“We happened to be in an absolutely unique place!”

News, 08 February 2017

On 3 February 2017, 24 students of the graduating class of French Lyceum n.a. Alexandre Dumas in Moscow, accompanied by teachers and staff members of the French Embassy in Moscow visited JINR. They got acquainted with the history of the Joint Institute at the Museum of History of Science and Technology of JINR, visited the Laboratories of High Energy Physics and Nuclear Reactions.

Atomic Energy Advisor of the nuclear issues Department of the French Embassy in Moscow, Alexander Gorbachev: The French Embassy is constantly communicating with the French Lyceum, located in Moscow, especially with the teachers of physics and mathematics. Last year we visited Kurchatov Institute and the children really enjoyed this event. A specific feature of the French education involves choosing the specialisation in the last two grades. These guys are focused on science – physics, chemistry, there are others – economists and humanitarians. Future scientists were taken to Kurchatov Institute, which they liked very much. Communicating with teachers, we realised that we need to continue and expand this brilliant idea. And, first of all, we thought about you. We discussed it in October, just after the announcement of the names of new super-heavy elements synthesised in Dubna. It was the last pro argument for coming here. I immediately got in touch with the JINR Directorate, whose response was absolutely positive.

Today, our idea has been implemented, for which we are very grateful. Everything went just fine, starting from your museum – history, and science, some small experiments. The experiments with liquid nitrogen were very useful and fun. Thank you very much!

Physics Teacher Matthieu Robert: I have been working in Moscow for two years. First of all, I’d like to say that the country in which we find ourselves is a country of rich scientific opportunities, known for its scientific research. Therefore, it is natural that our students are interested in the latest discoveries of new elements, and pay attention to this aspect of scientific life. Where were they discovered and how? The answers to these questions have led us straight to Dubna. But when we decided to come, we had studied the issue, we realised that the Institute is not limited to one laboratory, its possibilities are much wider. But first impulse was the idea to meet people, who synthesised these new elements.

The trip sparked great interest and evoked a vivid response in the students. Do you know what they said? “What huge, really grandiose installations have been created in order to study such tiny particles!” The second thing that struck them and left the impression was that the Institute is an international organisation, and so many countries are involved in the research, and the effort of specialists in different countries is united here.

Teacher of Mathematics Bruno Vianey: At the Lyceum we have one class with the scientific specialisation, and students of this particular class have arrived in Dubna today. Even if after graduating from school they change their choice of profession, we can be sure that this scientific and technical visit will bring them many benefits. They will definitely remember it. Being a student, I visited CERN. Both here and there the same feeling emerges – as if you are in an absolutely unique place.

The student of the 12th grade of the Lyceum Dimitrij Muller: We were shown the Nuclotron, explained how it works, it’s rather interesting. The model is quite simple, we were introduced to it in an interesting and understandable manner. It was exciting to see the superconducting magnets assembly process. I think it is very important to know that such things exist now, and in the future, I’m sure, it will be very useful.

Olga Tarantina

Photos by Elena Karpova and Anastasia Zlotnikova