Physics School in Kamchatka – result of year of cooperation

News, 16 October 2022

From 12 to 14 October, JINR representatives took part in the 2nd International Kamchatka School on Physics located at Vitus Bering Kamchatka State University.

At the School, JINR representatives gave lectures on neutron methods, describing what neutron activation analysis was, as well as surface neutron logging, and how this method was used on spacecrafts. School participants learned about thermal neutron diffraction, nuclear fusion in a compact body and its practical applications. Lectures on science diplomacy were given. The JINR educational programmes and the opportunities they offer for pupils, students, and teachers were presented.

Lecture topics at the School included georadiolocation, shallow geophysics, and seismic effects from volcanic eruptions. Participants attended intensive masterclasses and took guided tours to the Museum of Volcanology and the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Survey of the RF. Among the science popularisation events at KamSU was Professor Gheorghe Stratan’s exhibition “From Copernicus to Newton”. The exhibition continued George Stratan’s artistic research into the biographies of prominent medieval scientists. The exhibition included posters with portraits of medieval scholars and fragments of their books. Gheorghe Stratan is a Chief Researcher at the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics JINR and the Horia Hulubei National Institute for R&D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering. He has been a member of the JINR Scientific Council for many years. The exhibition was also one of the events of the JINR additional programme within the International Year of Basic Sciences – IYBSSD 2022, co-organized by the Institute.

On the final day of the school, a round table was held at the JINR Information Centre at KamSU. It was attended by representatives of the Government and the Ministry of Education of the Kamchatka Territory, Joint Geophysical Service of RAS, Administration of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and schools of the city, as well as KamSU administration, the JINR Infocentre, and the JINR delegation. The results of the School and joint work for the year since the agreement on the JINR Infocentre at KamSU was signed, were summed up at the meeting.

With the active participation of representatives of the Kamchatka education system, the possibilities of the JINR Information Centre in the personnel training system for the Region were discussed. “School representatives are interested in developing of system of education in physics and fostering pupils’ curiosity in science. Today we have discussed issues that will contribute to the practical realisation of these objectives. I think that the final resolution of the round table will serve as a roadmap both for KamSU and the JINR Infocentre, and for the Government of the Kamchatka Region,” KamSU Rector Evgeny Merkulov emphasized in his comment on the results of the round table.

“Such events are important for our children. They are also elements of students’ professional self-determination and their curiosity in natural sciences. Besides, such schools unite and make interdepartmental cooperation more effective, thus helping to organize new educational projects,” Head of the Education Department of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Administration Maxim Gorelikov commented on the outcome of the event, referring to the School.

The round table also touched briefly upon the topic of international contacts. Commenting on the tasks of the JINR Infocentres, Head of the International Cooperation Department Dmitry Kamanin said, “JINR has an advanced scientific infrastructure and it gives us the opportunity to offer cooperation in science to a wide range of scientific partners. The opportunity to touch it is a powerful motivator for future scientists and their schoolteachers. This is our contribution to training through the JINR Infocentres.

On the other hand, the Institute has a developed network of partners in the JINR Member States and in a number of other countries. For Infocentres, scientific contacts with JINR may expand to contacts with the Institute’s partners worldwide, which is also a resource for us. Through the JINR Information Centre network, personnel training issues can also get a further impetus for development in terms of international cooperation. We are pleased to see that our Information Centres are beginning to cooperate!”