RNDr. Václav Petříček, Csc.
Laureate of the 2021 Neuron Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Science in the field of physics
For the development of a computational method that significantly shifted the possibilities of accurate determination of atomic structures of solids
The regular crystal lattice described either in real three-dimensional space or in a
virtual space of a higher dimension makes it possible to study the internal structure of solids and various organic materials. However, with increasing complexity, the precise determination of the structure of atoms becomes more complicated. And at that moment, the JANA program developed by Václav Petříček helps scientists all over the world. Today, it is the most comprehensive tool for crystallographic structures, and his author is one of those who push the boundaries of contemporary crystallography. The uniqueness of Václav Petříček’s work lies in his lifelong improvement of one program — he wrote the first version in 1984, today his program is in JANA2020 version. The program’s boom came with the arrival of sensitive surface detectors and new sources of X-ray, when scientists discovered previously overlooked structural details. The work and world recognition that Václav Petříček receives today is also a source of international recognition for Czech science and the Institute of Physics, where Václav Petříček leads the next generation of scientists.