Condensed Matter Physics, 2020, vol. 23, No. 2, 23001
DOI:10.5488/CMP.23.23001           arXiv:2002.07620

Title: Crossing borders in the 19th century and now — two examples of weaving a scientific network
  R. Folk (Institute for Theoretical Physics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4040 Linz, Austria),
  Yu. Holovatch (Institute for Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 79011 Lviv, Ukraine; 4 Collaboration & Doctoral College for the Statistical Physics of Complex Systems, Leipzig-Lorraine-Lviv-Coventry, Europe; Centre for Fluid and Complex Systems, Coventry University, Coventry, CV1 5FB, United Kingdom)

Scientific research is and was at all times a transnational (global) activity. In this respect, it crosses several borders: national, cultural, and ideological. Even in times when physical borders separated the scientific community, scientists kept their minds open to the ideas created beyond the walls and tried to communicate despite all the obstacles. An example of such activities in the field of physics is the travel in the year 1838 of a group of three scientists through the Western Europe: Andreas Ettingshausen (professor at the University of Vienna), August Kunzek (professor at the University of Lviv) and P. Marian Koller (director of the observatory in Chremsminster, Upper Austria). 155 years later a vivid scientific exchange began between physicists from Austria and Ukraine, in particular, between the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Lviv and the Institute for Theoretical Physics of Johannes Kepler University Linz. This became possible due to the programs financed by national institutions, but it had its scientific background in already knotted historic scientific networks, when Lviv was an international center of mathematics and in Vienna the 'School of Statistical Thought' arose. Due to the new collaboration, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became the first country to join the Middle European Cooperation in Statistical Physics (MECO) founded in the early 1970s with the aim of bridging the gap between scientists from the Eastern and Western parts of Europe separated by the iron curtain. In this paper, we discuss the above examples of scientific cooperation pursuing several goals: to record the less known facts from the history of science in a general culturological context, to trace the rise of studies that in due time resulted in an emergence of statistical and condensed matter physics as well as to follow the development of multilayer networking structures that join scientists and enable their research. It is our pleasure to submit this paper to the Festschrift devoted to the 60th birthday of a renowned physicist, our good colleague and friend Ihor Mryglod. In fact, his activities contributed a lot into strengthening the networks we describe in this paper.

Key words: history of science, history of physics, statistical physics

Full text [pdf] << List of papers