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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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Reaction to the case of Tomáš Hudlický: Members of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic support the freedom of expression

„We believe that free exchange of ideas is a key condition for the pursuit of truth and that the honest opinions should be scrutinized, challenged or rebutted but not censored or suppressed,“ say 45 members of the Learned Society in a statement regarding the retracted opinion paper by Prof. Tomáš Hudlický.


The letter by Jan Konvalinka to the President and Vice-Chancellor of the Brock University regarding the retracted article of Prof. Tomáš Hudlický

Opinions could and should be challenged, questioned or refuted but never silenced. In order to be able to think, we have to have the right to inquire, question and even offend or be mistaken,” writes Assoc. Prof. Jan Konvalinka, a biochemist at the IOCB Prague and the Vice-Rector of the Charles University, to Gervan Fearon.


Prof Miroslav Bárta receives the Česká hlava National Government Award

Learned Society member, Prof. Mgr. Miroslav Bárta, Dr. (Charles University Faculty of Arts) received the Česká hlava (Czech Head) National Government Award on 25 November 2019. A renowned Czech Egyptologist and archaeologist, Professor Bárta researches the history of ancient civilisations, the human relationship to the natural environment, and also for many years the evolution of complex societies. He leads the Czech Institute of Egyptology for archaeological and environmental research in Egypt and Sudan. His principal research interest is the period of the pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom.