Wojciech Alojzy Swietoslawski

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Świętosławski, Wojciech Alojzy


Born June 21 (July 3), 1881, in the village of Kirievka, in what is now Zhitomir Oblast; died Apr. 29, 1968, in Warsaw. Polish physical chemist.

Świętosławski graduated from the Kiev Polytechnic Institute in 1906. He began working at the institute in 1908, and from 1910 to 1918 he worked at Moscow University. After moving to Poland, he became a professor at the Technical University of Warsaw (1918–39, 1946–51) and the University of Warsaw (1918–29, 1947–60); he also served as minister of higher education (1935–39). Świętosławski worked in the United States from 1940 to 1946. From 1955 to 1961 he was director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of Polish Academy of Sciences. In the years 1928–32 and 1934–40 he served as vice-president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Świętosławski wrote a number of works on thermochemistry, which are summed up in his dissertation Diazo Compounds: Thermochemical Studies (1917). He subsequently developed a highly precise method for measuring very small quantities of heat, thus inventing the microcalorimeter. Świętosławski formulated the theory relating to the coking and processing of coal tar. He created a large scientific school. Świętosławski was awarded the State Scientific Prize of the Polish People’s Republic in 1951 and 1953.


Ghemja fizyczna, vok. Warsaw, 1923–31.
Microcalorimetry. New York, 1946.
Fizykochemia smoły węglowej. Warsaw, 1956.
Azeotropia i poliazeotropia, vol. 1. Warsaw, 1957.
Fizicheskaia khimiia kamennougol’noi smoly. Moscow, 1958. (Translated from Polish.)


Solov’ev, Iu. I., and P. I. Starosel’skii. “Nauchnaia deiatel’nost’ V. V. Sventoslavskogo v Rossii.” In Ocherki po istorii khimii. Moscow, 1963. Pages 292–312.
Brzostowski, W. “W. Świętosławski, 1881–1968.” Nauka Polska, 1968, vol. 16, no. 4 (76).
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.