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Friedrich Břetislav

Prof., RNDr., CSc.
Born on May 29, 1953 in Prague

  • Experimental and theoretical chemical/molecular physics (interactions of molecules with fields, molecular collisions and spectroscopy, cold molecules)
  • Honorary member of Learned Society since 2011.

Educational and professional preparation

  • J. Neruda Gymnasium, Prague, 1968-71;
  • RNDr in Chemistry, Charles University, Prague, 1971-76, adviser Karel Prochazka;
  • PhD (candidate of science) in Chemical Physics, J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, 1977-81, advisers: V. Cermak and Z. Herman;
  • Habilitation in Physics, Charles University, Prague, 1996.

Employment and academic positions

  • Junior and Senior Research Scientist, J. Heyrovsky Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague (1983-87);

  • Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, U.S.A. (1981-82);
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Göttingen, Germany (1986-87);
  • Research Associate, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (1987-1996), and Department of Physics (1994-1996), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.
  • Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University (1996-2003);
  • Lecturer on Chemistry, Harvard University (1997-2003);
  • Research Group Leader, Fritz-Haber-Institute der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (since 2003);
  • Senior Research Associate, Department of Physics, Harvard University (since 2003);
  • Honorarprofessor, Technische Universität, Berlin (since 2006);
  • Co-director, History and Foundations of Quantum Physics, Max-Planck- Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin (since 2006);
  • Spokesman, Centennial Project, Fritz-Haber-Institut (since 2008).

Notable awards

  • Iberdrola Professorship, High Council for Scientific Research, Madrid, Spain (1997);
  • Karel Preis Prize, Czech Republic (2007);
  • Outstanding Referee Award, American Physical Society (2009).

Selected publications

  • M. Lemeshko – M. Mustafa – S. Kais – B. Friedrich: Supersymmetric factorization yields exact solutions to the molecular Stark effect problem for stretched states, Physical Review A 83, (2011) 043415-1-4.
  • B. Friedrich, A molecular merry-go-round, Physics Today 66 (2011) 66-67.
  • J. James – T. Steinhauser – D. Hoffmann – B. Friedrich: One Hundred Years of Research at the Intersection of Chemistry and Physics: The Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society 1911-2011, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin (2011).
  • M. Lemeshko – B. Friedrich, Probing weakly bound molecules with nonresonant light, Physical Review Letters 103 (2009) 053003-1-4.
  • R.V. Krems – W.C. Stwalley – B. Friedrich (eds.), Cold molecules: theory, experiment, applications, Taylor & Francis, London (2009).
  • L. Cai – J. Marango – B. Friedrich, Time-dependent alignment and orientation of molecules in combined electrostatic and pulsed nonresonant laser fields, Physical Review Letters 86 (2001) 775-778.
  • J. Ortigoso – M. Rodriguez – M. Gupta – B. Friedrich, Time evolution of pendular states created by the interaction of molecular polarizability with a pulsed nonresonant laser field, The Journal of Chemical Physics 110 (1999) 3870-3875.
  • B. Friedrich – D. Herschbach, Space Quantization: Otto Stern’s Lucky Star, Daedalus 127 (1998) 165-191.
  • J.D. Weinstein – R. deCarvalho – T. Guillet – B. Friedrich – J.M. Doyle, Magnetic trapping of calcium monohydride molecules at milikelvin temperatures, Nature 395 (1998) 148-150.
  • B. Friedrich – D. Herschbach, Alignment and trapping of molecules in intense laser fields, Physical Review Letters 74 (1995) 4623-4626.
  • B. Friedrich – D. Herschbach, Spatial orientation of molecules in strong electric fields and evidence for pendular states, Nature 353 (1991) 412-414.

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Luboš Perek is celebrating his 100th year

Founding fellow of the Learned Society and its doyen, astronomer doc. RNDr. Luboš Perek, DrSc, is celebrating his 100th birthday on 26 July 2019. He is an indelible part of history as the person who helped define cosmic space, he was the first to point out the issue of cosmic waste and was also a teacher to the most important Czechoslovak astronomers. Let us express our respect and admiration of the extraordinary scientific career of a person who worked tirelessly and continues to work. The Learned Society wishes Mr Perek health, optimism and joy in the oncoming years.


The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic has appealed to the Hungarian President to support academic freedom

On Friday 19 July the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Learned Society of the Czech Republic sent a letter to Hungarian President János Ánder, in which they state their concerns regarding the situation in respect to management and funding of scientific activities in Hungary. An act, according to which not the Academy of Sciences, but a thirteen-member political committee, will decide on research, funding of scientific activities and establishment or closure of scientific workplaces, will come into force on 1 September.


The loss of Learned Society Fellow prof. Josef Koutecký

We regret to inform that prof. Josef Koutecký, a fellow of the Learned Society, a renowned physician and the founder of paediatric oncology in this country, passed away on 5 July 2019 at the age of 88. He founded paediatric oncology here in 1964 and a separate paediatric oncology department was then established at the Faculty Hospital in Motol, Prague in 1978.