High-Energy Physics, Institute of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

High-Energy Physics, Institute of


an institute of the State Committee of the USSR on the Use of Atomic Energy at which experimental research is conducted on phenomena that occur upon the collisions of high-energy particles. The purpose of this research is to elucidate the fundamental laws governing the interaction of elementary particles and to ascertain the structure of such particles. The institute is located in the village of Protvi-no, near the city of Serpukhov, in Moscow Oblast. As of 1976, A. A. Logunov, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and A. A. Naumov and Iu. D. Prokoshkin, corresponding members of the academy, were working at the institute.

The research is conducted with the use of the institute’s accelerator complex, the largest in the USSR. The complex includes a linear accelerator injector, which accelerates protons to an energy of 100 megaelectron volts, a strong-focusing proton synchrotron, which accelerates protons to an energy of 76 gigaelectron volts, and particle extraction systems and particle channels, which shape the charged-particle beams and guide them to the physical experimental machines. The construction of the accelerator was begun in 1961 and was completed in 1967. The accelerator beam intensity is 5 × 1012 protons per cycle (1976), and the repetition rate is eight cycles per min. At the present time (1977), work is under way to construct a new booster injection system, which would increase the intensity to 5 × 1013 protons per cycle.

There is a large complex of channels for different particles, including special channels for separated particles. Large experimental machines include scintillation, Cherenkov, and semiconductor counters and spark and bubble chambers, including Liudmila (built at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research), Mirabel (built at Saclay, France), and SKAT (Serpukhov Heavy Chamber; built at the Institute of High-energy Physics). Neutrino experiments are carried out using the neutrino channel and SKAT, which, with a working volume of 6 m3, is one of the largest freon chambers in the world. Automatic and semiautomatic devices and modern computers are used to analyze the experimental data.

A number of fundamental results have been obtained at the institute. A new approach to the study of processes of multiple-particle generation, called inclusive processes, has been proposed and developed. Universality has been revealed in the behavior of the cross sections of inclusive processes, which has led to the discovery of similarity laws in the microworld—scale invariance. The study of inclusive processes has become one of the main areas of research of many of the world’s laboratories. New regularities in the behavior of total cross sections (the Serpukhov effect) have been experimentally established. Scientists at the institute have shown that the radius of action of nuclear forces increases with the energy of the colliding particles. The experimental study of antimatter has led to the discovery of the antihelium and antitritium nuclei. A new particle, the h-meson, with a mass of about 2 gigaelectron volts and spin 4, has been discovered at the institute.

Scientists from various institutes of the USSR conduct research using the institute’s accelerator, as do scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna), the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN; Geneva), and laboratories in West European countries and the United States.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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