Ulaanbaatar: conference in the memory of Academician N. Sodnom

News, 14 June 2013

At the beginning of June, the 5th International Conference on Advanced Physics (ICCP-V), organized by the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Government of Mongolia, the Mongolian National University, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, was held in Ulaanbaatar. The conference programme covered a wide range of scientific research in the fields of nuclear physics and technology, high energy physics, condensed matter physics, and theoretical physics.

The previous conference was held in Ulaanbaatar in 2010. It was dedicated to the 90th anniversary of birth of a famous Mongolian scientist, Academician Namsarain Sodnom who made a significant contribution to development of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research almost since the day of its foundation. Professor Sodnom was a member of the JINR Scientific Council, JINR Vice-Director and a Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of Mongolia at JINR.

A delegation of JINR scientists took part in the conference headed by JINR Chief Scientific Secretary, Professor N. Russakovich. Delegation included FLNP Director V. Shvetsov, Head of DLNP Sector Yu. Gornushkin, FLNP Leading Researcher Yu. Gledenov, Head of the LIT Sector O. Chuluunbaatar, LIT Senior Researcher A. Gusev and BLTP Chief Researcher G. Efimov. Professor G. Efimov was awarded the honorary degree of the Ulanbaatar University at the conference. N. Russakovich commented on the milestones of the conference at our request:

This series of conferences is very popular in Mongolia and very important for informing wide audience of the scientific community about the most urgent problems of modern physics as well as for educating a new generation of researchers. The international status of the conference attracts our colleagues from Japan, the South Korea, Russian scientists from Irkutsk.

We were able to confirm again that cooperation with Mongolian colleagues has been developing successfully. It covers a wide range of scientific areas, and Mongolian scientists and specialists make a significant contribution to activities of the Institute. We discussed these topics at meetings with the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of Mongolia, Academician Suren Davaa, and with Head of the State Atomic Energy Agency of Mongolia. In preparation for the meetings of the Finance Committee and the Committee of Plenipotentiaries, the Mongolian party paid considerable attention to the increase of the membership fee at JINR, and we fully understand this point. Participation of Mongolian specialists in the largest projects of the Institute was also discussed as well as readiness to increase the number of Mongolian researchers in Dubna. Mongolia is a dynamically developing country, which pays a lot of attention to nuclear physics, and we discussed cooperation in training personnel in this field with Academician Baataryn Chadraa, Head of Mongolian state programme for nuclear energy.

In addition to official meetings held within the framework of the conference, members of our delegation had an opportunity to meet friends and colleagues, discuss the course of joint projects and plans for new research. It was a pleasure to see young people actively participating in the meetings – students and graduate students. In the final discussion of the conference, we considered opportunities for a more active exchange of students and graduate students, and organization of summer practices for Mongolian students similar to existing summer practices for students from the South Africa and Egypt.

Alley named after the Mongolian scientist

(fragments of the article by Professor P. Isaev, published in the JINR Weekly Newspaper on 23 May 2003)

Professor N. Sodnom studied at the Mongolian State University; from 1946 to 1948, he was teaching at the Department of Physics of the Mongolian University. From 1949 to August 1953, he was a graduate student of the Physics Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. On 3 July 1953, the Academic Council of the Moscow State University awarded Namsarain Sodnom with a degree of Doctor of physical and mathematical sciences. Upon his return to Mongolia from 1953 to 1956, he was Head of the Physics Department of the Mongolian State University.

Professor N. Sodnom and Academician N. Bogoliubov at the meeting commemorating the 25th anniversary of JINR foundation on 26 March 1981

In September 1956, N. Sodnom came to Dubna and began working at the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems. Thanks to such personal qualities as modesty, diligence, exceptional sense of delicacy, N. Sodnom was able to enter the life of the multinational group of researchers easily and gained universal respect.

On 19 January 1967, Professor Sodnom was elected as the Institute’s Vice Director, and starting from 22 May, took on his duties. As Vice Director of JINR, Professor Sodnom conducted a lot of scientific and administrative work. As chairman of the section of low-energy physics at JINR, he defended the scientific plans of the Laboratories of Neutron Physics, Nuclear Problems and Nuclear Reactions, and their budgets. The diplomatic skills were required to defend the interests of these laboratories at the meetings of the JINR Scientific Council.

During these years, the leading scientists of JINR – V. Dzhelepov, M. Meshcheryakov, B. Pontekorvo, I. Frank and others – were all guests of the Academy of Sciences of the Mongolian People’s Republic and the Mongolian State University, delivered lectures that positively affected development of scientific research in Mongolia. About 20 researchers from Mongolia worked at JINR on a regular basis. Strong ties of the Mongolian State University with JINR laboratories, organized by N. Sodnom, have not been interrupted.

The name of Professor Namsarain Sodnom is forever inscribed in the history of fruitful scientific ties between scientists of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and the Mongolian People’s Republic; it is also a key to further development of these ties. A boulevard in Dubna named in honour of this scientist is a reminder for JINR staff and guests.