Yulian Aramovich Budagov 1932–2021

25 May 2022
Yulian Budagov

Yulian Aramovich Budagov, a world-class experimental physicist and veteran JINR researcher, passed away on 30 December. Born in Moscow on 4 July 1932, he graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in 1956 and joined the staff of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), to where his lifelong scientific career was connected. He made a significant contribution to the development of large experimental facilities and achieved fundamentally important results, including: the properties of top quarks; the observation of new meson decay modes; measurements of CP-violating and rare-decay branching ratios; the determination of νN scattering form factors; observation of QCD colour screening; verification of the analytical properties of πр interaction amplitudes; and observation of scaling regularities in the previously unstudied field of multiple processes.

The exceptionally wide creative range of his activities was most prominently manifested during the preparation of experiments at TeV-scale accelerators. In 1991–1993 he initiated and directly supervised the cooperation of JINR and domestic heavy-industry enterprises for the Superconducting Super Collider, and in 1994 became involved in the preparation of experiments for the Tevatron at Fermilab and for the LHC, then under construction at CERN. He led the development of a culture using laser-based metrology for precision assembly of large detectors, and the meticulous construction of the large calorimetric complex for the ATLAS experiment. Budagov also devised a system of scintillation detectors with wave-shifting fibres for heavy-quark physics at the Tevatron’s CDF experiment, which helped measure the top-quark mass with a then-record accuracy. He was a leading contributor to JINR’s participation in the physics programme for the ILC, and initiated unique work on the use of explosion welding to make cryogenic modules for the proposed collider.

In his later years, Budagov focused on the development of next-generation precision laser metrology, which has promising applications such as the stabilisation of luminosity at future colliders and the prediction of earthquakes. Precision laser inclinometers developed under his supervision allowed the time dependence of angular oscillations of Earth’s surface to be measured with unprecedented accuracy in a wide frequency range, and are protected by several patents. 

Yulian Aramovich Budagov successfully combined multifarious scientific and organisational activities with the training of researchers at JINR and in its member states. Based on the topics of research performed under his leadership, 60 dissertations were defended, 23 of which were prepared under his direct supervision. His research was published in major scientific journals of the Soviet Union, Russia, Western Europe and the US, and in proceedings of large international conferences. His works were awarded several JINR prizes, and he received medals of the highest order in Russia and beyond. 

His memory will always remain in the hearts of all those who worked alongside him. 

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