Tadeusz Banachiewicz

Tadeusz Julian Banachiewicz (13 February 1882, Warsaw – 17 November 1954, Kraków[1]) was a Polish astronomer, mathematician and geodesist.[2]

Tadeusz Banachiewicz
Born(1882-02-13)13 February 1882
Died17 November 1954(1954-11-17) (aged 72)
OccupationAstronomer, mathematician and geodesist
Spouse(s)Laura de Sołohub Dikyj
(m. 1931)
  • Artur Banachiewicz 1840–1910 (father)
  • Zofia née Rzeszotarska 1852–1920 (mother)

Scientific careerEdit

He was educated at University of Warsaw and his thesis was on "reduction constants of the Repsold heliometer".[3] In 1905, after the closure of the University by the Russians, he moved to Göttingen and in 1906 to the Pulkovo Observatory. He also worked at the Engelhardt Observatory at Kazan University from 1910 to 1915.[4]

In 1919, after Poland regained its independence, Banachiewicz moved to Kraków, becoming a professor at the Jagiellonian University and the director of Kraków Observatory (055). He authored approximately 180 research papers and modified the method of determining parabolic orbits. In 1925, he invented a theory of "cracovians" – a special kind of matrix algebra – which brought him international recognition. This theory solved several astronomical, geodetic, mechanical and mathematical problems.[1]

In 1922 he became a member of Polish Academy of Learning and from 1932 to 1938 was the vice-president of the International Astronomical Union. He was also the first President of the Polish Astronomical Society, the vice-president of the Geodetic Committee of The Baltic States and, from 1952 to his death, a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was also the founder of the journal Acta Astronomica. He was the recipient of Doctor Honoris Causa titles from the University of Warsaw (1929),[5] the University of Poznań (1936)[6] and the Sofia University in Bulgaria (1948).[7][1]

Banachiewicz invented a chronocinematograph, an astronomical instrument for precise observations of solar eclipses.
He is the author of more than 500 scientific papers, scientific and popular press communications, telegraph scientific reports, polemics, reviews, reports and editorial works, which concern astronomy, mathematics, mechanics, geodesy, geophysics and other fields of science.[8] The LU decomposition was introduced by Banachiewicz in 1938.[9]


The lunar crater Banachiewicz and the main-belt asteroid 1286 Banachiewicza are named after him.[10] The asteroid 1287 Lorcia was named after his wife following his suggestion to the discoverer.[11]


  1. ^ a b c O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Tadeusz Banachiewicz", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews
  2. ^ In Russian his last name was written Банахевич. His name is often Anglicized to "Thaddeus Julian Banachiewicz".
  3. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  4. ^ The Observatory in the years of T. Banachiewicz's management (1919-1954), Krakow Astronomical Observatory, Retrieved 10 February 2010
  5. ^ "Doktoraty honoris causa w latach 1921-1973" [Honorary Doctorates in 1921–1973] (in Polish). University of Warsaw. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  6. ^ "Doktoraty Honoris Causa, lata 1931 - 1965" (in Polish). University of Poznań. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  7. ^ "Доктор хонорис кауза (Doctor honoris causa)" (PDF) (in Bulgarian). Sofia University. page 9, pos. 116. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  8. ^ Bujakiewicz-Korońska, Renata; Koroński, Jan (2016). "The life of Tadeusz Banachiewicz and his scientific activity". Studia Historiae Scientiarum. 15: 275–300. doi:10.4467/23921749SHS.16.011.6154.
  9. ^ Schwarzenberg-Czerny, A. (1995). "On matrix factorization and efficient least squares solution". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series. 110: 405. Bibcode:1995A&AS..110..405S.
  10. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1286) Banachiewicza". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1286) Banachiewicza. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 106. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1287. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  11. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1287) Lorcia". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1287) Lorcia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 106. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1288. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.

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