Polish scientists make ground-breaking discoveries. Meet some of them and discover their achievements.
Rudolf Modrzejewski (1861–1940) – building bridges
An average American found his surname impossible to pronounce. To get around this problem, he would always introduce himself as Ralph Modjeski. Even so, this famous constructor never denied being Polish, and always signed his letters home with his real name.
Abraham Stern (1769–1842) – Does anyone have a calculator?
What a strange paradox that a computing machine, a device that was inconceivable at the beginning of the 19th century, was not constructed by a mathematician, but by a phenomenal self-taught mechanic. This brilliant mechanic was a Polish Jew named Abraham Stern. He began studying mechanics as a watchmaker’s apprentice in Hrubieszow. At that time, watchmaking was the height of precision mechanics.
Stefan Drzewiecki (1844–1938) – on land, under water and in the air
The first man to fly a heavier-than-air machine was Otto Lilienthal, but the first one to consider such flight possible was Stefan Drzewiecki. He was the one to develop a gliding flight theory, proving that it was possible to fly without flapping wings, merely by giving them a proper shape.
Jan Józef Baranowski (1805–1888) – Renaissance Man
The most prolific author in Polish literature was Józef Kraszewski, who wrote over 220 novels. As regards inventions, it is Jan Szczepanik and Jan Józef Baranowski who have left the largest legacies.
Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822–1882) – Polish pharmacist and Prometheus
Even though we rarely realise this in our daily busy life, we need light as much as we need food, drink or sleep. The main source of light is naturally the Sun, but people started looking for other solutions to disperse darkness very soon. The break-through in the history of lighting came with the kerosene lamp .
Kazimierz Prószyński (1875–1945) – Inventor who preceded the Lumière brothers
In April 1902, a unique attraction awaited the residents of Warsaw who decided to take a stroll through the Saxon Garden. In the Summer Theatre a young man was presenting photographs of daily life in the capital city. Since the art of photography was not new to Warsaw dwellers, one might think that it was nothing exceptional, but... the photographs were moving! People in the photos were walking, dancing and jumping.
Forgotten Polish inventors
Without Jan Czochralski’s inventions, electronics would not have developed in such a spectacular fashion. Appreciated in the West, he still remains obscure in Poland. Like many other outstanding Polish inventors.
Prof. Wiesław Wiktor Jędrzejczak
“I really am a happy doctor, because I could turn around the lives of patients whose fate meant death sentences,” Professor Wiesław Wiktor Jędrzejczak, a bone marrow transplant pioneer in Poland and the second doctor in the world to perform umbilical cord blood transplantation from two donors, says in an interview for Polska.pl.
Prof. Jan Lubiński
He has created the world’s first preventive genetic–oncological programme that detects genetic predisposition to the risk of cancer.
Prof. Karol Myśliwiec
An outstanding archaeologist and Egyptologist, the Director of the Research Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a University of Warsaw professor.
Prof. Henryk Skarżyński
The most important invention of the past 25 years are implants which cure deafness, developed by Professor Henryk Skarżyński.
Prof. Aleksander Wolszczan
One of the most outstanding Polish astronomers, discoverer of the first planets outside the Solar System.
Prof. Agnieszka Zalewska
Polish professor of physics, on 1January 2013 took over the Presidency of the CERN Council in Geneva, the world's largest particle physics research facility.
Prof. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski
His discovery of a means of polymer synthesis is widely applied in the production of substances like glues, sealants and paint.