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Ernst Mach medals have been awarded to long-time collaborators of the Institute of Physics

President of the Czech Academy of Sciences Eva Zažímalová awarded four honorary medals at a ceremonial meeting on 24th April 2019. The awarded researchers included three physicists (Ernst Mach Honorary Medals for Merit in Physical Sciences), out of whom two have close relationships with the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences - doc. RNDr. Dušan Bruncko, CSc., and prof. dr. Hubert Ebert have been collaborating with the FZU at their home institutions abroad. Other awarded personalities were geophysicist prof. RNDr. Jiří Zahradník, DrSc, who focuses mainly on numerical modelling of a seismic source and strong soil movements, and also philosopher, literary scientist and translator doc. PhDr. Jiří Pechar (Jan Patočka Memorial Medal).

Ernst Mach Honorary Medal Laureates in 2019. From right to left: doc. Dušan Bruncko, prof. Hubert Ebert, prof. Jiří Zahradník, doc. Jiří Pechar.

Doc. Dušan Bruncko is the most distinctive figure in contemporary Slovak experimental elementary particle physics. After having graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University in 1979, he joined the Department of Subnuclear Physics of the Institute of Experimental Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (IEF SAS) in Košice, where he participated in research of anti-deuteron and deuteron precipitation registered with the Ludmila bubble chamber. In the years 1990–1996 he was the head of the Slovak team in the H1 experiment at DESY in Hamburg, which contributed significantly to the investigation of proton structure. He significantly contributed to the construction of a calorimeter for the H1 detector and defended his dissertation to qualify for associate professorship appointment in 2002 on a physical analysis of experimental data. In 1992–2006 he was the head of the Department of Subnuclear Physics of IEE SAS and in his office he initiated the involvement of Slovak physicists in the preparation of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC accelerator at CERN.

He is currently a representative of Slovakia in the governing bodies of this experiment, where Czech physicists from the Academy of Sciences and universities are also involved. Bruncko is the author or co-author of more than nine hundred scientific publications in international journals with over thirty thousand citations. Almost in all of them he collaborated with Czech physicists from the Academy of Sciences and universities. “Bruncko's entire professional career is an expression of Czech and Slovak sense of belonging and friendship,” said Jiří Chýla of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in his laudatory speech.

Doc. Dušan Bruncko with his honorary medal.

Prof. Hubert Ebert has been the head of the theoretical group at the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Munich for a quarter of a century. He is a world-renowned pioneer in the application of relativistic formalism to the calculation of the electron structure of solids, to X-ray, photoemission and Compton spectra calculation, and also to the description of the transport properties of solids. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena and the main author of the SPRKKR program package for relativistic calculations of the electron structure of solids using the Green function method.

In addition, he co-authored five reviews and more than four hundred original publications with more than four thousand citations. He maintains long-term contacts with Czech scientists with regard to overlapping areas of scientific interest. He published thirty joint works - especially concerning magnetic and spectroscopic properties of free and adsorbed clusters of atoms, the effect of disorder on magnetic properties of materials or the theoretical description of magnetocrystalline anisotropy - with Ondřej Šipr from the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. With his former student Jan Minár, who is now an associate professor at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Ebert has been collaborating on the theoretical description of photoemission. "Ebert has written seventy works with seven different co-authors from the Czech Republic," noted Ondřej Šipr, also from the Institute of Physics, in his laudatory speech, adding that the number of Ebert's citations has stopped just under seven thousand. "Hopefully this will be an incentive for further excellent scientific work, perhaps in cooperation with Czech scientists," added Šipr.

Prof. Hubert Ebert receives the honorary medal from the president of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Eva Zažímalová, and vice-chairman Jan Řídký.