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EPS Historic Sites - Study of Georgi Nadjakov

On the eve of the 24 May 2014, which is the Bulgarian holiday of Culture and Literacy as well as the feast of Cyril and Methodius brothers, the patron saints of Europe, the European Physical Society [EPS] commemorated the distinguished Bulgarian physicist Georgi Nadjakov (1896 – 1981) by declaring his study in Sofia, Bulgaria, an EPS Historic Site as part of the scientific and cultural heritage of the old continent.

The announcement was made during an official ceremony in the Nadjakov Institute of Solid State Physics [ISSP] at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences [BAS] by Prof. Luisa Cifarelli, Chair of EPS Historic Sites Committee, who explained that honouring various places in Europe with historical significance for the development of physics aims at popularising science on a global scale.

L. Cifarelli and the director of ISSP Academician Prof. Alexander Petrov unveiled the memorial plaque of Georgi Nadjakov. The participants in the ceremony had the opportunity to visit the study of the renowned Bulgarian scientist and to look at the exhibition, which is the testimony of his scientific work.

Among the special guests was Academician Nikola Sabotinov, former president of the BAS. In his talk, N. Sabotinov pointed out that Georgi Nadjakov made a very remarkable discovery in physics - the photoelectret state of matter, which has then become crucial for the development of the photocopying industry and moreover found applications in the field of vacuum-less TV, memory devices, x-ray dosimetry, etc. N. Sabotinov also noted that the declaration of the study of Georgi Nadjakov as an EPS Historic Site is a significant international recognition of the Bulgarian science in general.

European recognition of Georgi Nadjakov’s contributions goes beyond his discovery and includes his overall role in the development of Bulgarian science and technology as Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, as founder and Director of the Institute of Physics and vice-president of BAS. He also deserves credit for the building of the nuclear reactor in Sofia. Finally he was one of the representatives who signed the Statutes of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia.

Nadjakov’s Office was restored in 2006 on the occasion to the 110 anniversary of Georgi Nadjakov, FBAS, in the room 210 of the Institute of Solid State Physics main building. The permanent exhibition shows many documents, home made equipment, and books used by the distinguished Bulgarian physicist and discoverer of photoelectrets Georgi Nadjakov. Born in Dupnitsa he studied, lived and worked in Sofia in all his life. His main achievements were made in the physics laboratories of two main Bulgarian scientific institutions – Sofia University and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He was assistant, associate professor and full professor in the first one, and Fellow, creator and director of the Physical Institute in the second one. Lessons and horrors of the First and Second World Wars gave him powers to preserve university staff in physics and especially to support industrial development in Bulgaria.

In 1937 the discorvery of photoelectrets by Georgi Nadjakov inspired general interest in photoelectric phenomena in solids.

L. Cifarelli and A. Petrov in front of the memorial plaque
L. Cifarelli and A. Petrov in front of the memorial plaque - ©Maria Tzaneva

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