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 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.
The ceremony ended with a small symposium during which Dr. Elka Nadjakova, daughter of Georgi Nadjakov, shared memories of the meetings of her father with notable physicists of the 20th century: Joliot Curie, Langevin, Ioffe and others. At the end a short documentary on his life and work was shown. It was a film about the restless searching and innovative mind, about creativity and curiosity, by which, together with pride and optimism, all those who have chosen to become physicists are inspired.