My research work was in the experimental nuclear physics. However, I have also carried out theoretical analysis and interpretation of experimental data. In this sense, therefore, my work was partly experimental and partly theoretical.
I have carried out a pioneering research work in nuclear physics in Poland. After moving to Australia, I introduced and directed research in the field of direct nuclear reactions in the Department of Nuclear Physics, Australian National University. The reactions were induced by light projectiles: protons, deuterons, 3He, and 4He particles. At the same time, I've also investigated polarization phenomena in nuclear reactions using overseas research facilities in Switzerland and Germany. Later in my research carrier I have also studied heavy-ion induced nuclear reactions using the same theoretical methods in their interpretations as I have introduced earlier for the study of direct nuclear reactions induced by light projectiles.
Research equipment included, inter alia, cyclotrons, electrostatic accelerators, polarized ion sources, magnetic spectrometers, nuclear emulsions, scintillation counters, solid state detectors, multi-electrode focal-plane detectors, and mainframe computers such as IBM, HP, VAX, and UNIVAC.
I changed my name when I was forced into an early retirement because of my ill health caused by overwork and stress. For the next 8 years I concentrated all my attention on improving my health. When I was feeling strong enough I focused my interest on the environmental issues and in particular our common future. I was doing it partly to satisfy my curiosity and partly as a therapeutic method. Gradually, more people were interested in my work. I've presented a series of radio interviews on the environmental issues and eventually I was asked first by my listeners and then by a publisher in Melbourne to write it all down in a book. The book was first published in Australia and New Zealand, later in the US and Canada and finally in Taiwan translated into Chinese language.
In this book I discuss all the critical trends and events shaping the future of our planet. I have presented them in seven groups: 1. The growth of human population. 2. The diminishing land resources. 3. The diminishing water resources. 4. The destruction of the atmosphere. 5. The approaching energy crisis. 6. Social decline. 7. Conflicts and increasing killing power. This book contains a massive among of data and very little of my personal opinion. I've decided to leave it to the Reader to draw his/her own conclusions.
I've tried my best to help the Reader to assimilate all this information. To this end, I use simple language and simple explanations. Each chapter is divided into small subsections. Each chapter ends with a brief summary showing how the past might be shaping the future. The book contains a brief summary of all seven critical global trends and events. It also contains the list and a brief discussion of the major landmarks in the past and the future. However, above all, each table in the book represents a self-contained story. One can learn a lot from numerical data but it's frustrating when the key to reading them is hidden somewhere in the text or even worse when it is not even mentioned anywhere in the text. In my book, each table contains a guide and an example how to read information contained in the table. As far as I can tell, my book is the only publication where all the critical trends are discussed and comprehensively explained in one place.
The major problem, indeed the driving force of all our current environmental problems shaping our future, is the excessive growth of human population. If we are going to survive, it will be essential for us to understand the mechanism of growth and to learn how to control it.
Over the past few years, I've carried out work on the dynamics of human population. I've investigated the current explanations of the growth of human population and I've found that they do not agree with empirical evidence. A handful of published works, which was pointing in the right direction to understand the mechanism of growth, is notoriously ignored and it is replaced by an avalanche of fanciful descriptions and hypotheses, which on closer examination are in contradiction with empirical information.
I've formulated a simple and general law of growth. This simple law turns out to be exceptionally flexible and it can be applied to any type of growth. It allows for an easy introduction of various models of growth, including such better known models as exponential or logistic, which can be easily derived using this law. I've used this law to explain the growth of human population between 300,000 BC to the present time using just a single force of growth. I've also extended my study to the economic progress as described by the historical GDP data. I'm now finishing writing a book with a tentatively proposed title: Growth of human population and economic progress explained.
I have worked in the following research centres:
1956-1964 – Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP), Cracow, Poland.
1964-1989 – Department of Nuclear Physics, Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University.
1970-1971 – Department of Physics, Birmingham University, UK
1975-1976 – Laboratorium für Kernphysik, ETHZ, Zurich, and Schweizerisches Institut für Nuclearforshung, Villigen, Switzerland.
1983-1984 – Max-Plank Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, and Institut für Angewandte Kernphysik and Zyklotron-Laboratorium Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany.
2010-present - Adjunct Professor, Environmental Futures Centre, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Queensland 4222, Australia.
Some of the research highlights in nuclear physics include:
I have been asked to take over the supervision of Hartmut Cords and James Davis. They have already had their research projects but I was asked to take over the supervision of their work. David Rosalky was assigned to another senior staff member, who asked me to suggest a suitable research project and help him in the supervision of the research work. Peter Clark participated in a research work, which was carried out by a group of senior staff members. Our responsibility in directing and supervising the research work were equally divided.
Men and Women of Science, Engineering, and Technology