The idea to found the Balkan Physical Union was first devised and put in motion by Prof A.Milojevic (Yugoslavia) and Prof. I Ursu (Romania) at the VIII Congress of the Union of Yugoslav Societies of Mathematicians, Physicists and Astronomers (UYSMPA), held in Pristina (Yugoslavia) in Nov. 1985 where the proposal was accepted. The reason leading to the forming of such a non-governmental, non profit scientific organization stemmed from the positive experiences of Scandinavian scientific unions and some other ideas coming from the Mathematical Union.
The first Balkan Physical Union Council meeting was held in Bucharest in 1987, when the Constitution of the BPU was signed by the Balkan National Physical Society delegates from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia. Turkey’s signature was accepted later.
The first BPU President elected during the first BPU Council meeting was Prof I. Ursu (former European Physical Society- EPS President). The Secretary, Dr L. Dorobancu from Romania, was also elected and the Secretariat was set up in Bucharest. In 1989 they were succeeded by Prof. K. G. Akdeniz, as President, and Prof. M. N. Erduran, as Secretary, both from Turkey. The new constitution was adopted in the 1997 Council held in Cluj, Romania. The President, from 1997 to 2003 was Prof. C. Zerefos from Greece, with Vice President Prof. M. Mateev from Bulgaria and Secretaries Prof. E. Polychroniadis and Prof. A. Lambros from Greece. The President from 2003 to 2006 was Prof. I. Lalov from Bulgaria with Vice President A. Calboreanu from Rumenia and secretaries Prof. A. Lambros from Greece and Prof. M. Arik from Turkey.
At the 1990 BPU Council meeting in Tirana, a document called the TIRANA DECLARATION was adopted, emphasizing ..”the promotion and improvement of science and exchange of knowledge and information through links pending to be established among scientists which will lead to joint research projects and common programs in the Balkan countries”.
The determination expressed by the Tirana Declaration resulted to the organization of the First BPU Balkan School of Physics on “Accelerator Physics Research and Applications”, held in Istanbul, in September 1991.
BPU – General Conferances
Another important activity following the Tirana Declaration was the first General Conference of the Balkan Physical Union in Thessaloniki, Greece, 12-14 September 1991 The conference proceedings were successfully published on very attractively presented 1195 pages. The Conference represented the meeting place for more than 600 Balkan physicists for the first time in history of science in the Balkans.
These activities were followed immediately by the second BPU Balkan School of Physics concentrating on “Condensed Matter Physics”, held in Tirana, in September 1992.
The great success of the BPU1 Thessaloniki meeting encouraged the Balkan physicists to organize the Second Balkan Physical Union Conference in an unexpectedly short time, after only two years, held from 12-14 September 1994. The Second Balkan Physical Union Conference BPU2 was organized in Izmir, Turkey, with an attendance of 800 physicists from the Balkan countries. After the conference, the BPU journal Balkan Physics Letters published in its supplement 1958 papers presented at BPU2 Izmir conference.
The Third BPU3 General Balkan Union Conference was traditionally organized as common meeting place for all the Balkan area physicists, including a wide range of schollars – from students, lecturers and researchers, to academicians in the field of physics. The conference was held in Cluj-Napoca, from 5-7 September 1997, with the participation of about 1000 participants from 17 countries, delivering 51 invited lectures, 753 oral and poster presentations, of which 669 papers were published in the supplement of the Balkan Physical Letters Journal.
The BPU has honored with its golden medal Professor G.O.P. Obasi, Secretary-General of WMO for his outstanding guidance and contribution in the development of Meteorological Services and for training of Physicists – Meteorologists of the BPU Countries and Professor N. Economou for outstanding contribution to the ideals of the Balkan Physical Union.
Balkan Physics Institutions
Under BPU’s coordination, the Balkan Physics Research Institution and Research Group came into existence. Currently, there exist 5 different research working groups coordinated by various Balkan research centers: Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, University and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Institute Fisika Atomica Bucharest, University of Istanbul and others in collaborations with European Physical Societies.
There are a lot of proposals under consideration from various countries, offered by the most eminent national research centers, to be included in the BPU research network. There already exist 4 different research centers. Recently the Belgrade center of the Balkan Institute of Metrology at the Vincha Institute was accepted in Thessaloniki in 1997.
Balkan Physics Letters Journal
The first Editor-in-Chief, E. Dorobancu, was appointed by the BPU council in Bucharest in 1987. Recent political and financial turmoil in Romania and the Balkans was the reason for the delay of the first BPL issue. The first issue of Balkan Physics Letters was published in 1993 under scientific responsibility and the auspices of the Balkan Physical Union in Turkey with the support of the Bogazici University Center for Turkish Balkan Physical Research and Applications. Each volume comprises 4 issues a year. The Editor-in-Chief from 1993 to 2001 was E. Rızaoglu, and since 2002 is E. Arık. J. Freely is also editor since 1994.
The papers submitted to the Balkan Physical Letters journal are by definition supposed to contain: … “nontrivial new results, ideas, concepts, experimental methods, theoretical treatments etc. and be of interest and importance to one or several section of the physics community”…