Andrzej Nowak, Maciej J. Nowak and Krystyna Cybulska
Microorganisms, usually invisible for us, accompany us always and everywhere. Often we do not realize how decisive its impact on our lives is, how much we use their presence, which of our troubles are the result of their actions, and also how surprising effects result from their activity. Microorganisms also very often play a decisive role in the development of societies, politics and history. One of the most spectacular interventions of micro-organisms in human history include the example of a false “oil fever” that exploded in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was even more significant to redirect Europe's history in the new direction as a result of the “black death” epidemic in the fourteenth century. Microorganisms have created social conditions for the transition to the next epoch - renaissance, which forms the basis of today's shape. Because of the microorganisms J.F. Kennedy could have been in the 1960 President of the United States of America and to direct her development in the new direction and to stop Khrushchev's expansion into the second hemisphere. Microorganisms, not leaders and generals, won battles and wars. It was Rikketsia prowazeki, not the genius of the opponents, that broke Napoleon's power in Europe. Microorganisms fight disease, improving quality of life and prolonging its period. They allowed to control rabies and numerous infectious diseases. In the economy for the cause of microorganisms, powerful monopolies fell. Bacteria were also used to protect civilians in Poland during World War II. There are many similar stories to tell, stories in which microorganisms play an essential role. But would these stories be about microorganisms only? Or perhaps about people who were fascinated by the microscopic world of microbes discovered his secrets, meaning and ... beauty.
Amazing is the fact that although the organisms have been known since the end of the seventeenth century, effective study of this group of organisms started after about 160 years, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The origins of science about bacteria were very difficult, there were many unknowns and conflict information. The research results provided by various scientists created complete chaos. From today’s perspective, it is difficult to imagine how it was possible, do research in such conditions, and obtain reliable results? Yet despite these difficulties, knowledge of our predecessors was neither so small nor so doubtful as might be supposed. On the contrary, it was surprisingly big and wide. What our predecessors knew about bacteria and especially their importance in nature? They knew that bacteria live everywhere, knew about their unlimited spread in the biosphere. The role of microorganisms in the mineralization of organic matter was known, as well as the circulation of matter in nature and role of bacteria in cycles of nutrient elements, and the solar energy as the driving force behind these changes. Today - although we understand these mechanisms much more accurately, we know a lot details and individual changes - but the basic outline of the functioning of the biosphere, valid until today created our predecessors. A look back at the beginning of the microbiology teaches us, how much can be achieved with seemingly primitive methods, if accompanied by a passion for research and imagination.
Photochemistry has been subjected to the enormous development within the last two centuries. This development has been driven mainly by two key factors: inherent scientific thirst for knowledge and worldwide foodstuff and energy needs. Within the development of photochemistry, mutual conditionality of global needs, progress in theory, improving of existing and birth of qualitatively new experimental techniques can be identified. Photochemistry has found its application in various fields of our life, development and protection of the nature.