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Prof. Leonard Dobrzyński: „Do simple things, have fun and never lose hope”

Léonard Dobrzyński is an eminent scientist and researcher primarily known for his achievements in the field of physics. He earned his doctorate from the University of Paris in France. He is esteemed for his contributions to various areas of physics, including quantum mechanics, and condensed matter physics. His research and publications have influenced the development of technology and the understanding of fundamental physical phenomena. Throughout his scientific career, he has been associated with numerous institutions, including the Atomic Energy Establishment in Saclay, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the US National Science Foundation, the University of California at Irvine, the Laue-Langevin Institute in Grenoble, the Spanish National Centre for Scientific Research in Madrid, the University of Lille, among others. He is the editor of several books, scientific reports, and has authored over 300 scientific articles.

The article is part of a series of Coopercnius conversations with Polish scientists with foreign scientific backgrounds.

How did your adventure with science begin?

I followed my brother’s footsteps and studied with him at the Universities of Lille and Paris. He began his research in particle physics at that time. I was introduced to the head of condensed matter physics in France, Jacques Friedel, with whom I started working.

What factors led you to decide to move abroad? 

I was born on October 12, 1941, in Łódź. My father was a political prisoner in the concentration camp in Radogoszcz from February 17, 1942. He maintained contact with my mother until the end of 1944, and the Polish authorities finally declared my father missing on May 8, 1946. My mother’s sister lived in France at the time and invited us to live with her as a family. I left abroad in 1949 with my mother and brother.

What were the biggest challenges associated with this decision ?

It was mainly my mother’s decision; I’m not sure exactly how she felt about it. Surely it was difficult for her, although she maintained written contact with my father’s family in Poland. As a child, I quickly learned French. I really liked the language, and it definitely helped me to find myself in a foreign country.

Do you stay in touch with Polish scientific communities?

I invited several Polish colleagues to France and collaborated with them on various publications. I also participated in workshops in Poland.

What are you currently working on and what is the main subject of your scientific research? 

Currently, I am writing another book with ten colleagues, which is to be published by Elsevier in the “Interface Transmission Tutorial Book Series,” which I edit. The title of this book is “Sensing: Long Lived Resonances.” The publication focuses on studying various aspects of resonance in physics and its applications in various fields of science and technology. We present various types of resonance, their significance in physics, and technologies based on resonance, such as acoustics, electronics, or optics.

What are the latest achievements in your field of research that particularly interest you?

The latest achievements that interest me concern those related to particle entanglement and their long-distance interaction (sensing). 

What is your most important scientific achievement or discovery? Why is it important? 

My most important recent achievement is probably proving the existence of infinitely many sinusoidal path states that remain to be discovered. They are localized along one-dimensional paths. Each of these states, once connected to the band(s) of volume states, induces a long-lived resonance. A long-lived resonance is a wave packet that can be controlled. When the wavelength width is zero, one infinitely long lived path state is recovered. Such resonances can be used for many applications, especially those related to molecular interactions (sensing).

What scientific problems in your discipline are you most looking forward to solving and why? 

My desire is to demonstrate that some of these resonances can be helpful for many effects of interactions (sensing) and their applications.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your scientific work? 

The biggest challenge is communicating with very busy colleagues – scientists.

How do you see their impact on society or the economy?

I am very interested in fundamental scientific questions. I hope they can have an impact on several generations of students and researchers who may go further than me and thus influence society and the economy.

What advice would you give to young scientists at the beginning of their scientific careers? 

Do simple things. Have fun and never lose hope.

Fot. Unsplash

Leonard Dobrzynski
Marta Sikora
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