Dubna. Science. Commonwealth. Progress
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The newspaper was founded in November 1957
Registration number 1154
Index 00146
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Number 20 (4718)
dated May 23, 2024:

Horizons of scientific research

Vivid results and new projects

On 14 - 17 May, the 10th Session of the Scientific Council of the Division of Physical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Heavy Ion Physics "Relativistic Nuclear Physics and Heavy Ion Physics" was held in Nizhny Novgorod, organized by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The representatives of RFNC-VNIIEF (Sarov), State Scientific Centre RIAR (Dimitrovgrad), FSUE "EKhP" (Lesnoy), NIIEFA (St. Petersburg), NCFM (Sarov), St. Petersburg State University (St. Petersburg) took part in the meeting.

Ways and means of meeting problems in nuclear physics, the results and prospects of scientific research, as well as plans for the implementation of large scientific projects and the development of the required infrastructure for it were discussed in the Session. On the first day of the meeting, a ceremonial awarding of the Flerov Prize was held.

The Session was opened by Chairman of the Council, Scientific Leader of the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Academician Yuri Oganessian. "In all the advanced countries of the world, heavy ions are produced in national laboratories, with the help of which a wide variety of natural science objects are studied. Almost 75 years ago, such a small field at that time as nuclear physics started to grow into new branches of science: atomic physics, nuclear chemistry and astrophysics. We have gathered today to discuss the results and future plans for research in these areas," Yuri Oganessian said.

Director of IAP RAS Academician Grigory Denisov and JINR Scientific Leader Academician Victor Matveev addressed the guests of the Conference with welcoming words.

JINR Director Academician Grigory Trubnikov made a report on the JINR physics programme. According to the report of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), some of the most significant projects for world science are the NICA accelerator complex, the Superheavy Element Factory and the Baikal GVD neutrino telescope, which the Institute's employees currently work on. As Grigory Trubnikov noted, this is an incredibly significant achievement for the Dubna International Scientific Centre. The speaker outlined the main historical milestones in the development of nuclear physics at JINR.

"In 1960, the unique heavy ion accelerator U-300 cyclotron was developed at the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions of JINR, in the launch of which Yuri Oganessian took part. This facility set the agenda for heavy ion physics for decades. In the 1980-1990s, two new cyclotrons U-400 and U-400M were put into operation that would later be united using a channel for transporting heavy ions into a single complex of cyclotrons to carry out research not only with stable, but also with exotic radioactive nuclei," JINR Director highlighted.

At the end of the 2000s, it was decided to develop a programme in the field of heavy ion physics and a unique complex of superconducting rings on colliding beams of heavy ions that was called NICA. The megascience project is aimed at studying the phase transitions of nuclear matter and trying to find, at certain energies of colliding particles, evidence that for a short time it is possible to reproduce a density of matter that exceeds the regular nuclear density. Within the framework of the scientific programme of the project, experimental research of the internal structure of the nucleus is carried out.

Today, more than 1000 people are involved in research activities at the NICA complex. The experimental results achieved by the participants are published in international scientific journals. During 2024, the necessary technological tests of the complex components are scheduled to be completed and the launch of the first ion beam in the collider is scheduled for early 2025.

In 2020, the Superheavy Element Factory was launched on the basis of FLNR JINR. This new accelerator complex is designed to explore the limits of stability of nuclear matter, to synthesize new elements of the Periodic Table and to study their chemical properties. The main goal, together with the international community, is an attempt to synthesize the elements 119 and 120.

Among the achievements of the Laboratory in research with heavy ions were investigations of reactions on the synthesis of the elements 110 (Darmstadtium), 112 (Copernicium), 114 (Flerovium) and 115 (Moscovium), the production of six new isotopes, as well as research of chemical properties of the elements of Mendeleev's Periodic Table, carried out at the Superheavy Element Factory that is the flagship project of FLNR.

One of the basic tasks of the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions is development of high-intensity ion sources. Together with NIIEFA and colleagues from the Institute of Applied Physics RAS, an ECR source at 28 GHz is currently developed, as well as an ion source for the MSC-230 cyclotron. The modernized U-400M cyclotron is expected to resume operation in the summer of 2024. Construction of a new experimental hall of the U-400R accelerator complex is underway, the basic research area of which will include the synthesis of superheavy elements. Development of a factory of radioactive nuclei to study the physics of secondary beams and to produce monoenergetic ions is widely discussed.

In addition, applied research in the fields of medicine, radiobiology and materials science is carried out at JINR within the framework of the project of the Laboratory of High Energy Physics ARIADNA at the SOCHI, ISKRA, SIMBO facilities. At FLNR, the construction of the DC-140 cyclotron is nearing completion that will allow to obtain beams of accelerated ions from oxygen to bismuth. In collaboration with Rosatom, a new superconducting proton accelerator MSC-230 is currently developed, designed to carry out proton flash therapy for patients with cancer and to implement a wide range of biomedical research.

At the end of his speech, Grigory Trubnikov outlined the key problems of physics that should determine the development of new facilities and programmes in nuclear science and spoke about the prospects for research in heavy ion physics.

Yuri Oganessian presented the meeting programme and gave an overview report on the Superheavy Ion Factory that outlined the goals, results and plans for research in the field of heavy ion physics. In his report, Academician Yuri Oganessian focused on the national project "Atom and New Energy Technologies", implemented by a consortium of institutes of the State Corporation Rosatom and JINR.

At the Session, a ceremonial awarding of the Flerov International Prize for outstanding research in the field of nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry was held. Winners are:

  • co-author of the discovery of the element 114 (Flerovium) Rady Ilkaev - for his great contribution to the synthesis and research of the properties of superheavy nuclei;
  • co-author of the discovery of the element 102 (Nobelium) and the element 103 (Lurensium) Evgeny Donets - for the development of sources of highly charged ions to produce intense beams of average and high energies;
  • Head of the Sector of Electron Beam Ion Source of VBLHEP Evgeny Donets - for the development of sources of highly charged ions to produce intense beams of average and high energies;
  • Deputy Director of the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Lanzhou) Zhao Hongwei - for the development of sources of highly charged ions to produce intense beams of average and high energies.

In accordance with the event programme, the participants from research centres and universities, the researchers of the organizations of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom presented more than 30 scientific reports on the topics of the physics of heavy ions of low and high energies and applied research. On the final day, the representatives of the IAP RAS spoke about the basic research areas and new projects of the institute.

JINR Press Office

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