Quantum Chemistry
Research in Poland
Quantum chemistry started in Poland, mainly as electronic-structure theory, in the late 1950's at small university groups in Warsaw, Cracow and Toruń. The electronic structure, both formal methods development and applied, remains its main strength until today, although other research directions, like theoretical rovibrational spectroscopy, collision and reaction dynamics, and statistical mechanics simulations, are now also well represented. Initially the main emphasis was on theoretical foundations and computational method developments. Now more and more emphasis is on applications, particularly to molecular spectroscopy, organic chemistry, material science, biochemistry and biophysics. Applications of very accurate methods of electronic structure theory to various branches of physics like atomic, nuclear, or particle physics have also been made and may be viewed as a specialty of Polish quantum chemists.
Since the pioneering era of the 1950's and 1960's many new groups were set up at practically all universities, most technical universities, and at several government laboratories (Academy Institutes). The groups in Warsaw, Cracow and Toruń, as well as new groups in Wrocław, Gdańsk and Poznań are the largest and scientifically strongest in the country. Altogether about 60 researchers with “habilitation” (a licence to supervise graduate students) are active in the field and the number of students working on their PhD's is now close to one hundred.
The number of tenured faculty positions in the field of theoretical chemistry increased significantly during the last 10 years, although the growth took place mainly in the already strongest institutions. There appears to be increasing understanding in Poland about the importance of theoretical methods in contemporary chemical research. More and more of theoretical applications are done in collaboration with experimental groups. The available financial support may be viewed as satisfactory for purely theoretical research. Since the advent of Unix clusters also the computing facilities can be viewed as reasonably good for a country of moderate economic strength like Poland.
The representation of quantum chemistry in the chemistry curricula at major universities is presently adequate. The main challenge is the poor math and physics background of the majority of students and the need to redirect the teaching program to students who can possibly appreciate only applicative aspects of quantum chemistry. Still, there remains some interest, although from a small minority of students, in more advanced studies of quantum chemistry.
The job market in Poland for PhD recipients in quantum chemistry is practically limited to academic institutions. As a result Poland is a large exporter of PhD educated quantum chemists; likewise a rather small exporter of graduate students in the field of quantum molecular science. The main problem for Polish quantum chemistry appears to be the lack of new independent, tenure track positions for young talented researchers who established themselves during their postdoctoral stays abroad and want to return to Poland.
The theoretical chemistry community in Poland is represented by the Quantum Chemistry Section of the Polish Chemical Society. It organizes small theoretical symposia during the annual meetings of the Polish Chemical Society. The important forum for the presentation of the most important results of Polish quantum chemists is also provided by the Central European Symposia on Theoretical Chemistry organized annually on a rotating basis by Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak quantum chemists.
Polish quantum molecular science has benefited very significantly from international exchange. Even during the communist era there was an uninterrupted flow of Polish quantum chemists (starting with Kolos's sabbatical at the Mulliken group) visiting the groups in the USA, Canada and Western Europe. As a side effect, not really beneficial for the state of quantum chemistry research in Poland, a dozen or so most successful Polish quantum chemists emigrated and established themselves as tenured professors at academic institutions in these countries. The international exchange remains important, although not as crucial as in the 1970's and 1980's , and is redirecting gradually from North America to countries of the European Union. Still a stronger collaboration of Polish groups with international partners, especially within the framework of EU founded research programs would be very desirable.
Groups active in the field of Quantum Chemistry
Name |
Institution |
Research Field |
Bartkowiak Wojciech |
Wrocław, Technical University |
Theory of nonlinear optical properties of molecules |
Barysz Maria |
Toruń , University |
Relativistic quantum chemistry. Methods development |
Brocławik Ewa |
Cracow, University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Enzymatic catalysis |
Chałasiński Grzegorz |
Warsaw, University |
Interatomic and intermolecular interactions |
Chojnacki Henryk |
Wrocław, Technical University |
Applied quantum chemistry |
Ciosłowski Jerzy |
Szczecin, University |
Density matrix functional theory |
Dodziuk Helena |
Warsaw, Academy Institute |
Modeling of large organic molecules |
Eilmes Andrzej |
Cracow, University, |
Modeling of electro-optical properties of organic materials |
Grabowski Ireneusz |
Toruń, University |
Density functional theory. Methods development |
Jankowski Karol |
Torun, University |
Electron correlation theory. Methods development |
Jankowski Piotr |
Toruń, University |
Intermolecular interaction |
Jaszuński Michał |
Warsaw, Academy Institute |
Applied quantum chemistry. Magnetic properties of molecules |
Jaworska Maria |
Katowice, University |
Applied quantum chemistry |
Jeziorski Bogumił |
Warsaw, University |
Theory of intermolecular interactions. Coupled cluster theory |
Karwowski Jacek |
Toruń, University |
Relativistic quantum chemistry. Methods development |
Komasa Jacek |
Poznań, University |
Electronic structure theory of small molecules |
Konarski Jerzy |
Poznań, University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Theoretical spectroscopy |
Koput Jacek |
Poznań, University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Theoretical spectroscopy |
Korchowiec Jacek |
Cracow, University |
Linear scaling methods. Organic reaction mechanisms |
Korona Tatiana |
Warsaw, University |
Coupled-cluster theory. Intermolecular interactions |
Kręglewski Marek |
Poznań, University |
Theoretical rovibrational spectroscopy |
Kucharski Stanisław |
Katowice, University |
Coupled-cluster theory |
Latajka Zdzisław |
Wrocław, University |
Intermolecular interactions. Theoretical spectroscopy |
Le Andrzej |
Warsaw, University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Modeling of organic reactions |
Luty Tadeusz |
Wrocław, Technical University |
Theoretical spectroscopy and dynamics of molecular crystals |
Makarewicz Jan |
Poznań, University |
Theoretical rovibrational spectroscopy |
Meissner Leszek |
Toruń, University |
Coupled-cluster theory |
Michalak Artur |
Cracow, University |
Molecular modeling of catalytic processes |
Michalska Danuta |
Wrocław, Technical University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Theoretical spectroscopy |
Moszyński Robert |
Warsaw, University |
Intermolecular interactions. Cluster spectroscopy and dynamics |
Musiał Monika |
Katowice, University |
Coupled-cluster theory |
Nalewajski Roman |
Cracow, University |
Density functional theory. Chemical reactivity |
Pachucki Krzysztof |
Warsaw, University |
Relativistic and QED effects. Nonadiabatic theory of molecules |
Paneth Piotr |
Łód, Technical University |
Kinetics of enzymatic reactions |
Pecul-Kudelska Magdalena |
Warsaw University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Magnetic properties. |
Pernal Katarzyna |
Łód, Technical University |
Density matrix functional theory |
Petelenz Piotr |
Cracow, University |
Vibronic coupling effects in condensed phase |
Piela Lucjan |
Warsaw, University |
Applied quantum chemistry |
Podeszwa Rafał |
Katowice, University |
Intermolecular interactions |
Roszak Andrzej |
Wrocław, Technical University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Theoretical spectroscopy |
Rutkowski Andrzej |
Olsztyn, University |
Relativistic quantum chemistry. Methods development |
Sadlej Joanna |
Warsaw, University |
Applied quantum chemistry. Theoretical spectroscopy |
Piotr Skurski |
Gdańsk, University |
Electronic structure of molecular anions |
Sienkiewicz Józef |
Gdańsk, Technical University |
Atomic collisions and electron scattering theory |
Smentek Lidia |
Toruń, University |
Rare-earth ions spectroscopy |
Sobolewski Andrzej |
Warsaw, Academy Institute |
Photochemistry. Photophysics |
Sokalski Andrzej |
Wrocław, Technical University |
Intermolecular interactions. Enzymatic catalysis |
Staszewska Grażyna |
Toruń, University |
Chemical reaction dynamics |
Stolarczyk Leszek |
Warsaw, University |
Coupled-cluster theory |
Tokarz-Sobieraj Renata |
Cracow, Academy Institute |
Theory of heterogeneous catalysis |
Witko Małgorzata |
Cracow, Academy Institute |
Theory of heterogeneous catalysis |
Woliński Krzysztof |
Lublin, University |
Computational method development for electronic structure theory |
Wolniewicz Lutosław |
Toruń, University |
Theoretical spectroscopy of small molecules. Scattering theory |