The Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics (IFJ PAN) was established in 1955 as a branch of the Institute of Nuclear Research, becoming an independent Institute of Nuclear Physics in 1960 and gaining the status of a research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2003.
The Institute is currently one of the largest institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, since 2014 rated the A+ category in the group of science and engineering. This is the highest scientific category awarded to the Institute by The Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the second time now. The Institute, as a member of the Marian Smoluchowski Krakow Scientific Consortium “Matter – Energy – Future” also obtained the status of the Leading National Research Centre (KNOW) for the years 2012–2017. In 2017, the European Commission awarded the IFJ PAN the prestigious distinction of “HR Excellence in Research” as an institution applying the principles of the “European Charter for Researchers” and “Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”.
The Institute conducts basic and applied research in the field of physics and related sciences. Using the latest technological and IT achievements at IFJ PAN, research is carried out on the structure of matter and the properties of fundamental interactions from the cosmic scale to that of the elementary particles. In the field of basic research, which is the main task of the Institute, theoretical and experimental research is carried out in four main directions:
The key activity of the Institute is participation in large-scale experiments carried out through global research collaborations. Our physicists actively participate in three major experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, LHCb) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of CERN, Geneva contributing to their construction, devel¬opment and maintenance, as well as in the following projects: European Laser on Free Electrons (E-XFEL, DESY, Hamburg), Large Hadron Collider (LHC, CERN, Geneva), European Spallation Source (ESS, Lund, Sweden), Système de Production d’Ions Radioactifs Accélérés en Ligne (SPIRAL2, GANIL, Caen, France), Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR, Darmstadt), Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), Pierre Auger Observatory (Argentina), International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER, Cadarache, France), Belle2 experi¬ment (KEK, Tsukuba, Japan).
Many projects and undertakings of the Institute are also included in the Polish Map of Research Infrastructure, which aims to present the actual potential of Polish science and to select the best most perfect scientific projects involving the use of the equipment that ultimately makes up the broadly understood research infrastructure.
The Institute has research equipment available to the Polish and foreign scientific community. We have, among other instruments, an apparatus cluster called “IFJ PAN research infrastructure for interdisciplinary studies”, having the status of a Special Research Instrument.
The “National Centre for Hadron Radiotherapy-Cyclotron Centre Bronowice,” funded by the European Innovative Economy Operational Programme, is a flagship project of the Institute. The Cyclotron Centre Bronowice (CCB) is an infrastructure unique in Central Europe, serving as a clinical and research centre in the area of medical and nuclear physics. Since 2013, the Proteus C-235 cyclotron of the Centre has been delivering beams of protons with energies in the range of 70-230 MeV. With two experimental halls and three reatment rooms, since 2016 serviced by two rotating gantries with Pencil Scanning Beam as well as a horizontal line for eye treatment, CCB is a modern clinical centre for the treatment of cancer patients.
Applied and interdisciplinary physics research is also an important activity at CCB. It is carried out in the area of radiotherapy and radiobiology. Research in the field of clinical medicine is another line of activity at CCB. It aimsat performing trials, which show the clinical efficacy of the state-of-the-art scanned proton beam technique in the treatment of selected tumours.
The staff of the Institute consists of over 550 employees, including: 33 full professors, 82 associate professors, 104 PhD associates, and a team of over 120 highly qualified engineers and technicians.
The Scientific Council of the Institute is authorized to confer doctoral and postdoctoral degrees in physical sciences. Currently, over 70 PhD students enrolled in the Studies. We also run two Interdisciplinary PhD Studies: “Interdisciplinary Research for Innovative Medicine; InterDokMed”. (jointly with the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Jagiellonian University) and “Physics, Chemistry and Biophysics for New Materials and Technologies; FCB” (jointly with AGH University of Science and Technology, the Jagiellonian University, the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences).
On May, 6th 2019 Krakow School of Interdisciplinary PhD Studies (KISD) was founded by the Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, Maj Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science Polish Academy of Sciences, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics AGH University of Science and Technology. Under the agreement of 27/09/2021, the Strata Mechanics Research Institute Polish Academy of Sciences joined the doctoral school.
The average yearly publication yield of IFJ PAN includes over 600 scientificpapers in high-impact international journals, and over 100 monographs, reports and conference contributions. Each year the Institute hosts international and national scientific conferences not to speak about a large number of weekly seminars and occassional meetings. Those events give an opportunity to share recent important results, both theoretical and experimental, and offer a general forum to discuss the frontiers of physics.
The four nationally accredited laboratories at the Institute, apart from internal services, offer certified measurements of radioactivity and spectra of radiation isotopes in environmental and materials samples to external customers. They also provide regular dosimetry services evaluating individual occupational and environmental exposure of workers to radiation, especially in hospitals and radiation industry. Routine calibration of all electronic radiometers which measure the activity of gamma-, alpha- and beta-ray sources, is also available.