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Recent achievements

Professor Sylwester Porowski's group managed to beat the world's foremost scientific institutes in the race to produce the blue laser. It was constructed at Unipress, the Warsaw Center for High Pressure Research, part of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). This achievement was possible thanks to the Polish scientists' ability to obtain crystals of gallium nitride under very high pressure. With their diodes, which emit light of a wavelength in the blue  part of the electromagnetic spectrum, four times more information than before can be packed on optic disks, which means that in future CD-ROM disks will be able to hold much more data than they do now with the red lasers used to record and read information. Blue diodes are used in medical diagnostic tests, and also in environmental monitoring. In addition, the military is also very interested in the blue laser. The application of red, green, and blue lasers will bring a new generation of televisions and video projectors.

Scientific instruments designed and constructed by Polish physicists have been launched into space, installed on board the satellite Koronas. Miros┼éaw Kowali┼äski and Ireneusz Gaicki constructed the ReSIK and Diogenes X-ray spectrometers, which study the processes taking place in the sun's corona and send current data round-the-clock to the Moscow space centre. The processing of the data collected gives further information about the sun's outer layers. ReSIK and Diogenes will spend several years in space.

Recent work by Polish astronomers has also brought impressive results. A team of scientists led by Professors Andrzej Udalski and Marcin Kubiak has discovered 46 new planets outside our solar system. They used OGLE (Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment), a new method of largescale "planet-hunting",  opening a new chapter in the history of astronomy.

In 2001, after several years of research, Polish archaeologists celebrated a major success: a group led by Professor Karol My┼Ťliwiec, Professor of History at Warsaw University and Director of the Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, discovered a group of graves in Egypt dating back to the Old Kingdom, at a site near the pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser in Saqqara. In Sinada, another Polish expedition discovered a church which most probably had been a mausoleum belonging to the kings of Nubia. The portraits of their presumable users are painted on its walls. Polish archaeologists led by Dr. Bogdan ┼╗urawski have been participating in a project to rescue historically significant monuments of Nubian culture in an area due to be floodedon completion of a dam which is being constructed by the Sudanese government between the third and fourth cataracts. An archaeological mission led by Dr. Stefan Jakobielski has been active for thirty-five years in the Sudan, in Old Dongola. One of the most spectacular highlights of recent years in this field has been the discovery of several dozen frescoes in the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, an apt sequel to Professor Kazimierz Micha┼éowski's discovery of the now famous Faras frescos in the 1960s.

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Saturday 8 May 2010

Heavy clouds
Cloudy with light showers
Sunny, periodically partly cloudy

Temp: 15C   Wind: 8 km/h north-westerly


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