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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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XXV. General Assembly of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic

The ceremonial part of the XXV. General Assembly of the Learned Society, at which the Medals of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic Societas Scientarium Bohemica Ad Laudem et Honorem and the awards of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic in the “Young Scientist” and “Grammar School Student” categories were presented, took place on Monday 20 May 2019 in the Great Hall of the Carolinum.


Bolzano lecture by prof. Kip S. Thorne

American physicist Kip S. Thorne, recipient of the Nobel Prize for 2017 for detection of gravitational waves, visited Prague at the invitation of he Learned Society. He held a series of “Bolzano lectures” and a lecture titled “Creating Gravitational-Wave Astronomy” for the Learned Society on 15 May 2019 in the Blue Auditorium of the Carolinum. The lecture was held with the support of the Karel Janeček Foundation and was received very enthusiastically.


XXV. General Assembly

The Czech Learned Society is holding its XXV. General Assembly on 20 and 21 May 2019. The Learned Society’s awards in the “Young Scientist” and “Grammar School Student” categories, Teaching Awards for pedagogic workers who promote interest in science and research at grammar schools and the Learned Society’s medals for meritorious contributions to the advance of science will be presented during a ceremony on 20 May at the Karolinum. Lectures by renowned scientists will also be presented. The second day will be reserved for the working part of the meeting, in the building of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.