Jun 4, 2007
Faces and Places
Denisov celebrates his 70th
Sergey Denisov from the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), Protvino, celebrated his 70th birthday on 4 May. His talents, enthusiasm and unlimited capacity for work have won him the regard and admiration of all who work with him.
In the 1970s Denisov led the construction of the multi-purpose spectrometer Sigma at IHEP, which yielded important results on, for example, deep inelastic hadron scattering and the dynamics of J/Ψ production. Since the late 1980s, he has led the Tagged Neutrino project at IHEP, currently used to study decays of charged kaons and cosmic rays. He has also been involved in research at CERN (with DELPHI and ATLAS) and Fermilab (with E672 and D&Oslaah;). His achievements include developments of gas Cherenkov counters, high-resolution liquid-argon spectrometers, high time-resolution scintillation counters and radiation-resistant high-pressure gas calorimeters.
Denisov has been professor at Moscow State University since 1980. Many young and mature scientists have received an excellent education and friendly advice under his leadership. He was elected corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1997, and is a member of the Scientific Councils of IHEP and the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics in Moscow. He won the Lenin prize in 1986 and the Cherenkov prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2002.
The enduring legacy of Vladimir Veksler
Vladimir Iosifovich Veksler, the outstanding Soviet scientist, was born 100 years ago on 4 March 1907. He was widely known for his discovery of the phase-stability principle in 1945, independently from Edwin McMillan in Berkeley. The application of this principle in accelerator technology made it possible to increase substantially the energies achievable in a particle accelerator. It led to dramatic changes in experimental high-energy physics as a new opportunity arose to conduct systematic experiments at accelerators with intense particle beams with set parameters, complementing studies with cosmic rays. Accelerators based on the new principle were built in the US, at CERN, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Russia, and in Germany and other countries. These machines were the basis for a number of fundamental discoveries.
Working at the Lebedev Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences (PIAS), Veksler organized scientific expeditions to the mountains to study cosmic radiation and designed the first Soviet synchrotrons at PIAS. In the hard post-war years he led the project to build a synchrophasotron in Dubna, which at that time was the largest accelerator, with a proton energy of 10 GeV. The realization of this project became possible only because of the high esteem in which Veksler was held, and his immense talent as a scientist and as an organizer. The start-up of the synchrophasotron in 1957 was acknowledged as an outstanding achievement of Soviet science. Recently, in March, the world scientific community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the accelerator's commissioning.
Veksler proposed further new ideas for particle-acceleration principles. These were studied under his guidance in tests at JINR with models of various systems. He established a large school of engineers and physicists who became leading specialists at JINR, and at its member-state institutions and other scientific centres.
A full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Veksler also worked as academician-secretary to the Department of Nuclear Physics and as a member of the Presidium. He established the journal Nuclear Physics and was its first chief editor. For several years he headed the High Energy Physics board of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.
Veksler's attributes were highly appreciated both in the Soviet Union and abroad. Together with McMillan, he won the prestigious Atoms for Peace award in 1957 for discovering the phase-stability principle. The Russian Academy of Sciences has established the Veksler Prize for outstanding work in accelerator physics. His name is recorded in the names of streets in Dubna and CERN, and the JINR Laboratory of High Energies is also named after him and his successor Alexander Baldin.
Veklser passed away on 22 September 1966. He died at the height of his creative power, but he left behind a deep imprint in science. His ideas are still being developed in many scientific centres around the world, as well as in PIAS and JINR where he worked actively; they are still the basis for new research into mysteries in the structure of matter.