Prof. Dr Žiga Šmit

Full University Professor, retiredE-mail: Tel: +38614766589

The main scientific interest of dr. Šmit is physics of inner atomic shells, where he contributed to the development of ionization models and computer codes for calculation of plane-wave and semiclassical cross sections. Experimentally he works on the development of ion-beam analytical methods, especially for the development of codes for thick target PIXE applications including differential methods for depth analysis. His teaching at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics UL included basics physics, he is leading a course of arhaeometry at the Faculty of Arts, at the Academy of Fine arts and Design her conducted a course on optical methods. During his career he made scientific visits to the universities of Linz, Singapore and Antwerp. His present research work is collaboration with the archaeological department at the National Museum of Slovenia, and involves investigation of objects of portable cultural heritage. The studied materials include prehistoric, Roman, medieval and early New Age glass and metals, materials used for Roman military equipment, as well as pigments and minerals.


  • 1977             diploma in physics, University of Ljubljana
  • 1977-1980    postgraduate study at the University of Ljubljana, MSc
  • 1985             PhD in physics, University of Ljubljana
  • 1989             assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana
  • 1995             associate professor
  • 2005             full professor


  • 1977-1997    Jožef Stefan Institute
  • 1997-2018    University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, complementary employment at Jožef Stefan Institute
  • 2019 -           contract collaboration with IJS

Field of work

  • Physics of the atom: inner shell ionization, ionization models
  • Applied physics: development of the PIXE method, numerical models for evaluation of concentrations
  • Archaeometry: application of the methods PIXE-PIGE-RBS for the analysis of archaeological materials (metallic objects, coins, glasses, ceramics, metal-based pigments)


  • Boris Kidrič award for technical innovations: 1978, 1985 (with other authors)
  • Fund of Boris Kidrič awards: 1987
  • Valvasor honorable award: 2007
  • X-ray Spectroscopy best referee award: 2014
  • Valvasor award: 2017 (with other authors)
  • Honorable member of the Slovenian Society for Conservation-Restoration (2019)

Other projects


  • COST projects
  • RER 1006, 2005-2007: Nuclear Techniques for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Artefacts in the Mediterranean Region (IAEA TC)
  • RER 8015, 2009-2012: Using Nuclear Techniques for the Characterization and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Artefacts in the European Region (IAEA TC)
  • RER 0034, 2012-2013: Enhancing the Characterization, Preservation and Protection of Cultural Heritage Artefacts (IAEA TC)


  • 1991-1994: Studies of electron correlations with the help of double ionization and radiative Auger process
  • 1994-1997: Studies of electron correlations
  • 1997-1999: Electron correlations in atomic processes
  • 1998-2000: Technological analyses of medieval glass (head Dr. Mateja Kos)
  • 2001-2004: Non-destructive analytical methods in the research of the material culture of the 16th and 17th century
  • 2004-2007: Non-destructive analytical methods as a basis of historical and art-historical research
  • 2004-2008: Portable archaeological heritage: archaeological and archaeometric research (head Dr. Janka Istenič)
  • 2009- : Portable archaeological heritage: archaeological and archaeometric research (head Assist. Prof. Dr. Janka Istenič)