Professor Povinec from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics is awarded the Pribina Cross (1st Class)

On 1 January 2018, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Slovak Republic, the Slovak president Andrej Kiska awarded state honour to twenty-five notable people. The Pribina Cross (1st Class) was awarded to Professor Pavel Povinec from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of Comenius University.

03. 01. 2018 08.25 hod.
By: CU Public Relations Office

Professor Povinec received the state honour for his exceptional achievements in aiding the economic development of Slovakia and for his significant scientific work in the area of nuclear and environmental physics.

“For me it is a great honour to recognize exceptional people for their exceptional lifelong contribution to our country on this day as the Slovak Republic celebrates twenty-five years since its establishment,” the president said in his opening address. “Those awarded, and indeed the personal and human qualities of these selected men and women, present a precious opportunity to show what really and permanently enriches our society: what strengthens our solidarity and what makes diverse individuals form strong communities, what awakens the healthy and sustainable development of our country, and what increases its resilience and cultural character. Thanks to them, our lives in the Slovak Republic are better, more beautiful, and have more value,” President Kiska said.

Those honoured included the singer Marika Gombitová (Pribina Cross, 1st Class); the legendary actor Jozef Kroner in memoriam (Pribina Cross, 1st Class) and his daughter, the actress Zuzana Kronerová (Order of Ľudovít Štúr, 1st Class); the Czech singer Marta Kubišová (Order of the White Double Cross, 2nd Class); the writer Rudolf Sloboda in memoriam  (Pribina Cross, 1st Class); the acting director of the League Against Cancer, Eva Kováčová (Pribina Cross, 2nd Class); the founder and long-time director of the National Rehabilitation Centre in Kováčová, Myrón Malý (Pribina Cross, 1st Class); and a leading personality of the Velvet Revolution and leader of the Public Against Violence movement, Fedor Gál (Order of Ľudovít Štúr, 1st Class).

A complete list of those awarded can be found at


Professor Pavel Povinec contributed to a great degree towards the building of a unique accelerator centre at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics at Comenius University in Bratislava which is focused on the analysis of nuclear processes in instances of low energy and on the application of radionuclide and ionic analytical methods. The most important results include the development and use of new ultra-sensitive accelerator and radiometric methods for the identification of sources of the background of detectors operating in underground laboratories which research rare nuclear processes with the aim of determining the weight of neutrinos and verifying the validity of laws of preservation in subnuclear physics, which would mean the existence of a new physics beyond the standard model and which would therefore have a significant impact on the further development of inquiry in the field of physics. The developed methods of measurement of very low concentrations of radionuclides allowed Professor Povinec to influence research in the area of environmental radioactivity to a significant degree, particularly in the evaluation of the global and regional radiation situation after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, with the subsequent analysis of radioactive pollution of the atmosphere, Japanese coastal waters, the waters of the Pacific Ocean, and the acquisition of the first published results on radiation exposure for the inhabitants of Japan as well as other countries in Asia, America, and Europe as a result of the consumption of seafood which was contaminated by radionuclides from the Fukushima incident.

According to Google Scholar, Professor Povinec is the most-often cited author from Comenius University.