Seminar dedicated to the 75th anniversary of A. M. Balagurov

News, 10 February 2020

“I do really belong to this laboratory!”

On 22 January, a joint laboratory seminar was held in the FLNP JINR dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the birth of A. M. Balagurov. V. L. Aksenov made the report “On the history of neutron Fourier diffractometry”, and G. D. Bokuchava delivered a report “Neutron Fourier diffractometry: current status and prospects”.

Opening the seminar, V. N. Shvetsov congratulated the birthday celebrant and thanked him “for a fruitful life in our laboratory”. V. L. Aksenov started his speech as follows: “It is very easy to talk about Anatoly Mikhailovich. Almost everyone in this hall could make a report. He is a highly-qualified specialist of the world level and just a good and kind person. He is very reliable: we have been working with him for 40 years, and there has not been a single case when he somehow violated agreements. I chose the topic of Fourier diffractometry for my report but I could also consider ferroelectrics or high-temperature superconductors. Fourier diffractometry is an undoubted achievement of the laboratory, and Anatoly Mikhailovich made a key contribution to it. The development of the Fourier diffractometer attracted the attention of the world community and created the modern status of the IBR-2. Fourier diffractometry has already changed the world neutron landscape; the new European neutron source ESS is being designed based on our achievements.”

V. L. Aksenov accompanied his report with archival photos depicting not only the biography of the hero of the event and the development of Fourier diffractometry in FLNP but also interaction with partners from the Institute of Crystallography, MSU, Tula University. And as the reporter noted, it all ended with the RF State Prize in the fields of science and technology awarded in 2000 to V. L. Aksenov, A. M. Balagurov, V. V. Nitz and Yu. M. Ostanevich. The most recent award of A. M. Balagurov is the medal of the Russian neutronographical society “For the outstanding contribution to the development of theory and practice of neutron scattering”.

Concluding the report, Victor Lazarevich focused on the future of the laboratory, in particular, on the new neutron source the justification of which, of its first equipment and moderators was carried out with active participation of A. M. Balagurov. He also noted his teaching and sports activities and wished him good health and long life.

Starting his overview, G. D. Bokuchava noted that there are only three Fourier diffractometers left in the world, and all of them are in Dubna. Congratulating and making a gift to A. M. Balagurov on behalf of the Division of Condensed Matter Research and Developments, Yu. E. Gorshkova addressed the celebrant: “Anatoly Mikhailovich, you are a talented person; it is impossible to imagine our laboratory without you. However, talent is only 30 % of success. You have considerable knowledge and share it with us, you are a hard worker, and everyone wants to follow your example. New impressions and inspiration are needed and we ask you to fly for them!” And then a gift certificate for a balloon flight in a basket attached to balloons flew up to the ceiling of the conference hall with a big round of applause.

In his response, Anatoly Mikhailovich thanked all the attendees and the Directorate of the laboratory for their attention paid to the event and the speakers for interesting reports. “I do really belong to this laboratory! I came here being a student in autumn of 1966 and have never left it. I have worked with numerous people over the years jointly with whom we established the division. I also cooperated with colleagues from different organizations. I would like to name the key people. Fedor L. Shapiro was the first person I talked to when I came to choose the topic of my thesis. He offered me to work in a group of Yu. A. Alexandrov. When I returned from the army, Fedor Lvovich advised transferring to a group of Yu. M. Ostanevich. Although it was a pity to leave the group of Yuri Andreevich, I transferred, and I do not regret it now. Our leaders were wise people: it was the time to develop structural neutronography.”

Anatoly Mikhailovich named many his colleagues from FLNP, as well as from the Space Research Institute, MSU, “Kurchatov Institute”, universities of Tula and Yekaterinburg, PNPI, MISIS. “External contacts are significant; nothing would have been possible without them. We solved physical tasks together with competent professionals. Collaborations were very effective. We had many foreign colleagues from PSI (Switzerland), Grenoble (France), ISIS (Great Britain).” He also named his colleagues who left the laboratory in the 1990-2000s and now work in various research centres all over the world. “In Grenoble, Saclay, Munich, in Switzerland and Australia! I do not know a single laboratory without our people!”

Based on the article by Olga Tarantina, JINR Weekly Newspaper,
Photos by Elena Puzynina