JINR young scientists won Moscow Region Governor’s Award

News, 31 October 2023

JINR scientists Alexander Nezvanov and Vladislav Shalaev have won the competition for annual awards of the Governor of the Moscow Region in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and innovation for young scientists and specialists in 2023.

Alexander Nezvanov, a researcher at the Laboratory of Neutron Physics at JINR, won the Governor’s Award for a series of scientific papers in the field of research on the interaction of low energy neutrons with nano-dispersed media.

“About 20 years ago, it turned out that nano-dispersed media effectively reflect radiation with a wavelength of about the size of nanoparticles in the medium,” Alexander noted. “By varying the elemental composition and parameters of nanoparticles, it is possible to create the most effective reflectors of very cold neutrons based on nanopowders, which have almost never been used in practice before. With the advent of new nanostructured reflectors, it was important to understand what processes of radiation-matter interaction are behind the reflection effect. In addition, the reflector’s property optimisation required the development of adequate models of neutron transport in nanopowders. All these formed the main research field of scientific papers submitted for the competition.”

The obtained results, as the scientists admits, open up a wide range of possibilities in the use of such reflectors for the creation of new intensive sources of low energy neutrons, the production and directional extraction of neutrons from sources, beam transportation and focusing. The tested prototype of a very cold neutron source showed an increase in the flux density by an order of magnitude when using a reflector made of diamond nanoparticles. The creation of high-intensity sources of such neutrons with velocities from 20 to 200 m/s will allow them to be used both for fundamental research and in neutron scattering techniques.

Vladislav Shalaev, a junior researcher at the Laboratory of High Energy Physics at JINR, submitted to the competition a scientific paper on the development of software tools for studying processes with a pair of leptons in the final state at the LHC and NICA.

Vladislav is a participant in the CMS Experiment at the LHC at CERN. The CMS Collaboration has a broad physics programme, ranging from measurements of the Standard Model and the recently discovered Higgs boson to heavy ion collision studies, searches for new particles, phenomena and additional dimensions in the Universe. Vladislav identifies patterns in the spatial distribution of particles (leptons) after the collision of protons with currently record energies, which are available only at the Large Hadron Collider. This information allows researchers to better understand the fundamental structure of the matter surrounding us, as well as the laws of physics that govern nature on a microscale. In addition, a deviation from existing calculations could indicate new, undiscovered particles, and even additional measurements. Vladislav also sometimes deals with these calculations, combining and supplementing existing software packages based on the theoretical model, to extract the necessary theoretical predictions. The group in which the scientist works has recently joined the study of possible dilepton processes in the SPD Experiment.

“The research in which I take part can be fully called fundamental,” Vladislav says. “So, as it always happens to fundamental research, it is as difficult to come up with its practical application now as to guess in what amazing things it will result in a hundred years. But one fact is for sure: working with a large amount of data, storing it, an acceleration process itself, everything that accompanies a modern accelerator experiment constantly requires new computer and technical solutions. And they appear really fast. In other words, fundamental research is the wind in the sails of progress.”

The results of the competition were announced by the Government of the Moscow Region on 30 October.

We congratulate the Institute’s staff members on winning the competition and wish them high scientific achievements, new discoveries, and brilliant results!

The competition for awards of the Governor of the Moscow region in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and innovation for young scientists and specialists has been held for the twelfth year. During this time, 170 talented young specialists received the award. Annually 15 Governor’s awards in the fields of science and innovations are awarded in the amount of 700,000 rubles each. The Award is a money reward and a winner certificate.

We would like to remind you that in previous years, the winners of the Moscow Region Governor’s Award were an LRB researcher Yuliya Vinogradova in 2016, Deputy Head of the Science Organization and International Cooperation Office Oleg Belov in 2017, a DLNP researcher Nikolai Azaryan in 2018, the DLNP team of authors in 2020: a leading engineer Ivan Gorodnov and a researcher Anton Dolzhikov, and the DLNP staff members Alexander Kolesnikov and Liudmila Kolupaeva in 2022.