[Polish version]

Department of Physics and Astronomy

 Institutes of Experimental and Theoretical Physics

Information about the losses caused by the recent flood

Call for Help


This page has been created to provide general information regarding the losses suffered by the Institutes of Experimental and Theoretical Physics, University of Wroclaw, during the Flood of the Millenium of July 1997. The picture above shows the main thoroughfare of Wroclaw on July 12.

More pictures from Rector's archives, documenting the dramatic situation of this day, can be found here.


Domains of Physics represented in the Institutes:

Theoretical Physics

Theory of Fundamental Interactions
Mathematical Methods of Physics
Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems
Classical and Quantum Field Thory
Theory of Condensed Phase
Computer Physics

Experimental Physics

Physics of Dielectrics
Electronic Emission and Spectroscopy
Physics of Thin Layers
Surface Physics
Nuclear Methods in Solid State Physics

The worst damage was sustained by the newly constructed satellite building that was to contain lecture halls, computer labs and the library of the institutes. This building has had a varied history, as the initial construction, begun in the 80s, was to be used as a Conference Hall for the Communist Party Committee. We, here at the institute, had hoped that it would soon serve in an Educational capacity, and we had hoped that this would become a reality as early as fall of 1997.

There was also damage to a barracks that lodged a big lecture hall; the only one equipped with multimedia technology. This damage is severe. The damage assessment, at this point, indicates a need for major reconstruction.

The building that houses both Institutes is located along the Odra river. Walls of sandbags were constructed in an attempt to protect this historic structure, but in vain. The flood waters poured in through the cellars and the State Archives. Both the cellars and the ground floor, which housed the student labs, canteen and cafeteria, were completely flooded. The store-rooms and a major computer net node were also located in the cellars. (Pictures documenting the situation on Saturday, July 13th are on the pages of the Polish TV.)

At the present time, August 28, 1997, water is still being pumped out of the cellars and hot air is being pumped in to dry out the building. In the yard work is going on repairing the damages and documenting the loses - see foto1, foto2, foto3.


The losses are estimated at $100,000.00


From the Document of the Rector:

The University is grateful


The buildings of Wroclaw University lie along the main stream of the Odra river and its many branches winding through the area between Ostrów Tumski and the Old Town. Some of the buildings are just on the river bank, others are close to it. All buildings were endangered by the huge flood wave and almost all suffered from it, though to a varying degree.(...)

The Institutes of Theoretical Physics, Experimental Physics and Geology, located on the right side of the river suffered a lot, since the water rose high here, flooded the basement and the ground floor. The situation got worse after a panicky struggle of the people with water, who built the dam across the stream, rising the water level. As a result the pavilion with teaching rooms was flooded and damaged, the statics of the building destroyed, the floors are damaged, the geological collections are flooded.(...)

The Institute of Astronomy was in ul. Kopernika was also badly affected: the basement and the pavilion are flooded.(..)

A lot of University employees, particularly those whose flats were under water, are in a dramatic situation. For them we are arranging substitute flats and opening a special flood fund.(...)

The poet says a friend in need is a friend indeed. During those difficult days of struggle with disaster it turned out that Wroclaw University has many friends, whose help we appreciate very much indeed.(...)



 Information prepared by: Arkadiusz Jadczyk

Last modified on: July 13, 2004.