Jerzy Plebański

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Jerzy Plebański
Born (1928-05-07)May 7, 1928
Warsaw, Poland
Died August 24, 2005(2005-08-24) (aged 77)
Fields physics
Institutions University of Warsaw
Alma mater University of Warsaw
Doctoral advisor Wojciech Rubinowicz
Known for Plebanski action
Plebanski tensor
other work in general relativity and non-linear electrodynamics

Jerzy Franciszek Plebański (7 May 1928, Warsaw – 24 August 2005, Mexico) was a Polish theoretical physicist best known for his extensive research into general relativity and supergravity.


In 1954, Plebański received his Ph.D. under the direction of Wojciech Rubinowicz at the University of Warsaw. He then went to work at the newly founded Institute of Theoretical Physics of the University of Warsaw. A specialist in the field of general relativity and mathematical physics, his first book with co-author Leopold Infeld was on the problem of motion in general relativity. He was vice-rector of the University of Warsaw from 1969 to 1973 and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Warsaw from 1958 to 1962.

In 1958 Plebański traveled to the United States, and spent two years there, first as an invited professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and then at UCLA in Los Angeles. The year after his return to Poland in 1960, he married Anna Lazarowicz.

From 1962 to 1967 the Plebańskis were in Mexico. In the Cold War years, Mexico was a neutral country, and their visit was approved by the Polish authorities. Invited by Dr. Arturo Rosenblueth to join the physics department of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies [Centro de Investigaciones y de Estudios Avanzados] of the National Polytechnic Institute—normally referred to by its initials CINVESTAV—in Mexico City, he was to remain there for most of the rest of his life.

After a six-year stay back in Poland, the Plebańskis emigrated permanently to Mexico in 1973. Jerzy returned to the Center for Research and Advanced Studies, where he remained until his death in 2005. During his stay in Mexico he hosted many Polish physicists and maintained close contacts with the University of Warsaw.

Scientific work[edit]

1. Nonlinear electrodynamics and quantization techniques.

2. Relativistic equations of motion: "fast approximation"[1] [2]

3. Spinor connections

4. Plebanski tensor[3]

5. Plebanski action. All vacuum and self-dual solutions of the Einstein equations satisfy a single equation, called the "Heavenly equation".


  1. ^ Infeld & Plebański 1960
  2. ^ Bertotti & Plebański 1959
  3. ^ Plebański, Jerzy (1964). "The Algebraic structure of the Tensor of Matter". Acta Physica Polonica. 26: 963–. 

See also[edit]


  • Bertotti, B; Plebański, J. (1960). "Theory of gravitational perturbations in the fast motion approximation". Annals of Physics. 11: 169–200. Bibcode:1960AnPhy..11..169B. doi:10.1016/0003-4916(60)90132-9. 
  • Infeld, L; Plebański, J. (1960). Motion and Relativity. New York: Pergamon / Panśtwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. 
  • Plebański, J. (1970). Lectures on Non-Linear Electrodynamics : An Extended Version of Lectures Given at the Niels Bohr Institute and NORDITA, Copenhagen, in October 1968. Copenhagen: NORDITA. 
  • Plebański, J. (1975). "Some solutions of complex Einstein equations". Journal of Mathematical Physics. 16: 2395–2402. Bibcode:1975JMP....16.2395P. doi:10.1063/1.522505. 
  • Plebański, J.; Krasiński, A. (2006). An Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Garcfa-Compeán, H.; Bogdan Mielnik, B.; Montesinos, M.; Przanowski, M., eds. (2006). Topics in Mathematical Physics, General Relativity and Cosmology in Honor of Jerzy Plebański. Singapore: World Scientific.