Leopold Infeld (1898-1968)

Born on 20th July 1898 in Krakow, Leopold Infeld, son of  Salomon and Ernestyna, née Kahane, was a theoretical physicist, an author of works about the Theory of General Relativity (he collaborated with A. Einstein), the field theory and electrodynamics, a member of the Polish Science Academy and the World Peace Council. Signatory of the Russell-Einstein manifesto; signatory of Letter no.34.

Leopold Infeld was a student of a Kazimerz Wielki Department School and the Adacemy of Trade.  After the maturity exam (1916), he enrolled the Jagiellonian University’s Faculty of Physics. In 1920 Infeld met Einstein in Berlin where he lived for 8 months. After his return to Krakow he obtained his PhD title (1921). In 1930 Infeld became an assistant and an associate professor at the John Casimir University of Lviv.  He became a scholarship holder of the Rockefeller Foundation  in 1933, travelled a lot and often published his works.  Infeld spent the war period in Canada. Accused of collaboration with comunists in Poland and a possibile risk of selling military secrets, he returned to Warsaw. In 1950 Infeld became a professor at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw. He was also the founder and the first Head of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Warsaw. Moreover, Infeld was a member of the Polish Science Academy (since 1952)  as well as other foreign Academies. The Evolution of Physics (wrtitten together with Albert Einstein), 1947, (first Polish edition: Ewolucja fizyki, 1959), God’s Chosen (1950), Albert Einstein (1956), Motion and Relativity (written together with Jerzy Plebański), 1960. A frequent visitor to Krakow.

Leopold Infeld died on 15th January 1968 in Warsaw. He was laid to rest in Merit Alley at the Powiazki Military Cemetery.

Read more: Krakowianie. Wybitni Żydzi krakowscy XIV-XX w., Kraków 2006