Ioan Plăcințeanu (1893-1960)

Ioan Plăcințeanu

1893 He was born on the 15th of February, in Dorohoi, Botosani county, Romania, as son of a vet. He attended Codreanu High School in Barlad, then the National High School in Iasi.

1911 He passed “capacity examination” as valedictorian.

1914 He got the degree in Maths at University in Iasi with the mention: ”very good”. He took part in World War I as second lieutenant.

1918 He was discharged and appointed substitute teacher of Commercial School in Iasi and Assistant to Astronomical Observatory.

1919 He took capacity examination for secondary education, worked for Normal School in Iasi whence he moved to Boarding High School and then to National High School while working as Assistant to Mechanics laboratory of University in Iasi.

1921 He left, without a scholarship, to Berlin where he studied Mathematics, theoretical and experimental Physics and attended courses of famous teachers like Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Max von Laue, Bieberbach, von Mises and Caratheodory and worked in Professors Blasius, Wehnelt, Pringsheim and Nernst’s laboratories. Then he went to Gottingen and had as teachers: Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, R. Courant, Ambronn, I. Franck and W. Pohl.

1926 He hold his Ph.D. in Philosophy under W. Heisenberg’s leadership and chose as specialities theoretical and experimental Physics, mathematical analyses and Astronomy. The thesis he made was called “About Interaction between Radiation and Quadrupole Atoms”.

Returned in the country, Placinteanu quickly climbed the high stages of university education being attended theoretical Physics Lecturer.

1938 He was appointed tenured teacher of theoretical Mechanics of University in Iasi.

1939 He was appointed Director of Astronomical Observatory and Director of Applied Mathematics Institute.

1940-1941 He was Dean of Faculty of Sciences in Iasi.

1960 Moldavian great scientist and teacher passed away.

Within teaching field, Professor Placinteanu’s activity was a rich and fruitful one. As theoretical Physics teacher he lectured about different chapters of this subject.

As Mechanics teacher he wanted to enlarge the field lecturing about analytical Mechanics in order to help both students of Maths and Physics and those from Polytechnic.

One of Placinteanu’s concerns was to publish teaching works, like: “Electromagnetism”, “Vectorial and Tensorial Calculus” and also his great treatise of “Rational Mechanics”.

Placinteanu’s scientific activity was rich, valuable and multilateral. Thus, regarding Mechanics, he contributed a lot for variable mass bodies’ dynamics establishing the equations of movement of systems consisting of three bodies. He introduced into quantum Mechanics Eddington’s undulating tensor, by means of which he deduced Maxwell’s equations. In 1933 he had already foresaw, before Gamov, the existence of negative protons and he made assumptions before L. of Broglie a hypothesis on photons, wrote undulating equations of a variable mass  body and established Dirac’s equations for a variable mass particle. He also studied electronic photon’s features, photon’s wave function, forming duration of an electron and electronic light features.

Regarding molecular Physics he replaced Ostwald’s old formula with a more adequate one by dealing with the connection between a liquid’s vaporization heat and superficial tension. Within other works he studied the own vibration of ionized gas. We also mention that he wrote other important works concerned to static Mechanics, applied Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Astronomy, Photics, undulating Photics, Geodetics, science’s Philosophy and articles for making science popular, articles that were published within “Adamachi Magazine” and “Romanian Life”.[1]



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