We would like to inform you that the last farewell to Krzysztof Belczyński in Warsaw will take place on Wednesday, January 24 this year, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Northern Municipal Cemetery at ul. Kazimierza Wóycickiego 14. The funeral (without the official part in the chapel or church) will take
place on January 29, 2024 (Monday), in Szczecin, at the Central Cemetery at Ku Słońcu 125a Street (meeting at the third gate of the Central Cementary at 12:30.
Krzysztof (Chris) Belczyński
Prof. Belczyński passed away on January 13, 2024. He was only 52 years old. His departure is a huge loss for Polish science.
“Krzysztof completed his astronomical studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and began working on his doctoral thesis at CAMK. That’s when our paths crossed. We started working together on the study of binary neutron star systems as sources of gamma-ray bursts. It was just after the discovery of the first afterglows of gamma-ray bursts and their host galaxies. The project on the study of binary systems initiated then at CAMK grew and became the main topic of Prof. Belczyński’s research. After obtaining his doctorate, he completed a series of foreign internships in the United States – at Northwestern University in Evanston, then at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2009, he returned to Poland and worked at the University of Warsaw for 8 years. He then moved back to CAMK.
He left behind a huge legacy – over 350 scientific papers, many of them as the first author. He was a pioneer in the study of the evolution of binary systems – especially massive stars. He authored predictions of the properties of binary black hole systems observed before LIGO and Virgo. His work essentially covered all aspects of the evolution of binary systems. He also dealt with the formation of compact objects and, in particular, the role of the mass gap between neutron stars and black holes. He showed how the shape of the mass spectrum of compact objects is related to the mechanism of supernova explosions. His achievements resulted in many awards, including the MISTRZ Award given by the Foundation for Polish Science in 2012 and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska PAN Award in 2021, and in 2013 he was honored as an American Physical Society Fellow.
His lifelong passion was mountains and sports. He was an outstanding climber and had a number of climbs in Europe, Asia, and North and South America to his credit. In recent years, he ended climbing and took up snowboarding, as well as water sports – kiteboarding, but also long-distance kayaking.
He was a person you could not pass by indifferently. He made contacts very easily, he had very decisive opinions. Conferences or seminars with his participation were very colorful and interesting. He asked a lot of questions and was not afraid of simple questions. He liked to teach, especially on the blackboard with chalk without slides, which sometimes shocked the modern audience. Memories of Professor Belczyński can be found at https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/KrzysztofBelczynski/
Krzysiek will remain in our memory. I will not end this memory with the words “rest in peace”, because he would never want to rest. Instead, I will say: Krzychu, wherever you are, explore, climb, wander, laugh, study black holes, stars, supernovae, the Universe, and continue to be as you always were.”
Management of PoToR, Colleagues and Friends from PoToR.