This day in the JINR history. The first accelerator in Dubna

News, 14 December 2018

14 December 1949 was a historic day when the Synchrocyclotron, the first basic facility of JINR later reconstructed into the Phasotron, was launched.

Short history:

In 1948, on the right bank of the upper Volga, near the settlement “Great Volga”, a scientific centre was established that was named the Hydroengineering Laboratory of the USSR AS. In fact, it was a branch of the Laboratory #2 headed by Igor V. Kurchatov in Moscow. M.G. Meshcheryakov was appointed Director of the Hydroengineering Laboratory and Scientific Leader of developments for the accelerator, while V.P. Dzhelepov became Deputy Director.

At the insistence of I.V. Kurchatov, development of the Synchrocyclotron was started in the Laboratory #2. The accelerating department was established in the Laboratory (headed by M.G. Meshcheryakov) aimed to develop as soon as possible a prototype of the future Synchrocyclotron to check the principle of phase stability discovered in 1944 by V.I. Veksler on which work of all cyclic accelerators of high energies is based.

The Synchrocyclotron was ready for operation within a record-breaking period – it was launched on 14 December 1949. It was a historic event that enabled the development of a new field of scientific research – high-energy particle physics. At the Synchrocyclotron, deuterons were accelerated up to the energy of 280 MeV, α-particles – up to 250 MeV, and afterwards, protons – up to 480 MeV. Until 1953, the Synchrocyclotron had been the largest accelerator in the world. In 1953, after increasing the diameter of the Synchrocyclotron magnet poles up to six meters and a substantial renovation of its high-frequency system, a 680-MeV proton version of the accelerator was put into operation.

In 1953, the Hydroengineering Laboratory received the status of an independent academic institute – the Institute of Nuclear Problems of the USSR AS. In 1956, INP having joined JINR was named the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems. V.P. Dzhelepov was elected as Director and headed DLNP until 1988. The DLNP Synchrocyclotron became the first operating basic facility of JINR, and since 1963, it was admittedly the best in the world synchrocyclotron.