Aurel Ionescu (1902-1954)

Aurel Ionescu

1902 Aurel Ionescu was born at Iasi, Romania, where he also graduated the high school. He was a Romanian physicist and chemist known for his researches on spectroscopy domain.

1924 Enrolled to Faculty of Sciences in Bucharest he took the degree in Physics-Chemistry and Physics like specialization.

1925 He was appointed Assistant of Department of molecular Physics, Acoustic and Optical within University of Bucharest.

1930 He wrote for his students: “Practical Works of General Physics” and “Photometry and Geometric Optical Elements”.

1931 Receiving a study leave he went to Paris where he was accepted as a student of Superior Normal School.

1934 He got Ph.D. in physical sciences having a thesis called “Absorption Spectrum of Sulphur Dioxide and of Carbon Disulfide in Ultraviolet”, that he brewed in Chemistry-Physics laboratory led by Professor Jean Perrin  and in Physics laboratory of Superior Normal School, led by E. Bloch.

1935 Returned to Romania he was promoted to Lecturer.

1939 He moved to Chemistry-Physics laboratory.

1940 He became Chemistry-Physics Lecturer of University of Bucharest.

1934 He got by competition the job of Chemistry-Physics teacher of University of Cluj, being temporary displaced to Timisoara.

1947 He wrote at Cluj “Chemistry-Physics Lecture” and “Matter’s Structure”.

1949 He moved to Department of Optical and Electricity of the same institution. Physics Institute in Bucharest being established A. Ionescu was appointed collaborator of this and Head of physical group in Cluj.

Aurel Ionescu was remarked as a good organizer. “Horia Hulubei” Academy commendatory appreciates this activity writing: „As Head of Physics Department in Cluj he succeeded to organize a Physics research center that honours our Academy and our country. He is one of those who understood the best theory-practice combination promoting at Cluj a set of great theoretical works in order to support very important practical researches for our country’s economy, like electric cracking of methane where he and his collaborators got important results for practice and science.

Perfect experimenter and very talented, he faced all hard situations ensuring necessary devices and tools for his researches and for educational needs by their imagining and building in our country...”.

The field within he developed his scientific activity was firstly Spectroscopy. He started by studying the structure of sulphur dioxide bands. His spectroscopic analyses represent the first complete one of a spectrum of polyatomic molecule of type III with inertia main moments. These were followed by analyses of trioxide sulphur bands, of which he deducted inertia moments of symmetric linear molecules and he discussed terms order and possible transitions. He also researched absorption spectrum of cyanogens in ultraviolet and bands of nitrogen dioxide applying the theory of symmetric teetotum to polyatomic molecules.

Then he dealt with the evolution of benzene absorption spectrum on heating, intensifying many molecules’ vibrations frequencies and establishing the connection between absorption spectrum and Tesla emission spectrum.

Professor A. Ionescu had special abilities to built physical devices. He skilfully handled the lathe and electric devices he made competed with those of the best electronist. He started this occupation in the laboratory of Acoustic and Optical Department in Bucharest and continued it to Paris, where by his own, he made a precise spectrometer that was at Physics Faculty within Babes-Bolay University in Cluj. Another high precision spectrometer, made after he had returned in the country, that he used to study heavy molecular bands’ structure, is to Physics Laboratory in Bucharest.

During his last years of life he built at Cluj an ultrasonic transmitter which helped him study acetate ester hydrolysis, then dielectrometers to study preliminary power’s variation specific to some binary mixtures. He built an ultrasonic flaw detector and developed Rontgen ray flaw detection devices.

We mention his concerns regarding methane gas chemicalization to obtain acetylene. Laboratory experiments with electric arc unloading facility where methane reached very high temperatures, led to its transformation into acetylene with an appreciable yield.

1952 The issue was moved to pilot stage. Ionescu could not take part in semi-industrial station’s realization at Rasnov because he was very sick. Today the procedure is currently applied in our chemical industry.

1953 His work as a teacher and a scientist was rewarded by different medals and Class I State Award.

1954 On autumn, Aurel Ionescu passed away due to a disease that grinded him. “H. Hulubei” Academy has the following assessment about A. Ionescu: “A great animator, an exceptional leader and organizer, Aurel Ionescu had a leading role in promoting Physics in our country”.[1]




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