“The potential of this machine was enormous”

News, 16 April 2022

On 15 April, the Laboratory of High Energy Physics JINR celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Synchrophasotron’s launch. Leading scientists of the Laboratory presented a number of reports at the seminar. Speakers talked about the construction history of this breakthrough for its time machine from the construction phase to the present days when the torch of time was passed to the Nuclotron. It was based on the Synchrophasotron and became the basis for the creation of the NICA complex.

JINR Vice-Director, acting VBLHEP Director Vladimir Kekelidze started the seminar and highlighted that the Synchrophasotron was not only a symbol of VBLHEP and JINR but also a symbol of world–class science since high energy physics began with it for the first time. “65 years ago the construction of this accelerator machine was completed and beams of record energy for that time were obtained. For the first time, humanity overcame the energy of 10 GeV, and all this was done in record time. This event was no less significant than the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite in the same year. The Synchrophasotron itself was a great miracle, and its creators – Vladimir Iosifovich Veksler, Leonid Petrovich Zinoviev, and many others –accomplished a great feat. The feat was also that the environment was created for the implementation of a large scientific programme in high energy physics. The potential of this machine was enormous,” Vladimir Kekelidze noted.

Vladimir Kekelidze recalled the main scientific results achieved at the JINR Synchrophasotron: the discovery of the antisigma minus hyperon (1960), K*-meson – vector meson (it was not registered in due time, and its priority remained with another organisation), the discovery of potential scattering of high energy protons (1963). Thanks to these achievements, JINR scientists were able to host the Rochester Conference in Dubna in 1964. It is the most prestigious international scientific conference in the fields of particle physics.

“Congratulations on the 65th anniversary of the Synchrophasotron’s launch to all of you and, above all, to the veterans. They have given a lot of their talent, knowledge, and strength to that era. We are truly proud of everyone who has been next to these big things — with the creation of the machine itself and with the science that has been implemented around it,” JINR Vice-Director added. He congratulated VBLHEP Directorate Advisor, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics Glagolev Vladimir Victorovich who was present at the seminar on the 90th anniversary. He was a participant of the events of the JINR’s early years.

At the seminar, Head of VBLHEP sector, Candidate of Physics and Mathematics Pavel Zarubin delivered a report. He paid tribute to many scientists and specialists for whom research at the Synchrophasotron became a matter of life.

Head of the Department №2 of Physics at the Nuclotron-NICA accelerating complex, Candidate of Physics and Mathematics Alexander Malakhov made a report on the creation of the Nuclotron based on the Synchrophasotron, which was the result of the modernisation of the legendary accelerator in 1987 – 1992.

The report by VBLHEP Chief Researcher RAS Academician Igor Meshkov was devoted to the historical aspect as well. He explained why it was decided to keep the building and the giant magnet of the structure after the Synchrophasotron was stopped and how the parameters of the NICA project were chosen.

Anatoly Sidorin, the Deputy Head of the VBLHEP Accelerator Department for Scientific work, spoke about an unrealised project of 1978 on the creation of a heavy ion accelerator complex, which was the predecessor of the NICA project, based on the Synchrophasotron. The report covered the concept and stages of the creation of the NICA complex. The report also described the progress of commissioning, the third cycle of which had been successfully completed recently and had become the longest in the history of the project.

The informal festive part of the seminar was continued in the Synchrophasotron building.

This week, to mark the anniversary of the Synchrophasotron’s launch in the Joint Institute, the historical and scientific seminar was held in the Museum of History of Science and Technology of JINR. There was also the jubilee exhibition “Synchrophasotron: scientific breakthrough turns 65”.

Record of the VBLHEP seminar dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Synchrophasotron, 15.04.22

JINR’s symbol – legendary Synchrophasotron – turns 65