Polish Medical Faculty in Edinburgh. In November 1945 Aleksander Jabłoński returned to Warsaw and, on the 1st January 1946 he obtained the title of professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

During the difficult post-war period, prof. Jabłoński undertook to organise the Faculty of Physics at the newly founded Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

Prof. Aleksander Jabłoński received numerous honours and awards in recognition of his achievements. He was a correspondent member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Science and a regular member of the Warsaw Scientific Society. In June 1956 he was appointed a correspondent member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and became its regular member in 1961. Prof. Jabłoński was the founder of the Toruń Branch of the Polish Physical Society and its first President. He served two terms of office as the President of the Main Board of the Polish Physical Society. For his services to the Society, prof. Jabłoński received, in the year 1963, the title of its honorary member. He was awarded with the Cross of Valour, the Golden Cross of Merit and the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In the year 1964, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the People's Republic of Poland, prof. Jabłoński received the 1st Class State Award for outstanding achievements in research on luminescence, in particular for creating a luminescence model. For his academic achievements, the Polish Physical Society awarded prof. Jabłoński with Marian Smoluchowski medal. On the 10th July 1973 prof. Jabłoński was awarded, for his outstanding academic achievements, the title of doctor honoris causa by the University in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In the same year, during the celebrations connected with the 500th anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus birth, prof. Jabłoński was also awarded the title of doctor honoris causa by the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.


Prof. Aleksander Jabłoński was the founder of the Polish school of molecular optics and a world-renowned expert in the field of luminescence and atomic optics, in particular with regard to the issues concerning pressure broadening of spectral lines. Works concerning the pattern of levels of energy molecules brought him international renown. This pattern formed the basis for modern interpretation of luminescence phenomena in organic molecules. Prof. Jabłoński's works on the so-called layer model of luminescence centre contributed significantly to the development of photo-luminescence. Using this model, he subsequently developed the theory of quenching, fading and polarisation of luminescence. The importance of prof. Jabłoński's work is reflected in a significant number of quotations from his papers, contained in numerous monographs concerning the issues of photo-luminescence and atomic-molecular spectroscopy.

In recognition of prof. Jabłoński's academic achievements in the field of luminescence, Toruń was chosen for the venue of an international conference on luminescence, which took place in September 1963.

Prof. Jabłoński's achievements are not limited only to what is owed to him by Polish physics centres in Toruń, Warsaw (before 1939) and by Poznań University of Technology, but also include his contributions to the development of similar scientific subjects in other Polish academic centres, particularly in Gdańsk. Professor Alfons Kawski, a renowned scientist from the University of Gdańsk, was one of prof. Jabłoński's students.

In recognition of prof. Jabłoński's academic achievements, the University of Gdańsk, by the resolution passed by the Senate on 9th october 1975r., awarded him the title of doctor honoris causa.