The Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1970 in accordance with the Government Decree which was initiated by the Nuclear Physics Department for further development of the experimental base and fundamental research activities in the field of atomic nucleus, elementary particle and cosmic ray physics and neutrino astrophysics.

A crucial role in foundation of the Institute was played by academician M.A. Markov. Under his influence two main research branches were formed in INR: micro˝osm physics - physics of small distances and great energies and astrophysics - physics of great distances, science of the Universe life. They are closely associated with each other because in the long run the laws of micro˝osm determine the evolution and life of the Universe.

The first director of the Institute was academician A.N. Tavkhelidze. Today he is the President of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and scientific supervisor of INR RAS. At present the director of the Institute is academician V.A. Matveev, who is also the head of the Presidium of the Scientific Center of RAS in Troitsk.

The Institute arose on the basis of three nuclear laboratories of the P.N. Lebedev Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Among them were Atomic Nucleus Laboratory headed by the Nobel prize winner academician I.M. Frank; Photonuclear Reactions Laboratory which was founded on the base of the Accelerator Laboratory directed by academician V.I. Veksler. His autophasing principle became the foundation for creating a new type of particle accelerators - synchrotrons. The first European synchrotron at the energy of 30 MeV was launched in 1947 in the Photonuclear Reactions Laboratory. Another laboratory "Neutrino" which became well known thanks to the works of academicians G.T. Zatsepin and A.E. Chudakov was also included in the Institute.

The staff is about 1300 specialists including 5 academicians and 2 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 42 doctors and 160 candidates of science. Among them there are 5 professors, 3 honoured scientists, 8 Lenin and State prize winners.

Nowadays the Institute being at the stage of completion of the scientific complex of the Moscow Meson Factory started to realize the program of fundamental and applied researches in the field of nuclear physics, radiation material science, condensed matter physics, problems of ecologically pure nuclear power engineering, biology and medicine.

Due to its high-current beam the Moscow Meson Factory can provide investigations with a precision which was not attainable before and makes it possible to observe rear events. On the proton beams we have already found new states of few-nucleon systems which had never been seen before.

In 1998 a pulsed neutron source was successfully launched at the proton beam of the high intensity linear accelerator of the Moscow Meson Factory.

The creation of this pulsed neutron source opened up wide prospects for fundamental and applied researches in the field of nuclear physics, radiation material science, condensed matter physics, problems of ecologically pure nuclear power engineering, biology and medicine. In 2000 in the Institute a unique 100-ton supersensitive lead slowing down neutron telescope was also put into operation. In this spectrometer neutrons are generated by the proton beam from the linear accelerator, neutrons can be used in the energy range of 1 eV up to 30 KeV. It is aimed to be used in the field of fundamental and applied physics and radiation medicine.

For development, construction and putting into operation of the high intensity linear accelerator of the Moscow Meson Factory some research workers of the Institute were awarded prizes of the government of the Russian Federation in the field of science and engineering for 2001.

In INR RAS in the city of Troitsk under supervision of academician V.M. Lobashev a unique experiment on search for antineutrino mass is carried out by measuring the hard edge of the energy spectrum of electrons from the tritium decay. For this purpose a special "Troitsk-nu-mass setup" with the best world characteristics was constructed. Nowadays the best limit on the possible antineutrino mass was established. During the experiment a new unexpected phenomenon was found which requires further investigation. Today modernization of this setup is in full swing.

The Institute is a pioneer in development of researches in the field of underground and deep underwater particle physics. In the Northern Caucasus we have the Baksan Neutrino Observatory comprising a set of large-scale underground neutrino telescopes and large-area ground installations for studies in the field of neutrino astrophysics, solar neutrino and cosmic ray physics. The development of elementary particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology results in continuously arising number of extremely important problems which require experimental investigations on large nuclear physics installations located in the underground laboratories where the level of penetrating cosmic emission is drastically lowered.

The Baksan Neutrino Observatory consists of the Baksan Underground Scintillation Telescope, Gallium-Germanium Neutrino Detector, low background laboratories, the KOVYOR (Carpet) Air Shower Array and mountain setup ANDYRCHI.

By now the Baksan Neutrino Observatory Complex has yielded a large number of results of great importance.

The analysis of the measurements of solar neutrino flux taken on the Underground Gallium-Germanium Neutrino Telescope of INR RAS for the period of 10 years gives the value of the flux a little bit greater than half the value predicted by the Standard Solar Model which implies that the Sun radiates due to inertial fusion reactions and the flux of yielded neutrinos is determined by the amount of energy released by the Sun. Today on the basis of other detectors a new property of neutrinos was discovered. Later it was called "neutrino oscillations". This results in the fact that the detector located on the Earth registers only a half of the expected number of electron neutrinos, and the other part converts into another neutrino type. Therefore the Gallium-Germanium Neutrino Telescope data confirm the fact that the Sun radiates due to inertial fusion reactions.

The Baksan Neutrino Observatory made it possible to investigate atmospheric neutrino fluxes coming to the Baksan Underground Scintillation Telescope from below ( our planet serves as a giant filter because only neutrinos are able to go through the Earth), to search for dark matter and magnetic monopoles, to study characteristics of wide atmospheric showers of particles and cosmic rays muons fluxes, to detect rare decays of atomic nuclei.

For construction of the Baksan Neutrino Observatory and investigations in the field of neutrino astrophysics and cosmic rays physics in 1998 some workers of the Institute were awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation in the domain of science and engineering.

The Institute was the first in the world to construct a stationary deep underwater neutrino telescope (HT-200 at the Baikal lake) to detect high energy neutrinos passing through the Earth.

By now it remains the only one in the world deep underwater Cherenkov elementary particle detector in action. It is also one of the four largest detectors of high energy neutrinos as far as its effective area and effective volume are concerned.

Based on the data analysis obtained at the HT-200 neutrino telescope we got new and the strongest for today restrictions on the value of a natural flux of rapid magnetic monopoles, on muon fluxes which accompany the process of annihilation of dark matter massive particles (neutralinos) in the center of the Earth, and, finally, on intensity of a natural flux of high energy electron neutrinos. One of the applied aspects of its operation is the fact that the detector has become a powerful tool for monitoring the ecological system of the Baikal lake.

In the staff of the Theoretical Physics Department of the Institute there are many outstanding physicists-theorists: academicians V.A. Matveev, V.A. Rubakov, A.H. Tavkhelidze. correspondent-member V.A. Kuz'min. The Theoretical Physics Department performs researches in the field of high energy physics, perturbation theory in the quantum theory of the field, the ground state (vacuum) in gauge theories. Here we develop new methods for investigations of dynamics of hadrons strong interactions beyond the perturbation theory, investigate the processes which cannot be explained in the framework of the elementary particles standard model, elaborate theories of the origin of baryon asymmetry of the Universe and study interactions of particle physics and cosmology.

The Institute collaborates with the leading scientific centers both in Russia and abroad (develops different equipment, participates in research and data analysis): Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna), Institute of High Energy Physics, Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, P.N. Lebedev Institute of Physics, I.V. Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, Institute for Nuclear Physics of the Siberian Division of RAS, Nuclear Physics Institute of the Moscow State University, St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, CERN (Switzerland), DESY(Germany), INFN(Italy), Saclay (France), LANL, BNL, Fermilab (USA), TRIUMF (Canada), KEK (Japan) and many others.

Foreign collaborators also take part in many projects of the Institute, for example, in the measurement of solar neutrino flux on the INR Underground Gallium-Germanium Neutrino Telescope (Russian-American experiment SAGE), astrophysical investigations on the INR deep underwater neutrino telescope at the Baikal lake (international collaboration "Baikal").

Along with many fundamental problems of the modern physics the Institute elaborates some unique applied projects. To measure the neutrino fluxes produced inside the Sun we constructed a unique Gallium-Germanium Neutrino Telescope, developed a new technology for extraction and counting of single atoms of radioactive isotopes formed during the capture of neutrino by gallium atoms. In the process of development of the setup for measurement of antineutrino rest mass produced in the tritium beta-decay we created methods for deep purification of gases. On the intermediate (160 MeV) output of the beam of the Moscow meson factory linac we built a special complex on production of radioisotopes for medicine. The volume of production is great (thus, in 1998 the Institute covered the annual requirement of the USA in strontium-82).

Nowadays in Troitsk on the basis of the INR proton linac a ray therapy complex is under construction. The method of tumour elimination inside the body by particles beam has been tested, its efficiency was proved by a great world experience.

For these years the Institute has contributed much to construction and development of the city of Troitsk in the Moscow region, built the scientific town "Neutrino" in the Caucasus for research workers of the Baksan Neutrino Observatory.

The Institute has a basic chair "Fundamental interactions and cosmology" in MIPT, teaches students of some faculties of the Moscow State University, collaborates with MEPhI, the Irkutsk and Kabardino-Balkarian Universities. Post-graduate students have their practice in the Institute. There is a Dissertation Board, 181 dissertations were defended, among them there are 27 on rank of a doctor of physics and mathematics.

Annually the Institute participates in several exhibitions of scientific achievements and is awarded diplomas and medals for applied developments.

Over 30 scientists are the authors of the safe documents received by the Institute on the objects of intellectual property both in Russia and abroad. Inventions are connected with the units of experimental setups, methods and devices for scientific investigations, methods of production and purification of different substances, medical devices, etc.

The reforms in Russia have put the science a difficult question about its place in the modern society.

We hope the potential of Russian science, in particular, fundamental one, will be fully realized in the near future.

Leonid Bezrukov,
Deputy Director of INR on Science (until 2014)

(Translated by Tatiana Greben'kova)

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